DBAR Partners with Ghana on Building International Center of Excellence for Water, Energy, Natural Resources

On January 13th, 2023, the Digital Belt and Road Program (DBAR) and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of International Center of Excellence Sunyani (ICoE-Sunyani).

Prof. GUO Huadong, the Chair of DBAR and Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice Chancellor of UENR, officially signed the MoU.

Prof. Guo Huadong, the Chair of DBAR and Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice Chancellor of UENR officially signed the MoU

The center aims to use big Earth data to sustainably develop water, energy, and land resource and to improve public health in West Africa. Specifically, the center will develop solutions for challenges in agriculture, water conservancy, human health and other fields with the support the big data infrastructure and through capacity building of West African countries by providing scientific and technological support for government decision-making services and sustainable development of West African countries.

The signing of this MoU is a milestone for DBAR to cooperate with major scientific research institutions in West Africa and to implement the ICoE-Sunyani approved by the DBAR Scientific Committee in 2021.

Prof. GUO Huadong, Chair of DBAR, during his welcoming speech said that the world is facing the challenge of coordinated development in society, economy, and environment. DBAR is actively working to facilitate partner organizations in the public sectors through research and capacity development activities.

He also hoped to have closer collaboration with supports of UENR to develop wide variety of scientific resources, promote smart utilization and application of Big Earth Data in the design, development, and implementation of diverse range of projects related to Sustainable Development Goals in Ghana.

Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice Chancellor of UENR noted that the University has the requisite staff and expertise to jointly work with the partner institution to achieve the center’s mandate. Prof. John K.M Kuwornu, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UENR, further on UENR’s capacity to host the Center, he pledged Management’s support to strengthen and sustain the relationship between both institutions for long term goals.

Associate Professor Amos T. KABO-BAH, Focal Person of DBAR ICoE Sunyani, said that the University is already working closely with the Ghana Statistical Service to build the capacity of data. He thus noted that the collaboration with DBAR is timely and was hopeful that it will be mutually beneficial to both institutions and largely to the countries.

Prof. Samuel Fosu Gyasi, Dean-School of Science at UENR, Peter Appiah-Hene, head of Department-Computer Science and Informatics at UENR overviewed the research centers and programs of School of Science to develop the capabilities and collaboration with DBAR.

Prof. JIA Li, Co-chair of DBAR-Water Working Group presided the opening part of the ceremonial meeting and Prof. QIU Yubao, Secretary-General of DBAR, presided the signing part. Prof. Massimo Menenti, member of DBAR Science Committee, delivered a short speech.

The “Digital Belt and Road Program” (DBAR) was launched in May 2016 and initiated by Chinese scientists with the aim to promote the application of digital technology, with a particular focus on big Earth Data, towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals in the Belt and Road region.

DBAR is supported by 9 professional Working Groups (WG) to carry out research and 9 International Centers of Excellence (ICoE) providing international networking and opportunities for research collaboration, by promoting and enabling sharing of data, technology and knowledge, to facilitate decision-making process in service of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the implementation of China proposed Global Development Initiative.

Group photo