The Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) has launched a five-year Tertiary Education Fund (TEF), to support the development of Ghanaian human resources and skills in the mining industry, giving priority to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT)
The TEF is aimed at keeping Ghana on top of the chain of mining destinations in Africa, as it will lead to the creation of the right environment that will provide requisite training and capacity building for the teaming youth to take up opportunities in the mining industry.
The source of revenue for the fund include US$400,000 annual contribution from producing member companies for five years, US$3,000 contribution from contract companies and US$2,000 from manufacturing member companies annually for five years.
The fund is envisaged to mobilise US$442,000 in the first year, 2020, and it is to be applied specifically to supporting teaching and learning, research, post –graduate students related to industry needs and application of automated systems as well as innovations in mining
The President of GCM, Eric Asubonteng, indicated that the fund will aid in keeping Ghana’s mining industry on an upward trajectory with a regular stream of highly qualified and technically astute professionals.
“It is well recognised that any successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business need to compete thrive in today’s global economy.
“As a chamber, we see significant value in collaboration with all stakeholders, constructively to deliver on initiatives that bring development and progress to our host communities, our country and assures investors of a viable and secure outcome for their investment,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer, GCM, Sulemanu Koney, indicated that the Chamber of Mines’ TEF initiative is borne out of many years of practical partnerships between the chamber and the tertiary institutions in the country, particularly, UMaT
“These partnerships range from the chamber serving on the highest decision-making body of UMaT (its Governing Council) to the creation of the chamber’s environmental science chair at the university,” he indicated.
Concurrently, the chamber also inaugurated the governing body of the TEF, and it is to be headed by GCM Council Member and General Manager of Perseus Mining Ghana Ltd, Stephen Ndede, as the Board Chairperson.
The other TEF board members are Michiel Vander Merwe, Joshua Mortoti, Ken Ewuntomah and Irene Yeboah. Also on the board are Akwasi Amoako-Kankam, Lawrencia Awuah and two representatives from UMaT as members Prof. S. Y. Kuma and Associate Prof. Grace Ofori Sarpong.
The Governing Board Chairman, Stephen Ndede, acknowledged the honour and expressed delight to see such a remarkable initiative to support tertiary education in an institution that have realised significant reduction in support from government.
“The demand for higher education in Ghana is on the rise and the cost of delivering quality higher education is in the millions of dollars annually. Government subvention for tertiary education on the other hand has declined over the years, in the same vein young essential university such as UMaT require rapid infrastructure development.
“As a chamber whose members are major beneficiaries of the products from UMaT, the image of the industry will plummet if the university continues to reel under the lack of infrastructure. It is therefore in the right direction that we are inaugurating this board to oversee the implementation of the chamber of mines’ TEF to anchor the next level of development for UMaT for the next five years,” he noted.