An African Expansion

MU Assistance Program partners with Ghana and Kenya

MU's William Meyers (left) and Handy Williamson, Jr. (third from left) attend a reception in Ghana announcing the agreement.MU’s William Meyers (left) and Handy Williamson, Jr. (third from left) attend a reception in Ghana announcing the agreement.

The University of Missouri Assistance Program (UMAP) was registered in Ghana recently as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), giving the University of Missouri (MU) a legal framework to provide training, research assistance and technical expertise to increase the nation’s agricultural productivity.

The registration is MU’s second in Africa. A similar agreement was made with Kenya about ten years ago. The registration gives MU legal status to operate anywhere on the African continent.

“To my knowledge, this is the first university-based NGO in Ghana,” said Handy Williamson, Jr., Vice-Provost of International Programs at MU who traveled to Accra to launch the new initiative.

Handy Williamson, Jr.Handy Williamson, Jr.

“The agreement allows MU to establish a financial and administration system to operate programs in Ghana, and we have already initiated a training program under UMAP Ghana,” said William Meyers, Director of MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ International Programs and Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

William Meyers.William Meyers.

Through its operations in Kenya and elsewhere, MU has an extensive database of African and international experts to provide development consulting services including technical assistance, research, data collection and survey analysis.

As a result of its network, UMAP is able to manage projects and plan, coordinate and implement both international and national conferences.

UMAP Ghana has agreed to cooperate with the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture and hopes to collaborate with the U.S government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Feed-the-Future (FtF).