In the hallowed halls of the prestigious Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), excitement is palpable as the university prepares for its first inaugural lecture on September 15, 2023. The Hall 3 of the university is specially decorated for the occasion will host distinguished academics, students, family, and enthusiasts from across the globe for a historic moment: the maiden inaugural lecture of Professor Issaka Kanton Osumanu, a brilliant geographer and a rising star in the world of geography.
History Beckons as SD Dombo University of Business Outdoor First Inaugural Lecture
The Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), aka SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies emerged from the former University for Development (UDS) Wa campus. SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies was established in 2019 by an Act of Parliament (Act 1001) and came into being in May 2020 with its main campus in Bamahu, Wa.
The Act (Act 1001, 2019) which establishes the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies mandates it to be an outstanding internationally-acclaimed applied research and practical-oriented educational institution dedicated to the development of business and integrated development studies and related matters.
The history of the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies is linked to that of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, through the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies (FIDS). FIDS was the second faculty to be established by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in 1994.
Professor Issaka Kanton Osumanu was born in Konongo, in the Ashanti Region. Following his nursery primary education at the Konongo Odumasi United Primary School, he continued his middle school education at Konongo-Odumasi Local Authority Middle School. He had his secondary education at Konogo-Odumasi Secondary School (O’ Level, 1992) and Praeso Secondary School (A’ Level, 1994). He proceeded to the University of Ghana, from 1996 to 1999, for a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Resource Development and archaeology. His PhD (2007) degree in Geography and Resource Development is also from the University of Ghana, where she studied with sponsorship from the University of Ghana under the then Graduate Fellowship Programme.
Professor Osumanu’s career in academia started in 2001 as a Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University for Development Studies, Navrongo Campus. In 2007, the same year he obtained his PhD degree, he was appointed Lecturer. His promotion to Senior Lecturer was in 2013, Associate Professor in 2018 and Professor in 2022. Professor Osumanu’s research interests are in the Geography and Environment sub-disciplines, which allows him to explore sustainability issues in the context of human interactions with the natural environment.
His research resulted in several publications in nationally and internationally reputable journals such as Land Use Policy, Local Environment, SN Social Science, Community Development Journal, Ghana Journal of Development Studies, Tourism Planning and Development, Environment, Development and Sustainability, Progress in Development Studies, Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, Spatial Information Research, Ghana Journal of Geography, Heliyon, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Urban Forum, Environmental Management, Danish Journal of Geography, and Journal of Planning and Land Management, have covered the urban land use change, environmental health, water supply sustainability, natural resource management and urban environmental governance.
His books and book chapters have been published by Routhledge, Taylor, and Francis, Berghahn Books, Springer International Publishing, Nova Science Publishers, and Woeli Publishing Services. His recently (2022) co-edited book on Environment and resource management in Ghana is published by Woeli Publishing Services. Professor Osumanu has acquired extensive multi-cultural experience through various professional engagements in several countries in Africa, Europe and North America. These engagements include giving competitive and invited talks, serving as an external assessor, and engaging with research and professional collaborators. He has been an external examiner for a number of Universities including the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast, and Stockholm Water Institute, Sweden. Professor Osumanu is currently Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Arts at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Wa.
He previously served as the Head of the Department of Environment and Resource Studies (2009 – 2016) and Graduate Programmes Coordinator of the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies (2016 – 2020). He has participated in the governance of the University for Development Studies and Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies through his service on several statutory and adhoc boards and committees. These include a Member of the UDS Governing Council (2010 – 2015) and his current membership of the Executive Committee SDD-UBIDS, and Academic Boards.
He has also served on the Board of the UDS School of Graduate Studies (2012 – 2019). He is a Member of Senior Members Appointments and Promotions Committee and Chairman of the Faculty of Social Science and Arts Board. In addition to his teaching responsibilities on SDD-UBIDS, Professor Osumanu has supervised 75 undergraduate students, 59 Master’s students, and four PhD students for their long essays and theses. He is currently supervising five PhD students and co-supervising two others. His passion for mentoring particularly younger professional academics has driven him to organise and/or facilitate several capacity-building training programmes in both the public and private higher education sectors, as well as in other public and private organisations.
He has been a consultant trainer for the International Institute for Environment and Development, London, International Water Management Institute, and GIZ Ghana.
Professor Osumanun is currently the Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association of St. Loius Rutten Secondary School, Wa, and a former member of the Governing Council of Tumu College of Education, Tumu. Professor Osumanu is a member of several professional associations including the Association of South African Geographers (ASSG), Ghana Geographers Association (GGA), Association of Professional Educators, USA, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), UK, Fulbright Scholars Association, Ghana Writers Association and Danida Alumni Network. He is a pioneer fellow, senior scholar and Chair of the Steering Committee of the African Humanities Program of the American Council of Learned Societies. He is also a Lifetime Full Member of the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS).
Professor Osumanu is married to Josephine Weveh-Nelson and the couple has been blessed with three lovely children – Florence, Keziah, and Favour.
The foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Phillip Duku Osei will make history as he chairs the maiden inaugural lecture of the university.