The Founder and Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, has provided a $100,000 grant for the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) for research into waste management and sanitation.
The astute entrepreneur said the donation was to support the university towards its awards scheme for research because the spectrum of waste management was a broad one which needed the necessary academic attention to make strides and resolve Ghana’s long-standing problem — waste disposal.
"A lot of research is needed; Zoomlion is interested in research. Last year, a GH¢5-million research grant was earmarked for universities for research into waste management. This is to ensure that there are no adverse issues affecting the environment because we need to protect it," he said.
Dr Agyepong announced this at the Second Session of the 6th UHAS Congregation last Saturday.
The university also conferred an honorary Doctor of Science degree on Dr Agyepong for his outstanding contributions to environmental sanitation and higher education in the country and beyond.
It was also due to his excellent leadership and innovative business solutions in countless communities and countries all over Africa.
The university also conferred an honorary doctorate degree on the Director at its Institute of Research, Prof. Margaret Gyapong, for her meritorious service to the country.
The Chairman of the University Council of the UHAS, Justice Jones Dotse, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, together decorated Dr Agyepong and Prof. Gyapong with the honours.
About 692 students were awarded degrees in various academic disciplines at the event.
Also in attendance were the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Harry Tagbor; council members, members of convocation, the Volta Regional Minister,
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa; a former Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alex Sebgefia; some Volta Caucus Members of Parliament, members of the Atta Mills Memorial Institute and the Atta Mills Heritage, some metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives and key management members of the JGC.
After receiving the honour, Dr Agyepong thanked God for his life, stressing that he was very humbled by the honour done him by the university.
“I also want to thank the UHAS Council members, my wife, Mrs Adelaide Agyepong; my children, the management and staff of the Jospong Group and everyone who has invested in my life,” he said.
While commending the graduands, he urged them to leverage the opportunities in the country, such as the government’s Agenda 111 Hospitals project, which would increase the capacity of the health sector.
"So don’t look elsewhere; seize the opportunity to serve your country,” the business mogul said.
He advised them to be teachable, open themselves up for further training, embrace every opportunity to become better and further develop their talents and skills.
"Graduands, this is the day that crowns your many sleepless nights and sacrifices, and you deserve to fully enjoy every commendation that comes with it. Be the first to embrace training opportunities, and do so cheerfully,” Dr Agyepong said.
He said while they enhanced their skills through such opportunities, they should position themselves to be solvers of problems at the various workplaces where they would find themselves.
In a report, Prof. Gyapong indicated that the university had been awarded 25 grants, totaling GH¢418,523.
That, he said, was part of continuous efforts by the university to encourage its senior faculty members to actively engage in cutting-edge research that would contribute to the achievement of its strategic objective and build the research capacity in the university.
He said the university had established a Faculty Development Grant, worth GH¢20,000, to be awarded to faculties which were pursuing terminal degrees to support their data collection cost.
He added that 10 faculty members, who were currently pursuing their PhD studies, had been awarded the grant and were in the process of accessing it.
"In spite of the challenges, as a university, we have adapted well and proved to be resilient. Our successes far outweigh our challenges and it is obvious that with the relevant infrastructural expansion, UHAS will continue to transform the landscape for training health professionals in the country," Prof. Gyapong said.
The Vice-Chancellor charged the graduands to live the values and ethos of excellence, integrity, innovation, service and care in their fields of work.
Earlier last Friday, the UHAS had held the Sixth Leadership Lecture Series in memory of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, on the theme: "Sustaining Environmental Sanitation gains through Specialised Education".
Dr Agyepong, who delivered the lecture, stressed the importance and role of specialised universities such a UHAS in national development.
He noted that the introduction of sewage systems solved the problem the country had faced, adding that academia should play an important role in ensuring the sustenance of the environment through education.
He reminded UHAS that it had been entrusted with the highest calling of safeguarding the health of Ghanaians and it should not fail on that mandate.