Students of Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering are to benefit from a $1.5 million support from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Fifty per cent of the Engineering and Technology component of the scholarship package will go exclusively to females under the Women in Engineering initiative.
GNPC Chief Executive, Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong, believes the facility will help to build expertise for research institutions and for the petroleum industry.
“The scholarships will be mainly for the study of basic Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.
“The basic sciences are important in themselves because they will provide the personnel for our secondary schools and research institutions but, more importantly, they form the basis of the applied sciences which GNPC will support as well,” he said.
Dr. Sarpong was speaking at the 2nd International Conference on Engineering, Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region capital.
Besides the basic sciences, he says GNPC has added Geosciences on which the Corporation depends.
Dr. Sarpong hinted of plans to establish Professorial Chairs in four public universities, pending approval by GNPC’s board.
The Geosciences Chair will go to the University of Ghana, with Mining Engineering Chair established at the University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The Professorial Chair for Petroleum Engineering will go to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), while the Oil and Gas Management Chair will be established at University of Cape Coast.
Dr. Sarpong said financial support for the institutions is critical to promoting research and innovation.
Meanwhile, the government has re-affirmed its commitment to allocate one per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product for research.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, said at the conference that leadership, resources, and talent are key factors for national development.
“We are challenged with natural phenomena like global warming, coastal erosion, destructive rainfall patterns; we are seeing prolonged and intense dry seasons, at the same time, we are compounding it with illegal mining; we are killing ourselves,” he warned.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng also charged Ghanaians to protect the environment by supporting the fighting against illegal mining.