Prof Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, one of Ghana’s young and astute Political Scientists now heads the Youth Bridge Research Institute (YBRI), a subsidiary organization of the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), set up to inter alia, conduct research that characterizes the situation of the youth in Africa and African Diasporan youth, identifies gaps and opportunities to strengthen youth development through practice and policy. The YBRI under aegies of the African Youth Governance Convergence (AYGC) will undertake evidence based academic research on young people in Ghana, Africa and among Diasporan youth and make findings accessible to government and policy makers across the African continent. It will engage in dialogue and advocacy to promote effective youth policy design and implementation; provide leadership training and mentorship for the youth; and create a platform for harnessing the zeal, enthusiasm and potential of the youth for national development.
Born on 31st March 1977, Prof Gyampo is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for European Studies of the University of Ghana with 14 years of teaching and research experience. Until recently, he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of South Florida, United States of America (USA). He currently serves as Visiting Professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.
For 14 years, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs leading several research projects and playing a key role in the IEA’s Socio-Economic and Governance Surveys. For 10 years, Prof Gyampo also served as Coordinator of the Ghana Political Parties Programme, a programme that brought together the leadership of Political Parties with representation in Ghana’s Parliament to discuss issues of national importance in a non-partisan manner and to propose practical solutions to them.
He is a member of Ghana’s Electoral Reforms Committee and played a key role in identifying the challenges of Ghana’s electoral processes and submitting electoral reform proposals to the Electoral Commission for the purposes of fine-tuning Ghana’s electoral system. He is also a member of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA) Consultative Committee, a Committee set up by the Electoral Commission to research, consult and advise on the implementation of the law that mandates Ghanaians living abroad to vote in Ghanaian elections.
He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Ghana and a Tufts University in Boston, USA. His research interest lies in the areas of Youth Empowerment and Development, Governance, Democracy, and Natural Resource Management.
Prof Gyampo is of the firm belief and conviction that “if the future belongs to the youth, then the youth must be developed and prepared for the future.” He is currently researching on “Youth Development, Mentorship, Empowerment and Participation” with the view to helping the building of a critical mass of responsible and mature young people for Ghana’s development now and in the future.
Prof Gyampo has over 100 research outputs to his credit within his areas of research interest. These have been published in internationally refereed journals across the globe as Books, Book Chapters, Book Reviews, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles, Technical Reports, Monographs and Policy Briefs.
Speaking at a short ceremony to outdoor the Institute, Mr Seth Oteng, Executive Director of YBF, noted that the establishment of the YBRI and the subsequent appointment of Prof Gyampo as its head is a dream come true, not only for YBF and partners but for the youth, the YBF has over the years sought to empower. He said, the establishment of YBRI is timely as it will provide education and training to ensure the harnessing of youth potential and respect for young people, adding that, the YBRI will also make academic research accessible to government, policy makers and civil society. Mr Oteng also mentioned youth research, education and training, technical assistance and support as well as advocacy as among the functions the YBRI.
Responding to his new and additional role, Prof Gyampo said “I am happy to be part of the family and for the role handed me. I have passion for youth development. I am also of the firm belief and conviction that if the future belongs to the youth, then the youth must be developed for the future.” He pledged to work hard in discharging his role as head of the YBRI.