The Ghana Chamber of Mines has presented a cheque for US$100,000 to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in a bid to support training and empowerment of the next generation of researchers, problem-solvers and leaders.
The money will go to support the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme government is introducing.
Leading a delegation from the Chamber of Mines, President of the Chamber Kwame Addo-Kufuor made reference to a meeting between the ministry, led by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, and the Chamber in March 2017 when the minister introduced the initiative.
“As a Chamber, we indicated our excitement about the idea and promised to return in due course. Our presence here is to affirm our commitment to the STEM training programme, due to its potential of making Ghana a reference point for scientific and technological advancement on the continent,” Addo-Kufuor said.
He added: “As a Chamber, we are aware that the contribution of mining to Ghana’s economic progress transcends the direct fiscal contributions.
“It has always been our fervent belief that effective integration of the non-mineral sector must begin with proper training of our young ones to take advantage of opportunities in the value chain of the mining industry.
Addo-Kufuor explained that the approach to equip bright young minds with the necessary STEM skills to make them competitive in the global space will, in the long-run, accrue to the state’s benefit – adding that, globally, this is the way progressive nations are adapting to achieve accelerated economic transformation riding on the back of the minerals and mining industry.
“We have at various times taken voluntary initiatives to promote in-country expenditure on mining inputs; such as fabrication of critical components of plant, machinery & equipment and engineering services.
“We are currently collaborating with the University of Mines and Technology to develop key inputs in commercial quantities for the industry. The realisation of our local content goals can be possible if only the right investors are paired with local professionals having the right skills and expertise to produce the inputs.
“It is vital to note that our members rely heavily on the expertise of scientists and technological innovators as well as engineers in their respective operations.
“We deem it necessary to be part of such a laudable initiative. It is our expectation that the support will go a long way to radically transform the training and mentoring of scientists and innovators in the country.”
Receiving the cheque, Prof. Boateng expressed gratitude to the Chamber for the gesture and assured that the money will be used for the intended purposes.
The incubation centres, Prof. Boateng said, will be situated at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to enable it reap the benefits of quality investments.
“The Chamber’s presentation will go a long way to radically transform the training and mentoring of young scientists and innovators in the country,” he said.