Monday, June 2, 2008

Tallahassee Delegation Travel To Ghana, West Africa

A delegation comprised of Florida A&M University Dean Henry Lewis III, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dean Lydia McKinley-Floyd, FAMU School of Business and Industry (SBI), Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, and 12 FAMU students will travel Monday, June 2, through Sunday, June 8, to Ghana, West Africa.

The delegation’s purpose is two fold. The Mayor and the Deans will explore areas of potential economic and developmental collaborations, explore business relationships that can be cultivated between Tallahassee and Ghana, and areas where the State of Florida may benefit from technology transfer.

While there, Mayor Marks will meet with Nana Ababio, Ghana’s President of the House of Chiefs, the Minister of Finance, and two members of the Ghana Assembly (Congress). In addition, the Mayor will make a number of diplomatic visits including to Tallahassee’s own Sister City, Konongo-Odumasi, where he will meet with Mayor George Frimpong. The Tallahassee City Commission approved the Sister City partnership with Konongo-Odumasi in 2001.

Dean Henry Lewis is taking 12 FAMU students to Ghana where the students will spend 10 weeks conducting research on health disparities that adversely impact the health of the people of Ghana. This National Institute of Health Program called Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) is designed for minority graduate and undergraduate students with health research training in an international venue.

“The MHIRT grant will facilitate student awareness of minority and international health problems, stress the importance and opportunities of international collaboration in research, as well as, address health disparities from a global health perspective,” said Lewis.

In previous years, the MHIRT grant at FAMU has provided training for student research in Egypt, Peru and the Czech Republic. Currently, FAMU is in the second year of a three-year grant that is sponsoring all of the delegation on the trip.

Dean McKinley-Floyd will explore collaborations between the University of Ghana, Cape Coast University and the University of Science and Technology. In addition, she will meet with women in the Micro-Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurial and Business Leaders from throughout Ghana.

“We hope to establish business and academic linkages for our students and faculty from SBI,” said McKinley-Floyd.

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