George Grant University of Mines and Technology (GGUMaT) in Tarkwa is said to commence Railway Engineering Courses beginning 2018/2019 academic year at the railways training school facility at Essikado in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

At a brief ceremony to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Railway Development and the George Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) for what will eventually lead to the establishment of the University of Railways and Infrastructural Development in the Western Region, the Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey noted that it is important to build the requisite manpower for the rejuvenated railway sector and this is one of the steps advanced in assurance for the establishment of a fully fledged railway university that would award diploma and degree certificates.

Joe Ghartey (Minister for Railway Development and MP- Essikado- Keten Constituency)

“At the investiture of the Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology [former president H.E John Agyekum Kuffour], on January 12, 2018, the President H.E Nana Akuffo Addo announced among other things, that there would be a collaboration between the university and the Ghana Railway Sector.  The event you are seeing today is another step in announcement that was made by the President. It is my hope that this step we’ve taken will eventually lead to the establishment of a fully fledged university for railway development and infrastructure development. We need to make our sector, a sector of excellence. Not just in Ghana, not in West Africa but also in Africa”, he convincingly stated.

Speaking to Spice News on the sidelines of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministry of Railway Development and the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, Prof Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma who is the Vice Chancellor of UMaT expressed satisfaction with government’s preparedness to institute an academic body to train young Ghanaians to steer the affairs of the railway sector in the near future.

Prof Kuma believes the establishment of the university will build the needed manpower locally for the railway sector, so the sector may not need to hire expertise from abroad.

“A lot of people want to go to school and it is important we send the schools to where they are needed. The railway development authority need to properly train people to be able to build the railway infrastructure and also to maintain it. So if we train them properly, what we are doing is that, jobs will stay in this country. We wont bring people from outside to come and do certain things for us. We will employ our own. And so employment wise, what we are doing today is to help Ghanaians to be empowered to either gain employment railways sector or those who will set up economic activities along the railway lines to be able to make ends meet for themselves and their families” he added.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V (Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area)

The Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V who cloud not hide his excitement of the utilization of the abounded railways training school facility in Essikado cautioned politicians to desist from selling Government lands and put them to judicious use so as to benefit the entire country.

He was fully of praise for the sector Ministor who is also the Member of Parliament for the Essikado-Keten Constituency, Joe Ghartey for fulfilling the dreams of their fathers in giving out such vas lands to the railway sector in support of the economic growth of Ghana.

Currently, renovation and the construction of lecture rooms, technical laboratories and other infrastructure is on-going at the railways training school at Essikado.

Meanwhile, plans are far advanced for GGUMaT to run programmes such as BSc Railway Engineering, BSc Aerospace Engineering and BSc Mechatronic Engineering in the future after the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) approvals have been secured.

Kojo Ennimil Arthur|| Ghana