H. E. John Agyekum Kufour (UMaT Chancellor)
The University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, has held her 10th Congregation at an impressive ceremony at the University Auditorium. This year there were five hundred and six (506) graduands receiving various degrees including nine (9) Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (PhD), forty-six Master of Science and Master of Philosophy degrees, four hundred and forty-two (442) Bachelor of Science degrees in different engineering programmes of study, with one hundred and ten (110) of them in the First Class Division.
The Chancellor of the University, His Excellency Former President John Agyekum Kufuor presided over the ceremony. This is his first, since assuming the high office as Chancellor of the University. The Chancellor appealed to Parliament through the Ministry of Education to expedite action and approve the fees for the 2018/2019 academic year to enable the University continue to provide the quality engineering education that it is noted for. He also charged the University to continue to strive to aspire to become the MIT of Africa in the near future. He called for a concerted effort to ensure the development of a far reaching economic master-plan to be drawn for Tarkwa and its environs by a strategic partnership with the Municipal Assembly, UMaT, Nananom, the National Development Planning Commission and the mining industry players, because according to the Chancellor, “such a collaboration will engender a symbiotic relationship among the partners to the general benefit of the stakeholders and the nation as a whole”.
Prof Kuma Delivering His Address
The Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, presenting his report to congregation, highlighted some achievements of the University during the year under review in strategic areas such as teaching, learning and research and indicated that the awards the University continues to win were as a result of the quality of the programmes being run and the dedication and devotion to duty of the staff which, according to him, make UMaT’s graduates very competitive where ever they found themselves.
On infrastructural projects on campus, Prof Kuma said that UMaT had a number of infrastructural projects on campus which were ongoing but inadequate funding had stalled their progress in recent times. Notable among these projects were the new administration block, a 4-storey faculty block, a 2-storey 8 Flats of 3-Bedroom each and a 2-storey cafeteria block, most of which had seen little progress during the year under review. He used the occasion to appeal for the early release of an annual allocation of GH¢5,000,000.00 the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised the University during the investiture of the Chancellor in January this year, to support the completion of the projects.
The Special Guest of Honour for the occasion, the Honourable Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah, in his address observed that UMaT remained very unique because, according to him, “unlike past trends where science and technology-based universities progressively became predominantly humanistic, UMaT is one of few universities that remained 100% committed to science and engineering“. He congratulated the University for choosing no other personality than the towering former President John Agyekum Kufuor as its first Chancellor. He also praised the University Council for re-naming the University after George Alfred Grant, popularly called Paa Grant, a true patriot, statesman and noble personality. He was hopeful that, with the association of the University with these two great men, the sky would be the limit for UMaT. Prof Yankah reiterated Government’s commitment to assist UMaT to cope with admissions as a result of the free SHS policy which according to him “will lead to an influx of qualified applicants knocking our doors, and those of other Universities come 2020”.
The Over All Best Female Student Ms Priscilla Odetsi Martey Receiving her award from the Regional Minister
To further motivate had working students, those who excelled received various awards instituted by the University, other organisations and some individuals. This year the Vice Chancellor’s overall best graduating student went to Mr Samuel Otu with a CWA of 90.56 from the Environmental and Safety Engineering Department. His award was made up of a certificate, a laptop and a cash prize of GH¢2,000. The Laptop was sponsored by the UMaT Alumni Association. Mr Otu also received the Ghana Institution of Engineering Award for the best Engineering student. The Victoria E. Frempong’s award of GH¢1,000 for the best female graduating student went to Ms Priscilla Martey Odetsi of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and she also received the Eugenia Gifty Kusi’s award of GH¢1,000 for best female graduating student.
The immediate past SRC President, Mr Hamza Sherif Mohammed was awarded the UMaT excellent in leadership award for showing great leadership and bringing about enormous development during his tenure as SRC President, whilst Miss Abigail Damoah was awarded the exemplary character award because she exhibited a remarkable character of integrity and led by example the true meaning of the University’s guiding philosophy, which is to develop students’ intellectual capabilities and help them appreciate good social and moral values through knowledge, truth and excellence. The two received citations and cash prizes. According to Prof Kuma, the awards were presented to the awardees to encourage all other students to always stand up for the best as they passed through the University and to let them know that hard work really pays.
To the graduands, Prof Kuma and the other speakers encouraged them to uphold the core values of UMaT which are Knowledge, Truth and Excellence and charged them to be innovative and entrepreneurial in all their endeavours because they were trained by the best University to always get the work done.
Prof Mireku Gyimah being Decorated by the VC and Council Chairman
As part of celebrating the 10th Congregation of the University, seven personalities who have distinguished themselves by serving mother Ghana with distinction and contributed to the development of UMaT were awarded honorary doctorate degrees (DSc honoris causa). They included, Prof Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Foundation Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Dr K. K. Sarpong, the CEO of GNPC, Dr Paul Effah, President of Radford University College, Mr Felix Addo, a Chartered Accountant, Management Consultant and a strong advocate for the establishment of the School of Petroleum Studies at UMaT, Mr Daniel Owiredu, Chief Operating Officer of Golden star Resources, Mr Kwaku A. Awotwi, the Managing Director of Tullow Ghana Limited and Dr Tuffuor Kwarteng, a renowned Occupational Health Consultant. Two other people who were not present in 2016 to receive their honours were also appreciated. They were Apostle Dr Engr Kwadwo Sarfo and Ms Amina Tahiru.
Some of the distinguished personalities who were present at the congregation included the Honourable Western Regional Minister, Hon Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Chairman of the University Council, Dr S. S. Yirenkyi, Prof Ndowa Lale, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, some members of the University Council, Hon George Mireku Duker, the MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency, Mr Gilbert Ben Asmah, the Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa Nsuem Municipal Assembly, Prof Jonas Addai Mensah from the University of South Australia (UniSA), some Registrars and Finance Officers of some Sister Universities and the Granddaughter of George Alfred Grant, Ms Christine Dadson who attended the ceremony with two other family members.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar and Head, University Relations Office