UCC signs MoU to establish Institute of Forensic Sciences

The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU), Gandhinagar India to establish an Institute of Forensic Sciences at UCC.

The institute is expected to serve as a Centre of Excellence in Forensic Science for the West African sub-region and by extension, Africa.

The agreement will also enable UCC to strengthen the capacity of faculty members of its Department of Forensics and offer advanced training opportunities to Ghanaian students in the field of Forensic Sciences.

With the aim of training forensic experts to meet India’s demands, the GFSU) is the world’s first and only university dedicated to Forensics and Allied Sciences and committed to organising training for other countries globally with its advanced and specialised programmes.

Three-member delegation

A three-member delegation from UCC, led by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor George K.T. Oduro, with the Head of the Forensic Sciences Department, Dr Richmond Afoakwah, and an Assistant Lecturer of the Department, Mr Dan Osei Mensah Bonsu, recently returned from India after signing the MoU.

Briefing the Daily Graphic on their return from the trip to India, Prof. Oduro, said UCC appreciated the collaborative gesture of GFSU and reiterated the university management’s commitment to promoting quality Forensic Science in UCC. He also emphasised that resourcing the Forensic Sciences Department was a priority for management.

He said the difficulty faced by Ghana’s judicial system, was due to limited expertise in forensics, noting that most criminal cases still pending in Ghana’s courts could have been easily adjudicated but for lack of adequate forensic evidence.

Prof. Oduro mentioned some cases for which Ghana sought expertise from Israel and the United States (US) and recounted the huge costs involved in such an approach, as well as the attendant danger of revealing potential sensitive national intelligence to foreign experts.

Mutual interest

“We are very positive that this MoU would help us collaborate in areas of mutual interest in forensics, and we hope to tap their expertise to build forensic and investigative services in Ghana to a level of an enviable international repute,” Prof. Oduro stressed.

Recalling remarks made by the Director-General of GFSU, Dr J.M. Vyas, who is also the Director of the Gujarat State Directorate of Forensic Sciences, a state-of-the-art accredited laboratory of international repute, Prof. Oduro said he expressed happiness about the collaboration and emphasised the need to train students and build capacity of law enforcement officers and personnel in the judicial services to deal with crime prevention, prosecution and management.

For his part, Dr Afoakwah indicated that he was “very optimistic of the success of this partnership with the only forensic science university in the world and would work hard to achieve all objectives spelt out in the MoU”.