Don’t Deviate From Your Mandate, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana gave the advice during the first session (virtual) of the 13th congregation for Bachelor Technology programmes of the Sunyani Technical University (STU).

She said the traditional universities thought about employable skills that they could infuse, when introducing new programmes, saying “you already have that, and you don’t have to lose it”.

A total of 389 graduates were awarded Bachelor of Technology degrees in Engineering, TVET, Applied Science and Technology, Applied Arts as well as Business and Management disciplines at the ceremony held under the theme “Technical and Vocational Education Training: the key to sustainable job creation in Ghana”.

Nana Amfo called on the government to recognize graduates of technical universities in their placement and create the enabling environment that would allow private persons to create sustainable jobs.

“Believe me, successful entrepreneurship is not as dependent on our course structure as is on the business environment. Now that it is abundantly clear that it is impossible for the public sector to absorb all the graduates that we are producing, the government needs to move the entrepreneurship talk to the next level of practicalization”, she stressed.

“We need to walk the talk and put our money, where our mouths are” Nana Amfo added, and reminded the graduates that “life of a technical graduate can be unpredictable, strenuous and exhausting. But all these provide moments of opportunity to bring true change and valued service to our communities and the world”.

Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, the Vice Chancellor of the STU, explained the university had obtained accreditation to run seven new four-year BTech programmes, which would be rolled in January, 2021.

They include; BTech Mechanical Engineering, BTech Civil Engineering, BTech Construction and Technology, BTech Hospitality and Tourism Management, BTech General Agriculture and BTech Fashion Design Technology.

These programmes, Prof Adinkrah-Apppiah explained would be run concurrently with the existing 11 top-up BTech programmes at the university adding the institution had also received clearance for the introduction of five other four-year BTech programmes, while six others were pending at the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE).

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First Session of the 13th Congregation (virtual)

The Sunyani Technical University has held its 13th Congregation for 389 students who pursued Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degrees in Engineering, TVET, Applied Science and Technology, Applied Arts as well Business and Management disciplines.

This year’s congregation was held under the theme, “Technical and Vocational Education and Training: the key to sustainable job creation.”

They constitute the first batch to pass out while the second batch, mainly made up of Higher National Diploma (HND) and non-tertiary students, will graduate early next year. This is as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.v

Speaking at this year’s congregation, the Vice-Chancellor, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah announced that the University has obtained accreditation to run seven new four-year B-Tech degree programmes, beginning from January 2021.

The new four-year degree programmes, he mentioned, in the areas of Electrical and Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Technology, Hospitality and Tourism Management, General Agriculture and Fashion Design Technology.

“These seven new 4-year B-Tech programmes will run concurrently with the existing eleven Top-up B-Tech programmes in the university. Meanwhile, the institution has also received clearance for the introduction of five other 4-year B-Tech programmes, whilst six others are pending at the NCTE for clearance”, the Vice-Chancellor explained.

He also gave the assurance that Sunyani Technical University was ready to absorb qualified applicants, especially Free SHS graduates, into its four-year degree programmes and other tertiary and non-tertiary programmes, as the university re-opens on 11th January, 2021.

“I am happy to inform you that the University has made ready one 500-seater auditorium and six other classroom spaces, with various capacities, to comfortably accommodate new students who will enroll into our 4-year B-Tech programmes in January 2021”, Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah stated.

For her part, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who was the Guest Speaker for the occasion, urged government “to give due recognition to graduates of technical universities in their placement, while they create the enabling environment which allows private persons to create sustainable jobs.”

She admonished the graduands to cherish their certificates but should not depend on it, saying “your success as a professional does not depend on the abundance of your certificates, or even how excellently you performed in class; it depends on your attitude, your determination, your perseverance, your fortitude, and resolve to make things work for you, and to make a difference, even under exasperating circumstances.”

She further asked them to value relationships above everything else and also seek “a life-work balance.”

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Cyber Security and Forensic Lab. Inaugurated

An ultra-modern Cyber Security and Forensic Laboratory has been inaugurated at the Sunyani Technical University (STU) in the Bono Region to train people, especially the youth on the appropriate application of software and technology, and to help guard against cyber related crimes.

Following the establishment of the lab, STU would now be offering training for security personnel, bankers and other interested persons on local and offshore software development and maintenance, computer hardware, system assembling, repair and maintenance skills.

In addition, cyber-crime investigation forensics, IT audit and assurance, cyber-security engineering, security operations, forensic accounting and adobe training would be offered at the newly opened lab.

The Cape Coast Technical University and the Bolgatanga Technical University are also beneficiaries of similar laboratories all constructed at a total cost of £50,000 with funding by the Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K; the A.E.D Cyber Security Limited and the Institute of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CYBER SECURITY-GHANA).

Speaking at the inauguration of the facility, the Vice-Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University, Prof. Ing. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah explained that the laboratory would provide an opportunity for the general public to fully participate in the information age and enjoy the socio-cultural and economic benefits of the emerging information revolution.

ICT for Development

The objective of the establishment of the cyber-security and forensic laboratory, Prof Adinkrah-Appiah explained, was to provide training to people, especially the youth, from industry, security services, banking sector and entire corporate Ghana to be able to apply appropriate software, technology, knowledge and skills.

Prof Adinkrah-Appiah touched on Ghana’s Integrated ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy, which he said reflected the nation’s commitment to transforming Ghana into an information-rich and knowledge-based society. Prof Adinkrah-Appiah observed that the issue of cyber-crime, including identity theft, were on the increase in the country in recent times, and stressed the government’s determination to bring it under control.

He observed, however, that the ICT industry in Ghana remained largely challenged with under-development, especially in software development and repairs, software application, troubleshooting, cyber-security, application of artificial intelligence which fell short of acceptable international standards.

The Vice-Chancellor expressed appreciation to the funding organisations for the support, saying the laboratory would equip students with the requisite theoretical and practical skills, critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills in the fields of cyber-security and forensic technologies, data science and artificial intelligence.

Mr David Dayor, Assistant project Manager, Security Engineering, CyberGhana, a Non-profit organisation, indicated “several universities are now knocking our doors but unfortunately only a few of them will get this opportunity due to limited resources.”

“We, therefore, entreat all beneficiaries to work harder to implement measures to sustain this project towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.

Dr Jones Lewis Arthur, a Senior Lecturer and Dean of Faculty of Applied Science and Technology of the STU noted the nation lost millions of dollars annually to cyber-related criminal activities, noting the country lost 6.8 million dollars through fraud and $2.7 million to intrusion and stealing in 2019.

Cyber-crime, he added, formed 47 per cent of the 192 cases reported in the country last year, and expressed gratitude to the funding partners for their contribution towards helping to arrest cyber-crime and fraud in the country.

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Sunyani Technical University


Mechatronics Laboratory Commissioned

The Minister of Environment, Science and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has inaugurated the first phase of the Mechatronic Laboratory of the Sunyani Technical University, which forms part of measures to further enhance research and hands-on training of students in various engineering programmes.

The Mechatronic Laboratory is part of the Science Park project, which started in 2007 with funding from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng lauded STU for its readiness to absorb the first and subsequent batches of Free SHS graduates as from January next year, adding that the opening of the lab “has come in handy to give Free SHS graduates entering the university hands-on training in science, research, technical, technological and innovation education to propel the country’s industrial agenda by this government.”

He announced the setting up of a nine-member Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation by government to further entrench the study and application of science and technology in the country.

The Minister also said 32 technical and vocational training schools across the country were being retooled under this government to enable them offer practical training to students.

For his part, the Vice-Chancellor of Sunyani Technical University, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah expressed his appreciation to the government for supporting the university to set up “this ultra-modern laboratory, which remains a critical input, for the technical and professional skills development of our students in areas of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering….”

“We equally thank the President and the government for the on-going construction of the AVIC project which also seeks to install more engineering tools and equipment at the Sunyani Technical University for the expected practical training of our students”, he added.

Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said the university has electrical and electronic engineering as its niche area and that management and staff were leaving no stone unturned to embark on intensive academic research and to provide the requisite hand-on training to students.

This, according to him, is to position the university to become a leader in the manufacturing of electric vehicles and other electrical and electronic machineries and technologies in Ghana, in support of the government’s industrialization agenda through the One-district, One Factory policy.

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Prof. Ing. K. Adinkrah-Appiah elected as VCTU-G Chairman

Ing Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, the Vice-Chancellor of Sunyani Technical University, has assumed office as the new Chairman of the Vice-Chancellors of Technical Universities of Ghana (VCTU-G). He takes over from Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, the Vice-Chancellor of Takoradi Technical University. At its 5th Regular Meeting held at Accra Technical University on 13th October 2020, members of the VCTU-G unanimously endorsed him as Chairman. The VCTU-G Chairmanship, which is rotational, will give him the opportunity to serve the association for a period of one year, beginning October 2020.

Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah obtained his B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, in 1998. He later obtained his MPhil and PhD degrees, in Civil Engineering, in 2006 and 2015, respectively, at his alma mater, KNUST. He also received professional training as a Civil Engineer in structural modeling at the RISA Technologies in California, USA, in 2006.

Prof. Ing. Adinkrah-Appiah has extensive experience in industry as a professional Civil/Structural Engineer and has worked on several construction projects across the country, including donor funded projects such as the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) and Urban V Project.

He also has extensive experience in teaching, research and university administration. He has served in various management positions at the Sunyani Technical University including Sectional Head of Carpentry & Joinery Section of the Building Technology Department (2006-2007), Head of Building Technology Department (2007-2009), Dean of School of Engineering (2009-2012), Vice-Rector (2013-2016), Acting Rector (2016), Interim Vice-Chancellor (2016-2019) and Vice-Chancellor (2019 to date).

He has published extensively. His research has led to the introduction of an innovative building block in the construction industry in Ghana, dubbed ‘Salancrete building block’.

He is a member of various Professional Associations including the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has led several proposal writings teams to win and manage donor funds/grants for institutional development. He has received several awards, prominent among them being the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) Excellence Award for the most innovative researcher of the year 2016.

The VCTU-G is a registered non-profit organization in Ghana whose membership comprises the Vice-Chancellors of all public Technical Universities in Ghana. It is a forum which mainly deliberates on issues bordering on the promotion of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), promotion of scholarship, research and innovation and advocacy for better working conditions for staff of Technical Universities in Ghana, among others.

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