The University of Ghana and Toyota Ghana Limited have signed a project partnership agreement for the development of a multi-purpose workshop and a training centre on a design, finance, build and operate basis. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2017.
In brief remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, revealed that the inadequacies of the curriculum to absorb the demands of industry led to the establishment of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (IAST).
The rationale, he stated, was to make the University relevant to the development of the nation as it was intended to bridge the gap between industry and academia.
Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu noted that the partnership agreement was the biggest feat the University has achieved since the establishment of the IAST.
In outlining the significance of the agreement, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu noted that an Engineering School without a practical base cannot achieve the desired purpose.
He therefore charged the School of Engineering Sciences to expand its engineering programmes. He finally urged all stakeholders to be committed and be truthful to the cause of the project.
The Vice-Chancellor was confident that the agreement will benefit students and help elevate the engineering status in the country and internationally.
On behalf of the University Council and Management, the Vice-Chancellor expressed sincere gratitude to Toyota Ghana Limited and the Japanese people for the partnership and promised the University’s readiness to adhere to time management in order to ensure the success of the project.
Mr. Takuya Kajiura, Managing Director of Toyota Ghana in his remarks mentioned that the partnership agreement was to strengthen the relationship that has existed between the Japanese people and Ghana.
According to him, the relationship between the Japanese community and Ghana has existed since independence and has given birth to many agencies that have contributed to the development of the country.
Mr. Takuya Kajiura indicated that through the agreement, workshops and training facilities that will benefit both engineering students of the University and technicians of Toyota Ghana will be established.
He noted that the agreement will also see the construction of a Training Centre worth US$1 million and the provision of engineering equipment worth US$2 Million which will be disbursed by Toyota Ghana over a ten-year period.
He emphasised that the investment from Toyota Ghana was against the backdrop that it is a company that has benefited from the human resource capital developed by the Ghanaian educational system and the University as a whole.
The Managing Director also mentioned that the agreement gives confidence that industry and academia can bridge the development gap and contribute to the developmental growth of the nation. He used the opportunity to express his appreciation to all who had contributed to the success of the agreement signing.
In brief remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Prof. Tsutomu Himeno expressed his excitement in witnessing the ceremony.
He admitted that the partnership will contribute immensely to the capacity building and the overall development of the University and the country at large.
Earlier, Prof. Daniel Kwadwo Asiedu, Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, in his opening remarks expressed the excitement of the College.
He said the partnership between Toyota Ghana and the University was unique from previous partnership agreements that the College had benefited from. He was optimistic that the partnership will pave the way for more partnerships.
Prof. Boateng Onwona‐Agyeman, Dean, School of Engineering Sciences, in delivering the vote of thanks expressed appreciation to all stakeholders for the partnership agreement.
He eulogized the efforts of the past Managing Director of Toyota Ghana and the former Japanese Ambassador to Ghana for the role they played during the preliminary stages of discussion.
He also commended the current Managing Director, Mr. Takuya Kajiura and the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana for not relenting on the efforts of their predecessors. He reiterated that students and faculty were going to benefit immensely as students will have access to practical sessions and also improve research of faculty members.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Students Affairs, Prof. Kwame Offei, Registrar, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia, Prof. Michael Tagoe, Acting Provost of the College of Education, Director of Public Affairs, Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Acting Director of Internal Audit, Dr. Ibrahim Bedi, Director of Physical Development and Municipal Services Directorate (PDMSD), Mr. Charles Kofinti. The team from Toyota Ghana Limited were There were representatives also from Marubeni Corporation.