The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, (GNPC) has donated US$1 million to four of the country’s universities to upgrade their science laboratories into first class facilities. General Manager for Sustainability at the GNPC, Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh has announced.
The move forms part of various strategies the corporation is adopting to prepare the youth to take up major roles in the oil and gas industry, especially, the technical uppermost positions which are mainly occupied by foreigners because Ghana lacks the capacity.
The four universities are the University of Ghana, (UG), Legon; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST), Kumasi; University of Mining and Technology, (UMAT) Tarkwa; and the University of Cape Coast, (UCC).
Professorial chairs of four departments, the Petroleum Geosciences at the UG, Petro-chemical Engineering at KNUST, Mining Engineering at UMaT, Petroleum Commerce (UCC) will receive US$250,000 annually for four years to boost their facilities and enhance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“The idea here is that in the next four years, the departments should be upgraded to a level where we can also call them world class laboratories. The GNPC is focusing on science education as a key driver for artificial intelligence which has been identified as the future for the oil industry.”
The corporation has this year provided 880 scholarships to some Ghanaians in 20 universities across the country to be trained in STEM, Health, Agricultural Science and Special Education.
“We are committed to training the youth to be able to meet the demand in future and we cannot do that without providing the universities the resources to be able to train them to the level that we are looking for,” Baah-Nuakoh explained.
Meanwhile the GNPC says it is engaging communities in the Voltaian Basin to sensitize them on the ongoing works there before exploration begins.
“A whole special performance team is in the area engaging the communities making sure they understand what we are doing. What they should expect when actual activities begin. We have reached the service stage as well as data acquisition stage. Even though we don’t expect to start drilling oil there in the next two or three years, we are letting the communities understand what is going on,” Baah-Nuakoh further added.
Front view of the University of Ghana, Legon.
By Nana Oye Ankrah