The Alumni Association of the University (ALUMaT) held its 11th Annual Lecture on the topic, “Overview of Ghana’s Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI)” on Friday, 13th October, 2023 at the School of Railway and Infrastructure Development (SRID) in Essikado, Sekondi. The lecture aimed to draw attention to Ghana’s under-tapped bauxite resource and the importance of adding value to the bauxite ore to generate more revenue to boost the economy.
Mr Godfried Addo Ayisi-Senior Technical Services Manager of Rocksure International Limited
The Speaker for the lecture was Mr Godfried Addo Ayisi, Senior Technical Services Manager of Rocksure International Limited. In his lecture, Mr Ayisi indicated that the Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI), is an initiative by the Government of Ghana to fully explore the country’s bauxite resource in order to increase revenue and also create job opportunities for citizens. He underscored the use of bauxite in the production of alumina and aluminium and the fact that Ghana generates revenue from the exportation of bauxite ore only. He therefore called on the Government to explore the estimated 2.9 billion tonnes of untapped bauxite deposit at Awaso, Nyinahin, and Kibi-Atena and add value to Ghana’s bauxite through refinery and smelting to produce alumina and aluminium to maximise revenue.
Speaking on ways to expedite the Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) initiative, Mr Ayisi mentioned the importance of partnerships to support infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Western Region Railway network to facilitate transportation, expansion of the Takoradi Port to intensify exportation and the extension of gas pipelines through Nyinahin to Kumasi to provide adequate power supply for production.
In the lecture, Mr Ayisi also revealed techniques for mining bauxite. According to the speaker, Ghana’s bauxite deposits are located in forest reserves hence, it is imperative to adopt environmentally safe mining practices such as the use of a Surface Miner, reclamation and revegetation to protect the environment from degradation.
Ing Dr Michael Adjei Anyetei - Managing Director of Ghana Railway Company Limited
The Guest of Honour for the lecture, Honourable John Peter Amewu, Minister for Railway and Infrastructure Development who was represented by Ing Dr Michael Adjei Anyetei, Managing Director of Ghana Railway Company Limited in his opening remarks said that the Government of Ghana recognises the importance of rail transportation and has taken significant initiatives to develop and expand railway infrastructure and services in the country including the establishment of the UMaT School of Railway and Infrastructure Development (SRID). He said that the School was established to train skilled labour in technical areas and engineering for the railway industry hence the collaboration with GIZ and AYA Engineering to organise annual Summer School and training programme in Railway Engineering.
Ing Anyetei commended ALUMaT for the knowledge shared during their annual lectures and encouraged them to engage existing students in volunteerism to create a professional network between students and industry.
Honourable Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah - Western Regional Minister
The Western Regional Minister and Special Guest of Honour for the lecture, Honourable Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah in his welcome address said that the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) was engaged as part of the Government’s initiative to build an IAI that encompasses the entire value chain. That is, bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and downstream processing to promote and develop an integral aluminium industry in Ghana.
Stating the significance of IAI in Ghana, the Minister said that the Aluminium industry will not only generate significant revenues and job opportunities but also contribute to diversification and reduce Ghana’s overreliance on traditional exports such as cocoa and Gold. He added that the IAI will encourage efficient recycling practices, fuel efficiency, and reduction of aluminium waste in the environment which will help to combat climate change.
Honourable Okyere-Darko, urged citizens to bring their expertise to bear and come up with policies and plans to help build a robust downstream aluminium industry to foster development.
The Dean of the School of Railway and Infrastructure Development, Associate Professor Issaka Yakubu expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Railway and Infrastructure Development for their contribution towards the establishment of the School and assured that the School will deliver on its mandate. Professor Yakubu however, appealed to ALUMaT to support the School with infrastructure and equipment to facilitate academic work.
The 11th Annual ALUMaT Lecture was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah and was attended by notable personalities such as Emeritus Professor Daniel Mireku Gyimah, the Foundation Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Kwesi Enyan, Executive Director of Operations for Rocksure, Mr Titus Glover, CEO of Quantum, representatives from IMPA Marine and Mr Stephen Kofi Ndede, the President of ALUMaT.