The Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah has hosted a summit of Managing Directors and General Managers of mining and allied companies. The Summit which was held on Friday, 14th October, 2022 took place at the Vice Chancellor’s Lodge and drew participation from top managers of mining companies all across Ghana. The purpose of the summit was to promote the triple-helix agenda of promoting the relations between the University, Government and Industry for economic and social development.
Professor Richard Amankwah in his presentation to the executives encouraged the deepening of collaborations between industry and the University to facilitate easier ways of solving problems. He said that the academia-industry relationship is a win-win partnership, he cited for instance that involving lecturers and students in industry projects will enhance research as well as build the capacity and experiences of students for the job market. He also opens the doors of the University for industry experts to be engaged as adjunct lecturers to enrich programme curricula. Professor Amankwah mentioned that the University will be rolling out Executive Certificate Programmes in Mining Engineering, Gold Extraction, Resource Value Chain Management and Mining and Mineral Policy and had plans to robe in industry experts to lecture on the programme. Professor Amankwah said the industry and academia cannot be decoupled since it is an interdependent relationships.
In his presentation, the Vice Chancellor stated that the University currently had urgent needs which required support from partners. He used the opportunity to solicit additional patrons for the University’s Environmental Monitoring Laboratory as well as for partnerships to improve student accommodation. He said there is an urgent demand for about 8000 beds for the growing student population on campus.
Further, on the needs of the University, Professor Amankwah elucidated on the plans to establish a small-scale mine at Nkroful, He said that the University had already secured land for the project however it needs resources to explore and dig. He petitioned the executives to factor the University in their plans and support the project. Other projects itemised by the Vice Chancellor are the establishment of a mechanical workshop as well as a community school which could absorb dropouts from the surrounding communities and train them to do professional jobs in the mining companies as part of improving local content. Prof Amankwah said the University is looking at the promotion of distance and elective learning and the introduction of certificate programmes for people in the communities who do not have degrees but in one way or another other are engaged in work with companies within the community.
The Vice Chancellor urged the decision-makers not to fail their communities. He said the positions that executives occupy give them the opportunity to make their mark. He entreated the managers to replicate the high standards of the minerals and allied companies and introduce them in the communities they are situated in. He said that as part of corporate social responsibility companies should adopt the “mine-to-town” concept and promote safety standards and environmental stewardship in public spaces such as lorry parks, markets, streets etc. by providing facilities such as washrooms, and waste management bins. He commended Goldfields Damang and AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem for the rehabilitation of the 33km road from Tarkwa to Damang and the road at the Nsuta Junction respectively.
In response to the Vice Chancellor’s proposition to the executives at the summit, the General Manager of the Edikan Gold Mine, Perseus Mining Ghana Ltd and President of the Alumni Association, Mr Stephen Ndede, appealed for support for the University. He said Ghana’s economy is pushed by the mining industry nonetheless it is ironic that the human capital pipeline for the industry is under resourced. Mr Ndede said one of the key development factors in the industry is manpower and that it was crucial for industry to come to the aid of the University.