President John Dramani Mahama has challenged the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) to be proactive in researching into some of the challenges facing the energy sector, especially, in the area of renewable energy.
President Mahama was addressing the maiden congregation of the University of Energy and Natural Resources at Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region on Saturday.
The university which was established by an Act of Parliament in 2011, in its first congregation saw 194 graduands awarded bachelor degrees with six of them obtaining First Class honours.
He stressed the need for the university to partner industry to ensure that their relevant research output was put to good use in terms of stimulating Ghana’s economic growth.
Such links, the President said would bridge the gap between research and industry as well as deepen the relevance of higher education in the country.
President Mahama said the government was aware of the enormous challenges confronting the university, such as inadequate lecture halls, accommodation facilities and laboratories and said measures were being taken to address them.
Touching on employment, President Mahama charged the new gradaunts to look for opportunities in the private sector as they go out.
He pointed out that the public sector only employed about 60,0000 people out of the total population of the country, saying you must take advantage of the knowledge acquired to be employers but not employees’.
While paying a glowing tribute to the late President Mills for fulfilling his vision and manifesto pledge of the NDC for establishing UENR and UHAS, President Mahama noted that government’s quest of establishing more universities across the country was to increase access and resolve mirage of problems through higher education.
He pledged that UDS and its allied campuses would be developed into a fully fledge and autonomous university.
The outgoing Vice Chancellor of the UENR, Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah who gave account of her tenure stated that the university, which commenced with 154 students in 2012, now boasts of 2,600 students including those doing top up programmes.
She said the school within the last four years of its existence had achieved a lot which had earned it a lot of recognition worldwide.
The university, she said, was currently running 20 accredited programmes.
Prof. Esi Awuah advised Ghanaians to consider renewable energy especially the usage of fossil fuel and other energy systems in order to save the environment.
She thanked and acknowledged the enormous support she received from staff and non-teaching staff during her tenure and called for same to be extended to her predecessor, Professor Harrison K. Dapaah who takes office in August, this year.
Daniel Dzirasah – Sunyani