The Ghana Chamber of Mines has launched a two-million dollar Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) to support the development of high caliber of mining professionals and global leaders in the sustainable exploration and management of natural resources.
The Fund, which will be administered in phases, would see producing member companies of the Chamber contributing 400,000 dollars annually for five years to support tertiary education giving priority to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), based in Tarkwa in the Western Region.
Additionally, contact mining and explosives manufacturing member companies shall each contribute 3,000 and 2,000 dollars, respectively, annually for five years.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, explained that the Chamber expected to mobilize a total of 442,000 US dollars in the first year, that is 2020.
The Fund shall be applied to support teaching and learning research of faculty and post-graduate students related to the industry needs and application of automated systems as well as innovation in mining.
The Fund shall also cover bursary for under-graduate students according to industry needs, provision of educational resources, as well as internship programmes.
“Much as the decision to institute the Fund is altruistic, there is a palpable element of self-regard, which is to say that it will serve as a direct pipeline of human resources for mining companies in Ghana and beyond”, Mr. Koney added.
Mining companies’ sustainable competitive advantage depended largely on the skills and competencies of their employees, and for a thriving industry there was the need to invest in tertiary institutions that trained the manpower.
Mr. Koney, called for support to deepen the gains made in the mentoring of mining professionals in Ghana.
The President of the Chamber Mr. Eric Asubonteng, mentioned that the launched signaled a key step in the Chamber’s effort at supporting the development of Ghana skills in the resources industry.
The Tertiary Education Fund is primarily aimed at keeping Ghana’s mining industry on an upward trajectory with a regular stream of high qualified and technically astute professionals, with aimed at keeping Ghana on top of the chain of mining destinations in Africa.
The Chairman of the newly Governing Board of Ghana Chamber of Mines Tertiary Fund(TEF) Mr Stephen Ndede, promised to administer the fund judiciously to achieve the desired results.
“I believe in the future, individual member companies will go beyond the Chamber’s initiative and collaborate with the UMaT in a more sustainable way to replicate similar investments made by mining companies in the world”,Mr. Ndede added.
The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. S. Y. Kuma expressed gratitude to the Chamber for its continuous support to the university, saying “TEF is being launched at the time government’s support towards tertiary education is dwindling”.
Mr. Asubonteng used the occasion to swear-in the eight – member Governing Board of the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ Tertiary Education Fund (TEF). The Board is chaired by Mr Stephen Ndede.