The Ghana Chamber of Mines has initiated the Tertiary Education Fund (TEF) to support teaching, learning and research related to Ghana’s mining industry’s needs.
The source of revenue for the Fund shall be primarily from the producing member companies of the Chamber who will together contribute $400,000 annually for five years, bringing to $2 million the total amount of money for the Fund.
Additionally, contract mining and explosives manufacturing member companies will each contribute $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, annually for five years.
To this end, the Chamber envisages a total amount of $442,000 to be mobilized in the first year i.e. in year 2020.
At the launch of the Fund at the Chamber’s head office in Accra, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, said the Fund shall be specifically applied to “support teaching and learning, research of faculty and post-graduate students related to industry needs and application of automated systems as well as innovations in mining.”
He added that it will also cover bursary for under-graduate students according to industry needs, provisions of educational resources, as well as industry internship programmes.
“Much as the decision to institute the Fund is altruistic, there is a palpable element of self-regard, which is to say that it will serve as a direct pipeline of human resources for mining companies in Ghana and beyond,” Mr Koney indicated.
He said it is in Ghana’s interest to serve as a major producer and exporter of the much-needed expertise, which are in high demand in emerging mining destinations on the continent and elsewhere.
President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Eric Asubonteng, said the Fund is primarily aimed at keeping Ghana’s mining industry on an upward trajectory with a regular stream of highly qualified and technically astute professionals.
“This Fund, like most globally recognised education funds, is specifically aimed at keeping Ghana on top of the chain of mining destinations in Africa. A country that is globally recognised for its rich natural resources and long history of mineral exploitation, has a responsibility to ensure that the right environment is created for the provision of requisite training and capacity building for the teeming youth,” Mr Asubonteng noted.
He thanked member companies of the Chamber for their support when the idea of instituting the fund was proposed.
“It shows that contrary to the misconceptions that investors only focus on the bottom-line, evidence abounds that businesses in Ghana’s mining industry are mindful of the state of the environment and the wellbeing of communities where the investments are situated,” Mr Asubonteng added.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines’ Tertiary Education Fund is an initiative borne out of many years of practical partnerships between the Chamber and tertiary institutions in the country, particularly, the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).
A 9-member governing board was constituted to manage the Fund. It is chaired by Stephen Ndede.