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Group photo of participants

GETSPA holds annual conference

The Gender Equitable and Transformative Social Policy for Post-COVID-19 Africa (GETSPA) project held its maiden annual conference at the University of Ghana. The three-day conference brought together GETSPA researchers -- social policy scholars from various countries across West, East, Central, North, and Southern Africa -- to discuss their work, and exchange ideas on how to advance the impact and sustainability of the project.

Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, Provost of the College of Humanities, and Prof. Samuel Ntewusu, Director of the Institute of African Studies were present to welcome the participants and address the opening session.

Prof. Ofori speaking at the opening session
Prof. Ofori speaking at the opening session

Prof. Ofori expressed his delight at the establishment of GETSPA within the College of Humanities of the University of Ghana. He thanked the principal investigators, researchers, the Open Society Foundation (funding partner), and all individuals involved in the project.

He noted that GETSPA is a compelling and timely initiative that promises to help transform social policymaking to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities on the continent.

He lauded the project’s focus on improving the capacity of social policy researchers in Africa through increased opportunities for exchange, collaboration, and advocacy, saying, “By providing an opportunity for researchers of the University of Ghana to lead and engage with social policy scholars across Africa, GETSPA contributes in a significant way to driving the international networks promotion objective of the College, and by extension, that of the University of Ghana.”

“As provost of the College of Humanities, I could not be more pleased to be associated with GETSPA and to be here today to witness its annual conference at the end of the first year of the project,” he concluded.

For his part, Prof. Ntewusu acknowledged Prof. Dzodzi Tsikata, Principal Investigator, and the team members of the GETSPA network for their joint efforts in conceptualising a pan-African project which, in several ways, aligns with the founding vision and current operations of its host institute, the IAS. He also thanked the Open Society Foundation for supporting the establishment of GETSPA.

Prof. Ntewusu spoke at the event and moderated some sessions.
Prof. Ntewusu spoke at the opening event and moderated some sessions

He observed that the goals and aims of GETSPA are driven by an African perspective as evidenced by the pan-African network of researchers, spanning 31 countries.

He said, “In very concrete terms, GETSPA upholds the vision of the Institute of African Studies, where the project is housed, through the privileging of Afrocentric scholarship in realising its goals and aims.”

Prof. Ntewusu expressed the hope that the outcomes of the GETSPA project would produce cutting-edge knowledge that would influence social policies on the continent. He called for continued funding to help make this aspiration a reality.

Other speakers at the opening session were Prof. Nana Akua Anyidoho and Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, co-Principal Investigators of GETSPA.

Over three days, from 23 to 25 August 2022, GETSPA researchers discussed findings from their research, common themes emerging from the studies, and their implications for policymaking and implementation and on the continent.

The annual conference is the first in-person meeting of GETSPA team members since the project’s inception a year ago. The conference provided a timely opportunity for the research teams to interact in person and deepen their network.

GETSPA has a mission to transform -- through research and constituency-building activities -- the cultures of social policymaking and implementation in Africa. The project began in January 2021 with funding support from the Open Society Foundations. It is designed to learn from the experiences of as many African countries as possible to allow for comparative analysis that will lead to both global and context-specific lessons and recommendations.  It is focused on 10 country clusters spanning West, East, Central, North, and Southern Africa.

For more information about GETSPA, please contact, or follow @GETSPA_IAS on Twitter for updates.

Some participants at the conference
Some participants at the conference