CARISCA: Our journey in 2020

The year 2020 has been one of the most difficult years for many organizations, including KNUST. In the middle of the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, every activity came to a halt as many countries were in lockdown. The activities of the Center of Applied Research and Innovation in Supply Chain – Africa (CARISCA) were also disrupted by this pandemic as most activities were either moved online or postponed. Setting up a new center of supply chain excellence has never been easy, that is to say, establishing CARISCA as a center of excellence has also come with additional challenges, including office space, power and internet outages, and a rapid move to digital engagements.

Through it all, CARISCA continued to strive to become a Center of Excellence envisioned by the United States Agency for International Development’s Building Research and Innovation in Development Generating Evidence and Training program.

Notwithstanding these challenges, CARISCA rolled out its implementation plan and many of its activities successfully. Through collaboration and teamwork, the 20 member team has not only built the policies and paperwork needed to run the center effectively, but it has also started implementing its programming for students, faculty and practitioners.

The Center held a series of meetings with local and international stakeholders aimed at strengthening CARISCA’s stakeholder engagements. The purpose of these meetings was to identify the various supply chain challenges in Africa and propose solutions to these challenges. Since CARISCA seeks to transform the supply chain landscape in Ghana and Africa in ways that improve the people’s quality of life, getting to know the challenges supply chain practitioners and policymakers are facing was a major step in accomplishing its vision.

The Center held its maiden SCALE meeting which brought together various stakeholders to discuss Warehousing and Inventory Management challenges, with insights generated from this meeting feeding into CARISCA’s research and educational activities. In collaboration with the CARISCA team at Arizona State University, several of the SCM curricula at KNUST were reviewed and new ones developed. CARISCA also organised a gender-based webinar that focused on women in the supply chain management field, awarded over 60 scholarships to KNUST Supply Chain Management students, as well as organized research-capacity workshops for faculty and doctoral researchers at the KNUST School of Business.

CARISCA is very much excited for 2021 as we have a line of activities planned for the year. Importantly, the team plans to host CARISCA’s maiden annual supply chain summit, organize a second gender-based webinar, develop a consulting framework for working with partners and development actors, advance the education of KNUST’s SCM students through new business analytics and simulation training courses, build supply chain apps and continuing professional education and certification courses for supply chain practitioners across Ghana and Africa. As a premier Center of Excellence in SCM in Africa, the CARISCA team is also working around the clock to launch its maiden Distinguished SCM Lecture Series with world-leading SCM scholars and industry leaders lined up to give the world insights into a variety of SC themes.

The CARISCA team is grateful to all stakeholders and partners for making the Center a reality. 


Nat Boso





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