The West Africa RILab (WA RILab) Innovations Board was officially sworn in on May 19, 2015 at the University for Development Studies (UDS) International Conference Center, Tamale. The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies, Prof. Grabriel Teye graced the occasion as Chief Guest and presided over the ceremony. The 12 member board took an oath of allegiance to actively participate and provide candid advice to the WA RILab Innovations drive. In his inaugural remarks, the Pro-Vice Chancellor tasked the WA RILab to braise itself to take up bigger challenges and to be seen as an action-oriented, practical and visible lab on the ground and in the communities in need. Prof. Teye indicated that the UDS- Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP) system was being transformed into a more project-oriented (practical) to the needs of the people, instead of only engaging in the normal data collection and documentation processes, which content generated was not being effectively utilized.

The Chairman of the Board, Prof. David Millar, former PRO-Vice Chancellor, UDS and now Vice Chancellor of Millar Institute, Bolgatanga shared in his remarks that, “…in dealing with innovations, one does not need to re-invent the wheel, but to look within the existing and implemented solutions for practical things (those that can be done differently) that could impact and transform lives. He added that, academia is being challenged to be more practical in recent times. He thanked the UDS, WA RILab Teams on behalf of all participants for the confidence in the Innovations Advisory Board and pledged to work to the best of their ability to ensure the success of the WA RILab’s drive to innovations.

The general mandate of the Innovations Advisory Board is to support the RI Lab achieve its vision of building resilient African communities through leveraging the knowledge, scholarship and creativity of African Universities to identify and develop innovative ways of strengthening resilience in these target communities. They will also provide technical insights on the innovation projects, links to relevant individuals and institutions, assessing project proposals, mentoring and coaching innovators among others.