The University Council of Simon Diedong Dumbo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) has appointed Professor Emmanuel K. Derbile as the second Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University.

Prof. Derbile took over from Philip Duku Osei, the first VC who took office in 2020 when the university attained autonomy from the former University for Development Studies (UDS).

The SDD-UBIDS Governing Council decided at an emergency meeting held recently to appoint Prof. Derbile as the university’s substantive VC, which took effect on May 1, 2024.

The university said in a statement this followed a successful end to the term of Professor Philip Duku Osei, who was the VC of the University, and his imminent retirement from the University’s service after reaching the statutory retirement age of sixty (60) years.

The Chairman of SDD-UBIDS’ Governing Council, Kweku Yamoah Paintsil, said the VC has the required competency to oversee the university’s development to be among the country’s best.

He therefore called on management of the university, traditional leaders, residents of Wa and students to give their maximum cooperation to the VC in discharging his duties for a worthy cause.

Until his appointment, Professor Emmanuel K. Derbile was the university’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and had acquired extensive experience in professional practice outside the university system.

Educational Background

Prof. E.K. Derbile holds several degrees and certificates. He holds a Ph. D in Development Studies from the University of Bonn (Germany, 2010) and MSc. in Development Planning and Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi)/University of Dortmund (Germany, 2003).

He also holds a BA degree in Integrated Development Studies from the University for Development Studies, Tamale; and a Certificate in Management of Development Organisations from St. Francis Xavier University, now University of British Columbia (Canada).

Prof. E K. Derbile has over 24 years work experience in academia, rising through various academic ranks in the university system from 1999 to date.

He is currently a Professor of Development Planning in the Department of Planning (DoP) at the university.

Leadership positions

Prior to the recent appointment, Prof. E. K. Derbile served as Acting Principal of the Wa campus of UDS – during which time he played a leadership role in its transition from a campus of the University for Development Studies to a full-fledged university.

He also served as Dean of Faculty for two-terms (6-years), Vice-Dean, Head of Department, Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes and Coordinator for Community Outreach Programmes.

He has also served as a member of the UDS Governing Council and currently on the SDD-UBIDS Council. He has extensive experience serving on almost all boards and committees key to university governance at the UDS, and now at SDD-UBIDS.

He has led eight (8) projects and co-led or supported three (3) others in the areas of research; scholarships for students; and institutional development projects which have supported the university’s growth and internationalisation in many different ways.

From 2013 to 2016, he served as Innovations Officer for the Resilient Africa Network (RILab) project lab at UDS – a project in partnership with 20 sub-Saharan African universities, together with Stanford University, Tulane University and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the US with funding from USAID.


He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP), with a membership of over 900 planning professionals contributing to national efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development in Ghana.

As part of his professional practice, he also served as a member of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) of Ghana, representing Upper West Region at the Commission from 2015 to 2017.

At the Commission, he served as Convenor of the Infrastructure and Human Settlement Planning Committee, a member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Management Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

He has also led about 30 consultancy projects in several areas: including baseline studies; evaluative research; gender studies and analysis; sustainability studies; and strategic planning and training for national and international NGOs and public sector agencies in Ghana.

He co-founded Endogenous Development Service (EDS) in 2013, a research and development service organisation with a focus on promoting endogenous development approaches to poverty reduction and sustainable development in deprived rural communities and small towns in Ghana, and northern Ghana in particular.

He has taught several courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

He has also successfully supervised several undergraduate student theses, 27 M. Phil theses and 4 Ph.Ds. He is currently supervising a couple of Masters and Ph. D students.

He has researched and published extensively in both local and foreign scientific outlets, addressing the subject of environmental change – particularly vulnerability to climate change, livelihood sustainability; endogenous knowledge systems and development, including local knowledge systems; and the policy implications for development planning. Some of his research and publications address the subject of health financing and equity-related issues in health care services and utilisation.

He has to his credit over 60 peer-reviewed publications and extensive experience in academic administration. He served as the university’s Foundation Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Council to support the new university’s establishment.

Outside the mainstream, he is also Director of the West African Centre for Sustainable Rural Transformation (WAC-SRT), a centre of academic excellence involving a partnership of universities including SDD-UBIDS, UDS, University of Ghana, University of Abdou Moumouni (Niger) and the University of Bonn (Germany).

With sponsorship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the centre has provided and continues to provide scholarships for postgraduate, Masters and PhD students starting in 2021 – in subject areas critical for building human resource capacity for promoting sustainable rural transformation in West Africa.

Under his leadership as Director, the WAC-SRT has and continues to deploy its resources including offices, conference and E-learning facilities, computers and other resources for supporting the University’s set-up and running since its inception in May, 2020.