The Ghana Chamber of Mines has launched a Tertiary Education Fund to support the development of high caliber of mining professionals and global leaders in the sustainable exploitation and management of natural resources. The Fund, which will be administered in phases, would see producing member companies of the Chamber contributing 400,000 US dollars annually for five years to support tertiary education giving priority to the University of Mines and Technology (UmaT).
Additionally, contract mining and explosives manufacturing member companies shall each contribute 3,000 and 2,000 dollars, respectively, annually for five years. Mr Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said the Chamber expected to mobilise a total of 442,000 US dollars in 2020.
He said the Fund was primarily set up to identify and train the best brains, support research into technologies and introduce innovations that would directly benefit the mining industry in Ghana. Specifically, it shall be applied to support teaching and learning, industry related research of faculty and post-graduate students, and application of automated systems as well as innovations in mining.
It will 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 said.
He said the mining companies’ sustainable competitive advantage depended largely on the skills and competencies of their employees, and for a thriving mining industry there was the need to invest in tertiary institutions that trained the manpower.