The Planning Department under the Faculty of Planning and Land Management of the University for Development Studies (UDS) climaxed its 10th Anniversary as an academic department on the 5th of March 2020 with an alumni homecoming summit and a symposium.
The symposium took place at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies which is set to become Dombo University for Business and Integrated Development Studies with several dignitaries of the University present including the Department’s Alumni.
The department of Planning came into existence in the 2009/2010 Academic Year. According to Dr. Kennedy Alatinga, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Management, the Planning department grew out of the Department of Planning, Land Economy and Rural Development (DPLERD), one of the former Departments of the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies (FIDS) of the University for Development Studies (UDS).
The Head of the Planning Department, Dr. Bernard A. A. Akanbang admonished both current students and alumni on the importance of discipline and commitment in the development of the country. He also highlighted the role planners will have to play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set to be achieved by 2030.
The Head of Department highlighted key challenges confronting the department. They include limited infrastructure and the unavailability of a standard studio for practical training. He urged the alumni to establish a platform through which they can share their experiences with the students and management. He encouraged students to embrace ICT as a means of enhancing their work.
The Department has successfully trained over 700 Development Planners within a period of ten years.
These planners have become proactive decision makers in several institutions in and outside the country. Due to the pressure students’ encounter with studying more courses in a semester, the Department has merged similar courses to enhance effective studies. Dr. Boye Bandie, a former head of the Department and chairman for the symposium urged the Department’s alumni to be good Ambassadors and to contribute towards the growth of the Department.
Pioneers of the Department including Prof. Francis Z.L. Bacho and the late Dr. Charles Gyimah, were acknowledged for their roles in the development and establishment of the Department. Prof. Francis Bacho advised students, staff and management of the Department to persevere in their various responsibilities and contribute towards addressing urban planning related challenges in the country.