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Dr Assibey Bonsu being Congratulated by Hon Asomah Cheremeh after Delivering His Lecture
Dr Assibey Bonsu being Congratulated by Hon Asomah Cheremeh after Delivering His Lecture

The 6th ALUMaT Lecture has been held under the auspices of the Alumni Association of the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa. The Lecture was delivered by Dr Winfred Assibey-Bonsu, the Group Head Geostatistician and Evaluator, Corporate Technical Services at Gold Fields Corporate Office, West Perth, Australia and a member of the Alumni Association. The Lecture was on the topic “Investing in Engineering, Research and Education in UMaT: A Roadmap for Multiplying Ghana’s Mineral Wealth”.

Welcoming the participants to the Lecture, the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, indicated that the University cherished her Alumni very much because they constituted one of the University’s major strategic assets and, therefore, UMaT was ready to give the necessary support to the work that the Executive Committee was doing to bring members and the University community together every year.

According to Prof Kuma, present day Universities were making their mark in the comity of universities around the world through their research and community impact activities as well as the level of impact their Alumni were bringing to bear in the society. He commended the entire membership of ALUMaT for their tremendous support in diverse ways to the course of the University and called on them to feel free to participate in the affairs of the University. Prof Kuma entreated them to support the growth and development of the Alumni Endowment Fund which was launched in October 2016.

Expressing his views on the topic for the Lecture, Prof Kuma indicated that it was very apt for the Speaker to discuss such a topic because, according to him, the importance of the topic was very relevant. Prof Kuma indicated that, Ghana was endowed with many of the mineral resources that were required for innovation, technology and sustainable economic development which were used both locally and for export. These minerals include gold, bauxite, manganese, diamonds, oil and gas, solar energy, and many others. He emphasised that there was no doubt that the minerals industry had and will continue to be one of the major engines of Ghana’s economic growth. He indicated further that investment and funding of engineering education and research especially in the minerals industry of the country would, therefore, ensure that not only will  the industry survive as a critical component within the economy, but that the industry will drive the growth and diversification of the Ghanaian economy as a whole.

Dr Assibey Bonsu answering Questions from the Press
Dr Assibey Bonsu answering Questions from the Press

Delivering his lecture, Dr Winfred Assibey-Bonsu reiterated the importance of the minerals industry in the Ghanaian economy and called for greater investment and funding in technical and mining education in the country. Dr Assibey-Bonsu explained that a sustainable funding for research and development in mining engineering was the surest way to explore the potentials of the various mineral resources in the country for future use. He added that innovations and technology were the critical ingredients for sustainable development. He also indicated that Ghana was endowed with many mineral resources but the lack of innovation and appropriate technology hindered their exploration and further development to harness the socio-economic development of the country. He noted that decisions on funding such investment for the future must, therefore, be strategic with a long-term focus, stressing that it was incumbent on UMaT to find solutions to the challenges. Dr Assibey-Bonsu charged UMaT to venture into the development and building of a world-class centre of excellence in metallurgy and geophysics for example. He also called on stakeholders to fund research in UMaT so that Ghana would be assisted to exploit and build its natural resources in a more sustainable way.

The Special Guest of Honour for the occasion, the Honourable Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Honourable Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, indicated that the country has a diverse inventory of mineral resources including significant reserves of gold, bauxite, iron ore, manganese and diamonds. Again, according to the Honourable Minister, the country was also well endowed with hydrocarbon potentials which have seen major exploration and development since the beginning of the last decade. He added that the role that research and education played in ensuring resource extraction that catalyzes sustainable development cannot, therefore, be over emphasised.

Hon Asoma Cheremeh Delivering his Speech
Hon Asoma Cheremeh Delivering his Speech

Honourable Asomah-Cheremeh further indicated that to ensure that mining catalyzed into sustainable growth whilst the associated negative footprints were addressed, Government was collaborating with UMaT under the flagship project called the Multi-sectorial Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) adding that UMaT was expected to help in developing appropriate mining technologies and processing methods for small scale miners under the project.

On the critical infrastructure needs of UMaT, the Honourable Minister explained that for UMaT to be able to deliver on its mandate of training professionals for the mining and allied industries, a roadmap had been developed and approved by Government under the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) to release funds to complete the construction of the nine projects in the University which were at various stages of completion, as soon as practicable. He was grateful to the University and the Alumni Association for the collaboration between them and the Government as far as the training and skills development of mining professionals were concerned.

 

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Head, University Relations Office