Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, Provost of the College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has advocated the training of adequate engineers to help achieve the country’s development agenda.
“As we strive to achieve Agenda 2030, the role of engineers in this vision cannot be underestimated, because each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has a component relating to engineering,” he stated.
According to the Provost, engineering education, especially the model espousing quantity and quality, had become the cornerstone for producing the critical human resource needed for poverty alleviation and wealth creation.
Prof. Adom-Asamoah, delivering a paper on the topic, ‘Engineering Education, Innovations and Sustainable Development’, at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), in Kumasi, said achieving the SDGs was not beyond the country’s capability.
“Engineers build and maintain infrastructure for all poverty reduction, food supply and healthcare activities.”
“These also provide economic opportunities and lead to growth,” he argued, noting that engineers continued to play a pivotal role in the attainment of all goals related to environmental protection.”
The Provost stressed that Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical Engineers, as well as those in the other disciplines were involved in accomplishing those goals relating to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, responsible consumption and production, climate action and life below water and on land.
Giving a scenario of the current state of engineering education in Ghana, Prof. Adom-Asamoah hinted that the number of engineering graduates per year in the country was estimated at 6, 500 for a population of over 30 million.
“Vietnam, a developing nation with a population of approximately 97 million, produces over 100, 000 engineering graduates each year,” he revealed and encouraged the country to do much more by increasing investment in engineering education.
Ghana needs to sharply raise the number of engineers that it produces, both quantity and quality since those professionals could not be left out in the achievement of the SDGs, he noted.
The Provost also made a case for shifting engineering education towards student-centered problem-based learning to bring out creativity and critical thinking.
This, he said, ought to be done with the active involvement of industry, explaining that innovation and advancing new technologies were core to engineering.
“The SDGs provide a snapshot of key global developmental challenges that must be addressed with urgency,” Prof. Adom-Asamoah observed.
Topics being discussed at the four-day programme range from ‘The Engineering Council of Ghana-Regulation of Engineering Practice in Ghana’, ‘Sustainable Energy and Environment’, to ‘Engineering Education, Innovations and Sustainable Development’.
Others are ‘New and Emerging ICT Technologies for Sustainable Development of Ghana, ‘Engineering Innovation for Waste, Environment and Climate Adaptation’.
The Conference is being held on the theme, “Engineering Key to Sustainable Development Goals’.