The Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) was established in 1972 jointly by the United Nations in partnership with the Government of Ghana, and is located at the University of Ghana. Since its establishment the Institute has served as a regional centre for teaching and research training at the post-graduate level of population scientists in English-speaking countries in Africa. The Institute enjoyed enormous funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was the leading demographic research and teaching centre has trained more than 600 population scientists since its inception in 1972. However in 1999, the UNFPA withdrew its funding to RIPS which led to a decline in the activities of the Institute.

When Prof. Francis Dodoo was appointed the Director at RIPS in 2004, he inherited an institute that had its survival dependent on the provision of a teaching/training service rather than on a mission that is centered on a funded research training agenda. However, during his tenure, he transformed the Institute to one with an internationally recognized doctoral training programme of the highest repute, and the programme has at its core an extramurally-funded research mission that supports the various aspects of RIPS’ work.

My vision as Director is to provide academic leadership in both teaching and research at the institute and for RIPS is to continue to grow and maintain its international recognition as a leading centre for excellence in research and training in the areas of population, health, and population-environment interrelationships. This is tied to the Institute’s strategic plan which is centered on four key words: Improve RIPS’ current circumstances, Expand and Propagate the best aspects of the institute’s portfolio, but most importantly, Sustain the momentum generated at RIPS.