The Ghana Sociological and Anthropological Association (GSAA) last Thursday held its 3rd Annual Conference at the University of Cape Coast under the theme: “The Social Science and The Sustainable Development Goals.”
The two-day conference aimed at discussing various topical issues within the framework of the SDGs to help cut its Gordian knot and develop a communique to be made available to government, civil society organizations and other development-oriented institutions.
In his address as chair for the occasion, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Prof Francis Eric Amuquandoh, explained that sociology cannot be ignored if the 17 SDGs are to be achieved by 2030. He noted “Mostly 80-90% project failure is attributed to the fact that, the sociological and community participation dimension of the projects were ignored. He added that “a lot of the socio pathology that we find ourselves in such as armed robbery, mob justice, sanitation and the challenges that we are having, all relates to our social behavior and our inability to understand the people…Yes will go and drill borehole for them but they will not drink that water. You come up with new breeds that the yield will be high but we don’t consider the social dimension and the taste and other things. So we produce them but nobody will buy it: it’s not tasty to them.”
He said “If the 17 SDGs are to be achieved, Sociology Anthropology is a key.”
In his address, Director of the Directorate of Research Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC), Prof Samuel K. Anim explained, it is important for a careful strategic plan to be done within the academic discipline of the social sciences in order to achieve the SDGs.
Director DRIC, Prof Samuel K. Anim
He noted with concern that “The School of Economics, just until 1st August 2018 was with the Faculty of Social Sciences. The School of Development Studies, up until August 2018 was with the Faculty of Social Sciences. Even at KNUST, there is that interest to separate social work from Sociology. He questioned “if in the name of autonomy, we are trying to move away, how will Social Sciences in itself stand as a unified body to address developmental goals?… what are the parameters we need to look at if we are defining what goes into a School of Social Sciences from an academic point of view? Yes, autonomy is a good reason to back away from the mother faculty or school but let us begin to rethink as to the implications of the breakaway departments on the agenda of Social Science.”
He explained that in each of the SDGs and through all the one hundred and sixty nine indicators, social science can be found there. He said “this is the time that we have to rethink as to what extent, from an academic point of view, is Social Science still intact to the discourse of the development agenda.”
By: Aba Aikins / ATL FM News