Increasing Academic Staff Strength

In my view, RIPS will require about 12-15 full timers, mainly on the Research Fellows track, to move from its current funding portfolio of about half a million US Dollars a year, to about one and a half million US dollars a year, and to also sustain the continuing expansion in M. Phil and PhD student numbers from 2 M. Phil and 0 full-time PhDs six years ago, to the current figure of 18 M. Phil and 10 PhD full-time students, and to an anticipated doubling of that number within three years. In my capacity as the PI of the AARC project currently ongoing at RIPS, and through my own initiative, I have contracted Dr. Delali Benjamin Dovie, an Environmental Scientist from the University of Witwatersrand as a Diaspora African Scientist. His mandate is to help in student supervision and mentoring, and to, most importantly, attract grants to RIPS.  My plan is to recruit similar high quality scientists to blend with new faculty members that will be recruited at RIPS.

Building of an Office Complex, Lecture Halls and a State-of-the-art Conference Facility

It is obvious that the space available at RIPS cannot support the expansion drive that I have in mind. My plan is to immediately start the building of a 20 office complex with a state-of-the-art conference facility and lecture halls. The office complex would be built in phases, and, phase one, would have 10 offices, 2 lecture halls and a conference hall. The funds for the building project will be primarily generated from solicitations of our international funding partners including the Hewlett Foundation, and IDRC of Canada which has plans to turn the virtual AARC at RIPS into a brick and mortar one. In addition, other funding and private organizations as well as the RIPS’ large alumni network will be utilized to raise funds for the building project; RIPS has over the last few years began to systematically identify and compile its alumni list.

Publication of the State of the Ghanaian Population Report and Hosting of an Annual International Conference

My vision for RIPS as part of its propagation plans will be to undertake two new activities. Firstly, RIPS has not been the most successful in recent times in bridging the research-policy gap. I intend to initiate the publication of the state of the population of Ghana report modeled along the state of the Ghanaian Economy report of ISSER. This will be done every other year, and is intended to bring together researchers and policymakers to deliberate on population and development issues. Secondly, I have initiated the hosting of an annual international conference by RIPS, and the first in the series will be held from July 1-4 2012. The conference will be on Climate Change and Population in Africa (see www.ug.edu.gh/climateconference for more details). In addition, I am currently the Vice President (2012-2015) of the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS), the continental population association, and automatically becomes the President (from 2016-2019). I am leveraging this position to enhance the image and visibility of RIPS, and to convince the Union to host the 7th African Population Conference in 2015 in Ghana.

Sustain

Many research funding opportunities have terminated when the lead investigator retires or moves on, or when the funding agency becomes fatigued. RIPS suffered a similar fate in 1999 when the UNFPA which was its major funder at the time withdrew its funding giving barely six months notice. The ramifications of this were there for all to see, and was referred to at the outset of this document. My objective is that this will never again happen to RIPS. My major vision to lead RIPS is to put the Institute in a position that will make it self sustaining. I acknowledge the investment drive that has been pursued by the immediate past Director, and I intend to build upon that. The savings from grants (of which I was a major contributor) that have been invested will be consolidated and institutionalized. I intend to pursue a vigorous “grantsmanship” so as to increase the investment portfolio at RIPS. The  principal of this investment will be maintained at all times, and will only be built on, however, interests accruing from it would be used to finance infrastructural development including computing and library resources, providing seed grants for research, motivating faculty members to publish, and above all providing scholarships for Masters and Doctoral training as well as staff development.