The Accra Technical University (ATU) Friday inducted Samuel Nii Odai, a professor of Water Resources Engineering, into office as its very first Vice-Chancellor.
Prof Ralph Kingston Asabere, Chairman of the University’s Council, who took the former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology through his oath of office, described him as: “a person of great intellect, wide experience, and solid background in Ghanaian, African and global educational matters”.
“He is well abreast of the nitty gritty of University Management and also has impressive and practical understanding of university administration from his records…”.
The well-attended ceremony, which marks the 70th Anniversary of the previously named Accra Polytechnic, also consummated its current status a fully-fledged university.
He, therefore, encouraged Prof Odai to use his vast and rich knowledge towards transforming the University’s dreams into reality by leveraging on the foundations already in place, adding to and consolidating the gains to put the university to higher pedestal.
However, he should work within the ambit of the statutes, ensuring adherence to the established role bureaucracies of the University.
The Council, he said, would refrain from interfering in his duties, but it would be vigilant and create an enabling environment to ensure that the mission of the institution was sustained and its vision realised.
In his inaugural speech, Prof Odai, who took office early in July this year, said the University had started working towards transitioning from its previous status to consolidate its leadership as a premier technical university.
It was thus offering programmes with high impact on industry and business creation.
His plan was to lead the University to drive a vision through seven strategic goals.
These include Impact-oriented Research and Innovation for National Development; and the Enhancement of Students’ Experience through developing and delivering quality programmes to prepare them for the world of work.
Others are the Strengthening of Industrial and Community Engagement through continuously pursuing joint research and training with impact on industry; Developing Infrastructure and systems that supports the University’s status; Streamline the mobilisation and management of financial resources; and ensure Quality and Motivated Human Resources at all levels to drive ATU’s vision.
Prof Odai emphasised that the educational systems in Africa, with Ghana, must be reengineered to deepen competitiveness and the national patriotism of the next generation.
“We must adapt to the tenets of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that define the future of work as a matter of urgency rather than as a matter of luxury, otherwise Africa will languish perpetually in poverty and no country would even give us aid anymore. Africa must arise”.
He said in the next academic year, the ATU would introduce Comprehensive ICT Education, Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Education and Comprehensive Leadership Education in all the five faculties of the University.
“We are taking advantage of the dynamics in the world of work to train our students so that they will be well placed for the fourth industrial revolution”.
Prof Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, congratulated Prof Odai and assured him of the Government’s commitment to resourcing all technical universities.
He said the Government was also working on the issue of migration of staff of the technical universities into the Ghana Public University Salary Structure and Conditions of Service.
He entreated all lecturers of the technical universities to remain calm and assured them of the Government’s commitment to resolving all the outstanding issues objectively and dispassionately.