Hundreds of people attended Friday’s public lecture by URI President David M. Dooley at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana and later witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between CRC/URI and UCC’s Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and Centre for Coastal Management, during the president’s first trip to the West African nation.
During his talk, President Dooley said his vision upon assuming office as president of URI was to vastly increase internationalization and globalization of the school and its students because the world we live in is not just interconnected but interdependent and hyper-connected. Such hyper-connectedness includes a global economy and society in which citizens communicate in seconds and not in days or weeks. The complexity of the modern world includes great challenges, such as climate change, which is beyond one single nation’s ability to solve alone, he continued.
“With these global challenges also come global opportunities. We need to focus more on the opportunities,” he told the audience.
He continued: The less-developed world is not responsible for the lion’s share of atmospheric changes, but it and the entire world have to live with the consequence. That is not the only challenge with global consequences: War in one country affects the entire world; the outbreak of diseases, quality of the air we breathe, sustainability of the food supply, disputes and conflicts are all global issues, he said.
“We are no longer insulated by borders and oceans as we once were, but in all this, are global opportunities and demand for higher education,” President Dooley said.
During the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, President Dooley received a gift of rich local Ghanaian kente cloth and sandals. The entire URI delegation received souvenirs from UCC as a symbol of friendship.
President Dooley continued his inaugural trip to Ghana Saturday when he met with four doctoral and two master’s students bound for URI on a USAID-funded scholarship program. The graduate students went through an intensive and competitive selection process to emerge as recipients of the scholarships. President Dooley congratulated and welcomed the students in advance to URI and hoped they make the most of the experience.
Two USAID projects, USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and USAID/UCC Capacity Strengthening Project are collaborating in this effort.
Also Saturday, two research assistants from UCC supporting SFMP’s research and improved data quality systems activities demonstrated how they collect fish stock data.