To become a major hub for producing and exporting high caliber, skilled mining expertise – which is in high demand in emerging destinations – the Chamber of Mines has launched the Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) to spearhead this course.
“The fund is primarily set up to identify and train best brains, support teaching and learning, support research into technology and application of automated systems that will bring innovations which will directly benefit the mining industry”, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, Sulemanu Koney said during the launch.
The source of revenue for the fund will be administered in phases as producing member companies of the Chamber have been tasked to contribute US$400,000 annually for a period of five years whiles contract mining and explosives manufacturing member companies have also been mandated to contribute US$3,000 and US$2,000 respectively annually for a five year period.
It is instructive to note that countries that have prioritized education and capacity building in areas such as mining and other key sectors are benefitting immensely from the supply of high quality human resource for industry and the larger market.
This has become necessary as the mining companies’ sustainable competitive advantage is largely based on the skills and competencies of their employees. This justifies the need to invest in tertiary institutions to have the needed capacity to train the manpower for the industry.
According to the CEO, it is as a result of this reason that the Chamber and its member companies are focusing on producing high caliber mining professionals in the sustainable exploitation and management of natural resources.
President of the Chamber, Eric Asubonteng noted that the Fund is aimed at keeping Ghana on top of the chain of mining destinations in Africa and as such a country that is globally recognized for its rich natural resources has the responsibility to ensure that the right environment is created for the provision of requisite training and capacity building.
The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa is a major beneficiary of the fund. The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. S. Y Kuma expressed gratitude to the Chamber for the support and pledged the university’s commitment to put the funds to its intended purpose.
The Chamber has also set up an eight member governing board to oversee the activities of the Fund.