Focus more on human capital development to unlock Ghana’s resources – Expert

A Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM), Mr Henry Antwi, said to be able to unlock the full potential of Ghana’s resources, policies should focus more on human capital development.

He, thus, called on the Government and the mining industry to boost the infrastructure and resource capacity of universities for effective human resource capacity building.

That would also ensure the building of capacity of graduates to innovate and use the right tools and technology to unlock the full potential of the mining industry in Ghana, he said.

Mr Antwi said this at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa, when the AusIMM Tarkwa Student Forum, held the Seventh Annual conference, on the theme: ‘Industry Training and Job Opportunities; Pathway for Empowering Young Professionals in Mining.’

It brought together mining companies, academia, media and other mining stakeholders, offering the students the opportunity to interact with industry executives and gain a good understan
ding of the theory.

On skills development, he mentioned competition and technology, which were driving change for relentless restructuring, and encouraged mining professionals to adapt and skill up to drive innovations to improve productivity and reduce operation costs.

Mr Antwi, also the Founder of the AusIMM, Tarkwa Student Chapter, spoke about revolutionary knowledge applications in artificial intelligence and technology, the increased penetration of robotics in process-controlled operations, and autonomous mining, emphasizing that global efforts to decarbonize economies called for the urgency for alternative energy sources such as renewable energy.

He challenged academia to develop technologies to increase the discovery of new mineral deposits, especially critical minerals including lithium, copper and cobalt.

Mr Antwi updated the participants on the current state of the local and global mining industry, saying mining played a crucial role in Ghana’s economic development contributing to GDP, export ea
rnings and government revenue.

Mr Samuel Boakye Pobee, the Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, said: ‘In this era our softwares are becoming more collaborative.’

‘We need to develop that collaborative attitude in school… l think we need to build that in our students by giving group assignments, let’s stop giving individual assignments.’

Mr Stephen Yamoah Asante, the General Manager of Chirano Mine, explained that: ‘As students you have enormous opportunities to equip yourselves to be successful, so instead of bordering yourselves with questions on what is out there, let’s take advantage now.’

‘Although there are thousands of graduates out there, and vacancies are limited, we still advertise as employers with three years’ experience but end up employing people who have just completed university. The reason is that we identify people who can add value to the work we are doing.’

Miss Ekuba Bezeba Yalley, a lecturer at the Mining Engineering Department, UMaT, stressed that although the min
ing industry was a male dominated area, women studying science and engineering should be encouraged as the country was growing.

‘At UMaT we are looking at bringing more ladies into the mining industry, so we have instituted this gender mainstreaming policy that is fighting to get as many as 40 per cent of our student population to be women.’

The President of the AusIMM Tarkwa Chapter, Mr Daniel Obeng Boadi, noted that the chapter had provided opportunities for professional development for the students through monthly webinars, mine visits, networking with industry professionals and AusIMM Scholarships.

He expressed appreciation to the founder and other stakeholders who had supported them in diverse ways.

Dr Kofi Peter Amponsah-Mensah, the Director of Pamicor Limited, Mine Manager at Golden Star Resources, Wassa Mine, Mr George Asongo and Miss Josephine Wesoama Valejega of the Minerals Commission were present at the conference.

Source: Ghana News Agency