Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, the Vice Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University (STU), has called on technical universities to lead the national industrialisation drive and find solutions to challenges impeding national progress.
He said technical universities must be in the position to contribute positively to make the government’s flagship programmes such as the ‘One-District-One-Factory (1D1F)’, ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ and the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs)’ to achieve meaningful outcomes.
Speaking at the maiden colloquium of the University in Sunyani, Prof Adinkrah-Appiah said with the available concepts of science, engineering, technology and innovation, technical universities would be blamed if the 1D1F and the PfFJs programmes fail to achieve desired results.
The academic meeting, which was attended by Heads of Departments, Deans, faculty staff and students of the University, was aimed at sensitising the participants on its key responsibilities as a university.
It was held under the theme: “Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable National Development”.
Prof Adinkrah-Appiah said the Technical Universities Act, 2016, (Act, 922) tasked the universities to provide not only higher education in science and related courses, but use technology and innovations to push forward national development agenda.
The key objectives for the establishment of technical universities in the country are to promote engineering, technical and vocational education training, based on skills development and technology transfer for wealth creation and employment opportunities to contribute to socio-economic development, he said.
Prof Adinkrah-Appiah urged the universities to recognise their mandate of imparting practical skills training and critical thinking to students and called on students and graduates to understand that the country is looking up to them for solutions to national problems.
Dr Kwame Agyenim-Boateng, the Chair of the STU Governing Council, said the Council was determined to provide strategic direction to management to ensure that the University achieved its core mandate through the periodic organisation of programmes to build the capacity of its staff.
He said since the bedrock of any nation’s development depended largely on its advancement in science and technology, there is the need for technical universities to remain innovative and churn out graduates with high critical thinking to help identify solutions to national challenges.
The difference between the developed and developing nations, he said, was attributable to the advancement in technology, engineering, science and innovations saying it is imperative for Ghana and Africa to invest in that direction.
Mr Emmanuel Kwaku Asiedu, a renowned engineer and inventor, said technical universities and graduates have failed the nation and the entire continent.
He said with the application of science and technology most of the problems in Ghana and the continent could easily be solved and urged the universities to collaborate and come out with new innovations and creative ideas that would help address development challenges.