Ghana Gets First Railway University in Africa

Hon. Joe Ghartey

As part of the several programmes for development that the Ghanaian government is pursuing, it has set in motion the building of the first Railway University in Africa, the first of its kind in Africa, which is to be built in Essikado, in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis of the Western Region of Ghana. 

The project has been undertaken jointly by the University of Ghana and a leading Russian Railway University, with the expertise of the Russian Railway Company; Geo Services. The requisite Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the two institutions in 2018.

The idea of the University is that of Ghana's dynamic Minister of Railway Development, Hon. Joe Ghartey, who hosted the ceremony for the signing of the Agreement for the commencement of advanced technical training in various disciplines in the railway sector at the University.  

It would be recalled that Ghana had a Railway Training School, which was also 100% government owned, but was effectively closed down because of lack of backing and proper investment in education and vocational training by successive Ghanaian governments. 

The vision of the present Ghanaian government is to fully revive the Railway Training School, as part of the government's efforts to revamp the railway sector into a world class technical training Institute and workshops, for industry, academia and entrepreneurs. 

The vision of the current government is to establish 20 factories all over the country to employ over 40,000 Ghanaians to create employment for the teeming unemployed youths under the government's flagship "One District, One Factory" programme, using Ghanaians to manufacture everything in Ghana; from executive wagons to bolts and knots.

Minister Joe Ghartey has also been finding new and different innovative ways of financing Railways development in Ghana, where the trains are not going to be like the locomotives and wagons found in some West African countries, but will be modern, state of the art designs and concepts like they already have in Senegal.

Indeed, new and different types of financing should be the way forward to develop new projects such as Refineries, Roads, Ports and other infrastructure projects in developing economies. 

In relation to the rehabilitation and construction of railway lines by the Chinese in Ghana, CRCC’s local content partners, Lakeland Group intend to suggest that a section of the newly proposed railway lines be high speed type, similar to that in Europe, to make Ghana Railways the best in Africa.

It is important to note that the building of the Railway University in Ghana has gone beyond the civil construction or rehabilitation works at the University, as the pioneer students' academic year started in 2018/2019 on programmes such as BSc and MSc Degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental and Safety Engineering, Geomatic Engineering, Strategic Human Resource Management, Project Management, Engineering Management, Business and Technology Management,  Entrepreneurship and SME Finance etc. 

The dynamic policies and actions undertaken in the railway sector and the need to continue this laudable vision for Ghana in particular and Africa in general is one of the reasons that the Minister of Railway Development is currently being publicly mentioned in Opinion Polls as one of the four top persons likely to be the flagbearer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), after President Nana Akufo-Addo finishes his second term.

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