Professor Richard Amankwah, the Vice Chancellor of University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) , says the Railway Industry was critical in achieving many development milestones in the country.
He said the sector was thus a part of the solution to a Sustainable future of the country, given the fact that its revamping would enhance good health and well being, clean and affordable energy, innovations and infrastructure, Sustainable cities, and communities as well as responsible consumption and production in line with the sustainable development goals.
Professor Amankwah at the maiden Rail Transport Observance Day at the UMaT school of Railways and Infrastructure Development at Essikado in Sekondi, said the Railway sector must therefore sustain the continuous improvement it was witnessing to become the once vibrant sector of the economy.
The UMaT adopted the railway training school in 2018 and now runs Bachelor programmes and certificate locomotive engineering, permanent way engineering, Planning and operations, survey and mapping, geotechnical technology and occupational health and safety courses.
The 2020/2021 academic year saw 800 students enrolling into the university to pursue the various programmes .
The establishment of the school had been the frantic efforts of all Stakeholders particularly the then sector Minister, Mr Joe Ghartey who is also the MP for Essikado-Ketan, mooted for the release of the Railway training school to UMaT to train manpower to ensure Sustainable development of the sector and other allied Industries.
Professor Amankwah therefore prayed that the Ministry would approve the pending agreement between the UMaT and the Ministry to fully operationalize the MoU for a more productive working relationship.
Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, said an operational Railways would reduce pressure, traffic on the roads, and improve upon the internal and external Trade among neighbouring countries.
He mentioned that the commitment by the government to improve upon the living conditions of the citizens and promote Sustainable social inclusion had been factored in the Railways master plan.
The plan, when rightfully executed, would promote tourist activities across the country, minimize unemployment and create wealth, he pointed out.
“It is therefore heartwarming to see the collaboration between the University and the Ministry of Railway Development to train quality engineers for the Railways and other Industries in and out of the country”, he added.
Mr. Isaac Bonaparte, the Deputy Union Secretary for Railways, said though the sector was struggling to survive, the collaboration was refreshing to solve many of the industry’s challenges.
He said labour studies must also be considered as a subject of study in school.