The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)is establishing a Department of Telecommunications Engineering at its School of Engineering.
The new department will focus on the advancement of the cell (mobile} phone industry and telecommunications as well as discover new areas in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Professor Kwesi Andam, the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, disclosed this in an interview after the opening of a two-week computer training in high performance in Linux cluster at KNUST in Kumasi on Tuesday.
He said KNUST secured a loan of $3 million from a local bank towards the project, which would be ready by February this year.
The training programme attracted about 70 participants from all over Africa, Europe, Asia and America. The new department would be the first on the continent.
The vice-chancellor proposed the establishment of a “special equipment fund” by the university to be used to re-equip its science and engineering laboratories, which he said still had some obsolete equipment.
Prof Andam said the focus of programmes at KNUST was mainly on science and technology and, therefore, the university spent much more money, compared to other institutions.
He said the acquisition of knowledge and its management had, in recent times, become the hub around which the economic, social and political activities of a country revolved and stressed that these elements underpinned the growth and development of ICT, which had provided the input to narrow the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Abdul Salem International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) based in Italy, at initiating the training programme. He stressed that KNUST was prepared to continually work with the ICTP centre in various fields of endeavour, especially in ICT.
He told the gathering that the university had all the professionals required to push the country's development agenda forward, stressing that as a premier university of science and technology, KNUST had a revered responsibility in ensuring that the country achieved its middle-income status within the shortest period.
He said KNUST was poised to play a leading role in the country's quest to become an engineering economy.
A former Pro Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof. Francis K. A. Allotey, who chaired the function, said the emergence of ICT had diminished the syndrome of brain drain in the country.
A representative of ICTP, Prof. Gilberto Diaz, impressed on the participants to apply the knowledge they had acquired at the training for the benefit of their respective countries and advised them to do more to improve upon ICT in their various countries.