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565 Ph.D holders in Upper East out of 28,859 in Ghana should impact development but … – Prof. Avea Nsoh

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A former Upper East Regional Minister and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Education Winneba (UEW), Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh has opined that, all things being equal, there should be a direct link between the number of people with Ph.Ds within a defined space and the development in that area.

Professor Avea Nsoh explained that because the attainment of Ph.D is research-driven, in perfect circumstances, the research collected and data analysed should be the basis for decisions taken by political leaders for development.

Unfortunately, Professor Avea Nsoh argues that it is not the case as many developmental decisions are directly taken based on the whims and caprices of political leaders.

He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show. His comments were made on the back of a disaggregation of Ph.D holders within the country by region in the 2021 Population Housing Census (PHC) by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

“One of the major gaps in developing countries and for that matter, Ghana, and even worse in the Upper East Region is the absence of data; more broadly speaking, research. What it means is that a lot of decisions are made on the whims and caprices of policymakers, chiefs and others.”

“What it means is that we have a serious gap in terms of development. This is because we do not have a lot of research information that will guide us in our decision-making. There is nothing that will succeed without it being informed by data; what it is that it is about, what are the causes, and what is likely to be the impact, the result and everything.”

“If you do not have this, it just means that you are groping in the dark,” he said.

The Professor of Linguistics continued to say, “when you talk of Ph.D, it is an advanced form of a research degree. When you have a Ph.D, your understanding of issues is just beyond the generality. It gives you a deeper understanding of issues.”

“The implication of having over 500 such Ph.D holders in the Upper East Region means that, ordinarily, you should have a lot of research information and data that would guide decision-making that would enhance our development.”

Professor Avea Nsoh however admitted that the number of Ph.D holders in the Upper East Region hasn’t translated directly into development because of a number of challenges.

“The problem is that all of these Ph.Ds that you are talking about, some of them are outside the country. Some of them might be living like me; I am in Winneba. Dr. Atintono is in Winneba. There are so many others that are outside the country or outside the region.”

Another challenge, he mentioned was that some of the programme areas were not development oriented.


The Upper East Region, according to the latest Population and Housing Census by the Ghana Statistical Service, has a total of 565 PhD holders.

It is expected that this number may have increased or decreased just a little considering the fact that some persons were in the process of acquiring PhD when the census was done, while some may have died after the census was done.

According to the GSS 2021 PHC the Greater Accra Region has the highest with a total of 11454 PhD holders as of 2021. Second is Ashanti Region with 5157, the Central region had 3788, while Northern Region also had 1663.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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