The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong has underscored the need for increased human capacity building interventions to address Africa’s waste and sanitation challenges.
He made the observation at the maiden graduation and second matriculation ceremony of the KNUST-Africa Institute of Sanitation and Waste Management (K-AISWAM) in Accra on Saturday.
A total of 14 students, comprising five females and nine males graduated, while 260 new students were formally admitted into the institute.
According to Mr Siaw Agyepong, “the new emerging trends and concerns called for a new orientation in the management of waste in Ghana and Africa”, hence the need for countries to build intellectuals who would focus, research and develop sanitation modules suitable to confront the menace.
The Chief Executive Officer of Zoomlion expressed sadness over Africa’s inability to make much achievements in the attaining the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) on sanitation and maintained that without capacity building and training, it would be difficult to meet the sanitation goals outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2020.
He juxtaposed good sanitation practices with good health and longevity, describing them as “inseparable key drivers of a nation’s productive machinery” to increase its per capita income.
He urged the youth to explore all aspects of waste management, indicating that “waste is broad and now a serious business to make real cash. We must not relent to harness all the opportunities therein, while making Ghana a hub of excellence in best sanitation practices for other countries to emulate”.
Dr. Agyepong promised the graduands an opportunity to work with Zoomlion in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in countries where the company operates to proffer solutions to create a safe and sound environment.
The Provost of the College of Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST), Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah noted that the effective management of waste required a lot of technology hence training of human resource at all levels was critical to provide attainable solutions.
“With the application of science and technology, waste has become an economic resource generating renewable and reusable materials, creating lots of job opportunities,” he explained.
Prof. Adom-Asamoah pledged KNUST’s support for the institute to conduct quality research to facilitate the country’s technological transformation dream and respond to sanitation and waste management problems.
He congratulated the graduands for venturing into waste management studies and entreated the fresh students to use the opportunity given them to study hard and better their lives.
Professor Ernest Yanful, the Provost of K-AISWAM, said the institute was poised to become a centre of excellence in capacity building in waste management in the West African sub-region.
By Luther King Owusu-Amoah