Koforidua Technical University (KTU) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Plant Medicine and Research (CPMR) at Mampong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region to develop academic and professional cooperation.The MoU would help the two bodies to establish collaborative programmes in plant medicine, biomedical sciences and other areas of interest.
The agreement is targeted at fostering joint research activities, publications, industrial attachment and internship for staff and students, as well as special short-term academic programmes.
The Vice Chancellor of KTU, Professor Mrs Smile Dzisi, signed on behalf of the university, while the Executive Director of the CPMR, Dr Augustine Ocloo, appended for the research institution.
In an address at the signing ceremony yesterday, Prof. Dzisi said she was glad the initiative formalised a common attempt by the two institution to take their relationship a notch higher for a more pronounced and strategic purpose.
She said such strategic collaboration had become necessary for the KTU for various reasons, especially at a time the institution had been converted to a technical university with a renewed mandate to provide science, technology, technical and vocational education for better industrialisation of Ghana.
“And we are obliged to do so in collaboration with industrys, a reason why in recent time we have linked up with some universities and industries, home and abroad,” she stated.
According to her, the government’s manifesto placed research and innovation at the heart of education in Ghana, for which the universities were expected to accord priority to research, especially in the biomedical, computer, agricultural and environmental science. “The government, therefore, seeks a close collaboration between universities and research institutions.”
Ready for one district one factory
Prof. Dzisi was happy the CPMR had a long rich history in research and it had moved beyond the confines of a research laboratory to be at the heart of a fast-growing industry in plant medicine.
“The state-of-the-art laboratories and industry-oriented technical expertise of this centre will promote the pursuit of our mandate and as a young university, we stand a lot to gain from the CMRM experience in this direction,” she added.
The vice chancellor stated that the government, in its manifesto, pledged to assist technical universities to refocus on technical education and placed them at the forefront of the one district one factor programme.
“As the first public university in the Eastern Region, we, in KTU, cannot afford to fold our hands in a wait-and-see attitude.
“Instead, we have been busy working with possible areas of competitive advantage and we have been working to position ourselves with the requisite human resource for this laudable initiative,” she added.
To that end, she said the KTU had been diversifying its curricula to include more science, technical and vocational programmes, as well as initiated moves to awaken the entrepreneurial genius in students.
Towards that end, Prof. Dzisi stated that KTU had recently set up a faculty to provide training in health-related sciences and a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development to provide mandatory entrepreneurial orientation to students.
“It is our belief that our collaboration with the CPRM will help us to position ourselves better to contribute to this mission of one district one factory,” she stated.
For his part, Dr Ocloo said per the agreement between the two institutions, they were both open to share resources, with the CPRM ready to serve as a graduate training centre.
“We at the CPRM are very hopeful that this collaboration will contribute to the development of the Eastern Region and we are optimistic that the KTU, as an emerging technical-based university, can significantly contribute to innovations in the development of plant medicine in Ghana,” he stated.