The Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) has collaborated with the Ghana National Association of Garages(GAGs) to transfer modern technology to members to improve the informal sector of the country.
As part of the collaboration, members of the Garages would be trained in the theoretical aspect of what they were already engaged in doing, and be certificated after going through developed shot courses.
It would also offer opportunity to the members of the Garages to be trained in the writing of technical report to put them in the international limelight.
At a ceremony to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Prof Robert DeryNagre, mentioned that a steering committee would be set up to provide a road map to ensure that all the agreements were implemented.
According to the Dean, the Engineering Faculty of the University had been well- resourced with ultra modern laboratory equipment to train graduates to be more competitive globally, “thanks to the government.”
“We are collaborating with you to fully utilise the facility that government has hugely invested to upgrade, to the benefit of the nation, the laboratory is not for the University, it is for all of us,” he underlined.
He explained that since attaining the University status, the institute had reviewed its programmes to meet the needs of modern day society and “we are fully aware of our mandate to train graduates to fit very well in the industry.”
“We run our programmes with Competence Based Training to be able to train students who will fit in the industry and globally, we are much interested in making engineering very practical and relevant to the Ghanaian society,” he said.
Pro Vice Chancellor of the University Prof Gabriel Dwomoh, observed that the automobile industry was one of the biggest in Ghana and ranked fifth as the most attractive market in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
He noted that in 2021, the market value of the industry was estimated to have increased from $4.6 billion to $10.64 billion.
However, he viewed that the industry was dominated by mechanics and other artisans who needed to be abreast of fast moving space of technology stressing that “some do not even want to repair/service modern cars but old ones just because they are far behind modern technology.”
The Pro Vice Chancellor indicated that, Ghana imported 100,000 vehicles per year and that the market value for spare parts import had increased, more than, $500 million…”this is where the academia should come in to ensure that these spare parts are captured internally to salvage the Cedi to save the economy.”
Earlier, Dr Prince Owusu Ansah, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Head of Automotive Engineering, mentioned that in the 21st century there should be no “try and error” in repairing cars, and that we should be able to manufacture bolts and nuts and car parts in the country.”
He believed that in the next 10 years, Ghana would really improve in the Technical Vocational Education Training to reduce unemployment rate, as he also commended the government for providing an ultra modern laboratory for the University to train students and others in the informal sector.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI