The Ministry of Railways Development and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a proposed railway engineering courses at the University.
The move is also expected to revive the Railway Training School at Ketan in Essikado, in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis of the Western Region.
Although, the date for the commencement of the courses has not been disclosed, courses such as BSc in Railway Engineering, BSc Civil Engineering, BSc Aerospace Engineering, BSc Mechatronic Engineering, BSc Transport Management and Dip. in Electrical Engineering, after approval from the National Accreditation Board and National Council for Tertiary Education.
However, the University will from the 2018/19 academic year, run the following courses MSc Engineering Management, MSc Business and Technology Management, BSc in Mechanical Engineering, BSc Electrical and Electronics Engineering, BSc Computer Science and Engineering, BSc Environmental and Safety Engineering, BSc Geodetic Engineering, Certificate in Railway Engineering (Plant and Maintenance Option) and Certificate in Railway Engineering (Welding and Fabrication).
Highlighting the importance of railway to Ghana’s development, the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. Jerry S.Y. Kuma, said the partnership was a long-term deal would revive the railway sector.
He stressed “This will be the only Railway University in West Africa. This partnership is a serious one and we would ensure that the vision of the President to transform this country to become an industrial is realized.”
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, hoped the partnership with UmaT would lead to the development of tertiary degree awarding programmes and eventually the establishment of a University of Railways and Infrastructure Development.
He said “We need to make this a success not just in Ghana but also in the West African sub-region.”
The Minister said the railway sector needed the human resources to become a centre of excellence.
Ghartey noted that the Railway Training School and workshops have been overtaken by rodents and weeds and described the situation as very bad.
Expressing worry about the wanton dissipation of railways assets, he said that, by the last half of 2016, railway assets have been sold as scrap.
“Some assets of railway similar to what has been refurbished today were sold at a pittance. The right of way became the personal property of workers in the sector and their collaborators who overnight became real estate owners and agents selling and disposing of the real estate that belonged to the state as their personal property,” he lamented.
The Minister said the Western Line would be redesigned and extended to Awaso and Nyinahin leading to rich bauxite reserves and also transport cocoa in the northern part of the Western Region, Ashanti and the southern part of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The Omanhene of Essikado, Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, described the MoU as good news that would propel the railway sector in Ghana, stressing “we need not rest on our oars.” – Ghanaian Times