Train more engineers, Monday March 29, 2010 (Spread)

Ghana needs to train more engineers for it is to make a headway in its development agenda, the newly elected President of Ghana Institution of Engineers, Ing Kwasi Amoako Kwakwa, has stated.
Speaking at the 41st Presidential Inauguration and Gala Banquet of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) on Saturday, Ing Kwakwa, in his inaugural speech, said the country currently had 3,000 engineers, a number which was woefully inadequate to raise the standard of living of Ghanaians in the near future.
The occasion, which brought together the movers and shakers of the engineering sector in Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, had Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo swearing in a 28-member council led by Ing Kwasi Amoako Kwakwa.
Five members of the institution were elevated to the position of fellows of the institution while Ms Joyce Aryee, the Chairperson of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, and Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, the immediate past President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), were made honorary members of the GhIE.
Ing Kwakwa said, “It is, therefore, imperative that we make conscious effort to increase the number of engineers in the near future. We should encourage the youth in second cycle institutions to study science and mathematics and encourage science students at the tertiary level to study engineering.”
He stated that efforts geared towards strengthening membership of the GhIE could be hampered if the engineer did not have a clear path to promotion and of tenure in the public service.
He observed that while it became fashionable for all governments in the Fourth Republic to make drastic changes in engineering organisations, such actions could have a long-term effect which would be harmful to the smooth running of the affected institutions and engineering practice with only a short-term loyalty to the government.
On the Engineering Council bill which is expected to bring sanity into engineering practice in Ghana, he appealed for its passage at the shortest possible time and added that promoting the institution at the regional level in addition to whipping the interest of the youth in the engineering profession would be high on his agenda.
For his part, Mr Mike Hammah, the Minister of Transport, called for a symbiotic relationship between the ministry and the GhIE to promote the country’s growth agenda.
He said the critical role engineers played in developing the country’s infrastructure called for regular update of knowledge and new trends in the industry.
Mr Hammah advised the engineers not to compromise standards but pursue their work with integrity.
The immediate past president, Ing Andrew T. Barfour, added his voice to the passage of the new engineering bill which he said would be a turning point for engineering practice in the country.

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