Sponsored by University of Ghana (UG), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), University of Cape Coast (UCC), American Society of Public Administration (ASPA), and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), the 2017 International Conference on Public Administration (12th ICPA) & International Symposium on West African Studies (1st ISWAS) was successfully held on November 14-17 in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana.
The 2017 ICPA & ISWAS brought together an array of scholars, experts and practitioners in the field of public administration from different countries and regions, including China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Japan, Nigeria, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Uganda, the United States, the United Kingdom, Zambia, and Macao SAR of P.R. China.
The 2017 ICPA & ISWAS began with an opening remark by Prof. Wang Zhiqiang, Chairman of University Council (2009-2017) of UESTC. In his remark, Prof. Wang expressed his congratulations to the opening of the 2017 ICPA and his sincere gratitude and warmest welcome to all scholars and participants that were present at the conference. He believed that the 12th ICPA will obtain substantial academic achievements through in-depth discussions and exchanges among scholars and practitioners. He was also very glad to share with participants that the first International Symposium on West Africa Studies will be held soon in the University of Cape Coast, in which we will share our wisdom on and explore the development of West Africa as well as the whole Africa.
Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Prof. Bondzi Simpson Philip Ebow, Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration; Harvey L. White, Past President of American Society for Public Administration (2007-2008) and Prof. Jiang Xiaoping, Executive Member of the Council of Chinese Public Administration Society delivered the welcome remarks at the opening ceremony respectively. The Appointment Ceremony of Council Member of the Strategic/Academic Committee, Center for West African Studies of UESTC was conducted at the end of the opening ceremony. The Opening Ceremony was moderated by Chairpersons of 2017 ICPA & ISWAS including Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensahm, Provost, College of Humanities of University of Ghana, and Prof. Zhao Shurong, Director of Center for West African Studies, School of Political Science and Public Administration of UESTC.
The theme of the 2017 ICPA conference is Managing across Organizational Boundaries: Innovation and Collaboration. There were 6 sub-themes—Governance and Management to Improve Cooperation Across Organizations, Public Private Partnerships, Reducing Complexity When Delivering Public Services, Encouraging Collaborative Behavior by Public Officials, Social Equity and the Quality of Inter-organizational Cooperation, Big Data and Effective Network Management.
Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director of New York State Committee on Open Government, USA and Prof. Zhao Shurong, Director of Center for West African Studies of UESTC, P.R. China, delivered their keynote presentation on “Key Elements of a Freedom of Information Law”, and “Study of the Mechanism of Cross-boundary Governance of Water Pollution in the Taihu Basin: A Synergy Perspective”, respectively.
Due to time and space constraints, only 46 research papers were selected for presentation. Many eminent personalities delivered their lectures at the 7 expert seminars during the course of the conference. The event also included a GIMPA workshop, a new addition to the ICPA conference series. 3 papers won "Best Paper Award" and 4 papers won the "Best Paper nomination award". Thomas H. Stanton, Senior Academic Chairperson, and Prof. Zhu Xiaoning, Academic Chairperson of ICPA & ISWAS presented the certificates to the award-winning authors.
Since Africa is one of the most dynamic developing regions worldwide, the first International Symposium on West African Studies (ISWAS) was conducted with 2017 ICPA in Ghana. The first ISWAS provided solutions for issues, challenges and problems that Western African countries are faced with in the process of economic and social development.
The International Symposium on West African Studies was held on 17th November at University of Cape Coast (UCC), and Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Vice-Chancellor of UCC delivered the welcome speech. He hoped participants can make the most of this international symposium, by participating fully in all the sessions, exchanging ideas, and forging networks wherever possible.
Focusing on the theme “Social and Economic Development in West Africa from Global Perspective”, John McPeak, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA, and Prof. Akwasi Osei, Delaware State University, USA, delivered their keynote presentation on “The Role of Pastoralists’ Tradition/Cultural Institutions in Climate Change Resilience in West Africa”, “Africa, China, and the New Global Dispensation”, respectively.
Although it was the first time to be held, ISWAS attracted world attention with participation from countries such as China, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, U.S.A., etc. 9 scholars delivered their lectures at the ISWAS Seminar A and B. In addition, after the first West African Forum Academic Committee review, Dr. Justina Namukombo from the University of Zambia was awarded the "Best Paper Award" at this forum, and 5 papers were awarded the "Best Paper Nomination Award".
In conclusion, Prof Zhao Shurong expressed the hope that the participants will learn more about Ghana, understand West Africa, strengthen their attention to the issues of social development in West Africa, conduct joint research, and promote economic and social development in West Africa through this forum.
The submissions of 2017ICPA & ISWAS have amounted to Five Hundred and Twenty-Eight pieces from both China and abroad by experts, scholars and practitioners to School of Political Science and Public Administration of UESTC and American Society for Public Administration respectively. After peer reviews by 2017 ICPA Academic Committee, papers collected in Proceedings of 2017 International Conference on Public Administration (12th) & International Symposium on West African Studies (1st) (Volume I and Volume II) are Two Hundred and Fifty-Four, offering a wide array of new knowledge and information for public administrators and scholars to find out valuable and practical references.