His Excellency the Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland, Dr David Pilsbury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Development, Coventry University, Honourable Mike Hammah, Gordon Headly, Chief HR, Tullow oil, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw and many more were the renowned speakers at the conference of Ghanaian Graduates and Students of Higher Education in the UK held at Technology park Coventry University West Midland.
The conference which was running behind schedule started with an opening prayer, a zealous singing of the national anthem, welcome address from the president of the Ghana Union Coventry University, Evans Gyasi and a few inspiring words from Emmanuel Lekunze the VP representation of CUSU.His Excellency the High Commissioner, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo began his presentation sighting the successes of Ghana thus far, adding how Ghanaian graduates feature prominently in national roles across most sectors in the country.
He also stated how foreign trained graduates are instrumental in the facilitating of research in sciences and education. He quoted an enormous sum of £22,000 was spent by the government on a student per year to sponsor students abroad. This has made it crucial that students take it upon themselves to acquire knowledge and skill during their study period abroad. He reiterated that not just any form of knowledge but relevant knowledge and skills. His Excellency also encouraged students to partake in various students associations and also take the various roles they play in them seriously.
More so, He didn’t fail to mention to the attentive students and audiences gathered that the opportunities offered to students and especially those that study abroad provided them with an enabling environment for them to realise their full potential.
As a further highlight to Ghana’s successes, he mentioned that Ghana has joined the top rank oil producers in the Sub-Sahara Africa.
He stressed the need for real change in our attitude citing a quotation from Winston Churchill: “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Try as much as possible to make a difference he added.
He also added that our aims are not too high that we cannot reach them but rather they are sometime too low that we attain them.
He concluded with the de facto national anthem of Ghana
“Yεn ara asase ni, ,Ɛyε aboɔden de ma yεn”
Which subsequently earned him loud applauds and a standing ovation. The presentation from Honourable Mike Hammah started with a very popular Ghanaian chant which was indeed well received by the audience.
“Ghana, Ghana, O Se Yeh!
Following a very loud “Yeh, Yeh” from the energetic standing audience. The chants got them really excited it took a few seconds for them to quieten down and listen to the minister. His presentation was centred on the need to acquire skills in all areas. He described Ghana’s economy as a knowledge based economy, highlighting the significant contribution the oil has made. Similarly he described Ghana’s economy as the fastest growing economy in Sub-Sahara Africa and His core points were tailored to encouraging professional in the Diaspora to return home to contribute their quota.
Hon. Mike praised the present government as working hard to accelerate the reduction of poverty in Ghana and also maximising the benefits of the oil. Despite all the named successes, he expressed that the present economy’s benefit to the mining industry is zero.
“As Ghana is new to running a big oil industry, the government is also investing in sending people abroad to acquire the maximum training. The need to train Ghanaians in specialised areas is to enable them occupy high level job and also to achieve a 90 percent local participation”, he added.
Building on from this, he announced that 10 million dollars was spent by the government to train 200 Ghanaians at the Masters and PHD level. Ghana he stated has gained deeper international recognition following on from President Obama’s visit.
In conclusion, he harped on the need to return home to join build mother Ghana.
Gordon Headly the Chief HR for Tullow oil also expressed the benefits as well as challenges Ghana’s oil industry is facing. He announced that there are 86 percent Ghanaians working in the sector and they are looking to expand that number.Adding on from the all that was said Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw reiterated the immerse opportunities available for graduates coming from abroad seeking to work in Ghana. Come and support to build the manpower of our great nation he concluded.
The conference which was well attended by students from all parts of the country as well as professional served as an excellent platform to network.