Our support for research in Ghana has helped build strong links between this stable African democracy and Canada. For example, a pioneering program for the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences’ Next Einstein Initiative nurtures future mathematical experts with the advanced skills to tackle urgent environmental, health, and economic challenges.
IDRC’s John Atta Mills fellowship, named for the late president of Ghana (2009–2012), also strengthened ties between the two countries. From his base at the University of British Columbia, Mills travelled across Canada to increase awareness of the challenges facing Africa.
Reducing inequality in health care
Our funds sponsored Ghana Health Service research to improve the country’s national health insurance program. Major reforms extended health care to the aged, the poor, and children under 18. Since then, a regional research partnership helped form a network to generate solid evidence on health equity and financing issues in developing countries.
A non-governmental organization, BasicNeeds, conducted research on the barriers to access mental health services in Ghana. They shared results with policymakers and mental health professionals, and launched a national public awareness campaign. This initiative also led to mutual support groups among the mentally ill.
IDRC-supported work helped spread the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. Research showed that using the nets significantly reduces child mortality. Researchers also found ways for governments to encourage people to buy and correctly use the nets.
Information technology and democracy
Researchers in Ghana found innovative ways to use information technology to enhance democracy. They set up a web link between a poor region in northern Ghana and the country’s parliament. The project demonstrated that such technologies can greatly increase interactions between previously excluded citizens and national leaders.
114 activities worth CA$31.5 million since 1973
Our support is helping
- improve governance through better access to information
- strengthen policy research capabilities in Ghana’s think tanks
- fight the lethal yellowing disease that threatens farmers’ coconut crops
- provide options to address climate change’s impact on water and health — affecting especially the poor
- enhance the quality of climate change science at the University of Ghana