President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the commencement of work on the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS) at Bunso in the Eastern Region.
The construction of the UEAS is expected to be completed within 24 months and will be the second public university in the Eastern Region.
It will focus on satisfying human resource demands from domestic industries, and become a centre of excellence in Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Applied Sciences and Built Environment.
The work is being funded with a $90-million facility from the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea.
At the sod-cutting ceremony on Friday, attended by the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, President Akufo-Addo noted that the world was driven by technology and that a country’s development depended on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development.
Energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation, sanitation, the use, management and conservation of natural resources are all based, ultimately, on science and technology, he said.
“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process,” the President said, adding that technology would help the fulfilment of the national dream to meet basic challenges of survival such as providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people.
Over the last five years, the Government had increasingly implemented initiatives and programmes rooted in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with the goal being to ensure a target of 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian populace for science-related jobs, which would define their future employability, he said.
“I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in senior high schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a 100 per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Our Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio, measuring enrolment in tertiary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population, which stood at 18.8 per cent as at 2021, has increased significantly to 20 per cent this year.”
He said the establishment of the University was also part of government’s response to the current national pre-occupation with food security.
“The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across a number of fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner.”
President Akufo-Addo commended the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the EDCF of the Republic of Korea for providing the funds for the construction of the University and urged all stakeholders to work within schedule and within the budget.