Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has urged universities to move along with modern technologies, to exploit the varied social media tools to stimulate research work and promote library search.
'Academic libraries in the western world use social media and create social networking walls to share academic information, that African universities can re-invent to meet the needs of lecturers, administrators and students,' he said.
Speaking on the theme: “Mobile ICT and New Media - The Implications of Social Networks on Academic Work,” at the 3rd GTUC and CMI international ICT conference on Tuesday, Professor Aryeetey urged universities to make social media an integral part of their programmes.
He noted that the institutions could use Skype for graduation ceremonies to reach out to far away students, while a lot of Google apps might be employed to engage students and lecturers without them meeting physically.
Academic calendars, students’ assessment records, research work of sister universities could be shared on the social media for easy access and save a lot of cost.
On the prospects of mobile and communication networks and services, he said Africa is still at the early stages of building infrastructure which make services relatively expensive.
The Vice Chancellor added that in Africa, mobile telephony networks could face obstacles if brand infrastructure gap and rural poverty were not addressed.
Dr Robert A. Baffour, Vice-President of the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), expressed disappointment over the energy problems facing the nation, in spite of the abundantly wasted sunshine which could have been converted into energy for domestic and commercial use.
He called on governments and organisations to fund basic research into localized pertinent issues affecting ordinary people in everyday life.
He said: “we can conduct basic research to know the intensity of the sun and how it can be tapped for our use, or whether the mixture of asphalt and concrete was something meaningful.”
But it appears research is not in the books of governments, or either our university faculties are interested in doing research, questioning: “what are we creating as a nation?”
The 3rd GTUC/CMI ICT conference would, in the two days, discuss developments of mobile communications and media with respect to growing markets, policies and regulation as well as business potentials and strategies.
Delegates would also highlight the current challenges encountered in the uptake of new media platforms in Africa, and examine the need for and use of ICT by educators, health care workers, government officials, business men, researchers in the sub-region;
They will further explore ways in which technologies are used and assessed in diverse fields of education, health care, governance, businesses, social networks, banking and finance.
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