The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that a number of key national institutions are currently working together to deal with the menace of illegal mining (galamsey). “The whole country will soon see a massive change in this direction,” he assured the nation.
Dr Bawumia made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, at the opening of the 2017 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) in Sunyani last Tuesday.
The week-long meeting, which is being held on the theme: “Ghana’s natural resources and sustainable development – The role of the engineer”, is being attended by a cross-section of engineers in the country and delegates from some sister African countries.
Dr Bawumia acknowledged the difficult task of tackling illegal mining and stated that “we will need the requisite expertise to restore degraded lands, polluted water bodies and depleted forests”.
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It was in that regard that he said the government would be working with the GhIE and other professional bodies to resolve the galamsey issue.
Touching on the theme of the conference, the Vice-President said the government was putting in place the necessary measures to ensure that the nation kept its natural resources for the good of the present and the future generations.
He said at 60 years, Ghana had no excuse to depend on others to pursue its development agenda, for which reason he said the government had made some proposals which had been articulated in the NPP’s 2016 election manifesto.
“These policies, including the one district, one factory and the one village one dam, are expected to put the country on a strong developmental path and also generate work for our people across the country,” he told the gathering.
Dr Bawumia explained that for those policies to be successful, it would require a lot of technical expertise and competencies which could be provided by the GhIE.
“Some may say our vision is too broad. We have no option but to have a broad vision, which will bring about the rapid development of this country after all these years of nationhood,” he said.
Engineering Advisory Group
For his part, the outgoing President of the GhIE, Dr Kwame Boakye, said the institution would soon set up a national engineering advisory group which would be composed of some experienced engineers to advise and express its views on the country’s engineering challenges.
“Ghana cannot develop without the input of engineers. We have a special responsibility and we will work hard to be up to the task,” he said..
He challenged engineers not to shy away from politics, since they could use that avenue to influence policies.
Dr Boakye called on engineers to use their skills and knowledge to help address the country’s problems associated with engineering.
According to him, most development problems were essentially engineering problems and that no nation ever developed without indigenous engineers.
“Engineering has been the backbone for the development of every nation and this places a special responsibility on engineers to be innovative and hardworking for the development of the country,” he said.
As part of activities for the programme, 109 newly qualified engineers were inducted last Monday, while Mrs Carlien Bou-Chedid, a consulting structural engineer, is expected to be officially inaugurated as the 48th President of the GhIE.