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General News of Friday, 27 November 2009

Source: GNA

KNUST Crop and Soil Sciences Dept to run PhD programme

Kumasi, Nov. 27, GNA - Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) would from January 2010 begin a four-year PhD programme in Soil Health for the West African sub-Region. Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundations are providing between them US$3,000,000 to fund the programme which is housed at the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences of the University. Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST said the first batch of students totalling 20, have already been picked from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.

He was addressing a special congregation for award of honorary degrees to three distinguished personalities and post graduate degrees to 410 students of the University in Kumasi on Friday. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, an internationally reputed historian, Professor Sir George Wireko-Brobby, former Dean, School of Medical Sciences, KNUST, and Alhaji Asoma Abu Banda, business magnate, received honorary Doctorate Degrees for outstanding contribution to the development of the University.

Three KNUST workers Messrs Lawrence Agbemabiase, William Ahadzie and Thomas 0poku-Agyemang were also recognised for their meritorious services. The awards were preceded by the Dr. R.P Baffour Memorial Lectures. Professor Adarkwa said the doctoral research projects of the University have produced sufficient findings with implications for poverty reduction and food security in Ghana and the sub-Region.

"In one of such projects, the major chemical and physical properties of 'water yam' (dioscorea alata), known locally as 'afasew', that affect food and industrial processing qualities have been identified." He encouraged the graduates to participate in continuing education programmes to enhance their efficiency. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and Chancellor of the University, paid glowing tribute to the first Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baffour for laying a solid foundation for growth and development of the University. Dr Baffour, he said, "Exhibited strong academic and moral leadership, respect for human dignity, and the recognition that each individual abounds in some ideas, which could be put to use for common good." He added that Dr Baffour was a source of inspiration to students and said he (Otumfuo) had the privilege to work with him. 27 Nov. 09