Japanese car maker invests in university engineering programme

The University of Ghana and the local subsidiary of the Japanese car maker, Toyota Ghana Limited, last month signed a project partnership agreement under which a total of US$3 million, to be disbursed over a 10-year period, will be used to finance the construction of workshops and training facilities at the university to benefit both engineering students and the company’s technicians.

Managing Director of Toyota Ghana Takuya Kajiura said US$1 million of the amount will be used for the construction of a training centre and US$2 million will go into the provision of engineering equipment.

This agreement followed a memorandum of understanding signed in June 2017.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, said the inability of the curriculum to absorb the demands of industry led to the establishment of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), intended to make the university more relevant to the development of the nation by bridging the gap between industry and academia.

Owusu said an engineering school without a practical base cannot achieve the desired purpose and therefore asked the School of Engineering Sciences to expand its engineering programmes with the construction of the new facility.

Kajiura said the partnership agreement would strengthen the relationship that has existed between the Japanese people and Ghana since Ghana’s independence. The relationship had led to the birth of many agencies that have contributed to the development of the country.

He said Toyota Ghana was a company that had benefited from the human resource capital developed by the Ghanaian educational system in general and the university in particular.

He said the agreement gives confidence that industry and academia can bridge the development gap and contribute to the developmental growth of the nation.