The University of Ghana and the National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a Research Chair in Petroleum Geoscience.
The Chair will be based at the Department of Earth Science of the School of Physical and Mathematics Sciences at the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
Purpose of chair
The establishment of the Chair is in recognition of the common interest and mutual benefits of cooperation between research institutions and industry and the benefit of such cooperation to national development.
The intent is the common interest of the two institutions to strengthen petroleum geoscience research and education capacity at the university, to support the optimal exploration, delineation and development of Ghana's hydrocarbon resource.
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The four-year Research Chair, which comes with an annual amount of $250,000, is chaired by Professor Bruce Banoeng-Yakubu of the Earth Science Department of the university.
The scope of activities of the Chair will be, among others, to establish technical partnerships with leading universities and industry leaders within and beyond Africa.
It is also to establish teaching and learning exchange programmes with partner universities and institutions, as well as to engage industry to establish state-of-the-art research laboratory in Petroleum Geoscience at the university.
Additionally, the Chair is to engage industry in the training of the next generation of petroleum geoscience professionals.
Intention of GNPC
In his remarks before presenting the dummy cheque for the $250,000 to the university in Accra yesterday, the General Manager, Sustainability of the GNPC, Dr Kwame Amoah Baah-Nuakoh, said it was part of the effort of the company to support and upgrade capacity development in the country’s universities.
He said the chair was introduced by the Board of the GNPC to support the universities to build capacities in the areas relating to the GNPC operations.
Dr Baah-Nuakoh announced that the GNPC was putting up a research and technology centre which would be the coordinating centre for research for oil and gas in the future.
He was happy that with such a background, Prof. Banoeng-Yakubu would bring to the table a rich experience, especially at the Volta Basin where the company had already started doing some work.
University of Ghana
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, said the university could not afford to miss the opportunity and assured that it would exhibit a high sense of integrity.
He said the university saw the collaboration as a serious business and gave the assurance that at the end of the four-year tenure, the GNPC would come back knocking at its doors.
Prof. Owusu used the opportunity to appeal to the government to give serious attention to research and roll out the national research fund.
For his part, Prof. Banoeng-Yakubu thanked the GNPC for what he called ‘a welcome collaboration’ and said even though the Department was into research in geology, "the core research we really needed was going into the petroleum sector."
“The university as a whole will do what it takes to ensure that we carry out systematic research to ensure that we develop and facilitate the petroleum carbon sector in the country," he added.
Prof. Banoeng-Yakubu pledged that the university would also use the support from the GNPC to train and retrain people into technicians for the petroleum sector.