Ghana will from November 23 to 25, 2021 hold its first Energy Summit in Accra for chief executive officers of energy-related companies and vice-chancellors of public and private universities.
The summit, being organised by the African Global Response Energy Environment (AGREE), a non-governmental organisation, with support from the Ministry of Energy, aims at providing an avenue to deliberate on strategies to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
This would help find solutions to the defects in Ghana’s energy sector and promote its growth.
The defects include Ghana’s energy generation insufficiency, not finding the requisite personnel for positions in the energy sector, and the deliberation for best energy sources.
Mr Humphrey Tetteh, the Chief Operating Officer of AGREE, said this on Tuesday when he inaugurated the second Advisory Board of its ‘Think Energy’ project in Accra.
As part of the summit, a quiz competition and innovation challenge will be organised for university students across the country to share comprehensive knowledge on Ghana’s energy mix.
Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, Vice-Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University, said there were two main issues driving global policy; COVID-19 and Climate Change.
The era of the pandemic with its new requirements of working from home and other restrictions, he said, meant the world now depended on energy more than ever with the use of laptops, communication via social media, and online meetings.
He said climate change with its transitional energy economy called for new and environmentally-friendly energy sources that presented opportunities for technical universities.
“Having a platform to compete with other universities, traditional and private, will provide us with an opportunity to assess our product outputs and improve upon our delivery as far as student training at the university level is concerned,” Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said.
Prof Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, said the nation needed to groom local expertise in the energy sector through effective collaboration between universities and industry.
“We can take for instance, Ghana’s oil sector with many foreign hands on deck. The expertise we get from foreign countries are needed and we cannot do without this expertise,”
However, universities like my own is ready to collaborate with the energy sector and train its human resources with state-of-the-art skills and critical minds to face the human resource problem head-on in the energy sector,” he said.
The Reverend Dr Daniel Nii Aboagye Aryeh, Rector of the Perez University College, who represented the Council of Independent Universities (CIU), said energy had become a critical commodity of life and could be likened to food, clothing, and shelter, adding that it was also being used for residential, commercial, transportation and industrial purposes.
Given the continuous and overarching influence or effect of energy on many sectors, he suggested that it should be considered as one of the most popular programmes in many private tertiary institutions in Ghana.
However, he said only a handful of universities had departments for science programmes due to the cost involved in establishing laboratories, workshops and the human resource to run effectively.
On behalf of the CIU, he called for a collaboration with industry players, non-governmental organisations and other institutions of learning to design a mandatory course for all students to help them “think energy”.