From Samuel Mensah Torbizo, Kumasi
In its efforts to link the academia to industries, MTN Ghana Foundation, has set up a GH¢300,000 Telecom Innovation Fund at the College of Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The fund is to facilitate research, teaching and learning of Information technology.
The amount which would be disbursed in tranches of GH¢60,000 annually for five years, would also offer internship opportunity for students within MTN’s offices during vacation to get practical experience.
Other components of the agreement include, a three day career fair at the university yearly and project visit to facilities by the beneficiary students to adjust to the operation of the communication giant.
Speaking prior to signing the Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two entities, the Corporate Affairs Executive Officer of MTN, Ms. Cynthia Lumor said , MTN recognized the value of research in education, which is one of the key focused areas of the company, therefore, it was laudable to invest such amount into research and build capacity of the students.
“Without research it would be impossible to achieve the objectives of bridging up the existing gap between academia and industries,” she noted.
Mrs. Lumor, stressed that, “In advancing technology, funds are needed to research and build capacity to create a hub, leading to promotion of more research works in the telecommunication industry”.
She noted that, the increasing demand for graduates to contribute to the economy was very critical, hence academia and industries must coordinate efforts to make this a reality.
She assured that MTN, would do everything possible to collaborate with KNUST to ensure the successful implementation of the programme .
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor William Oto Elise, in his brief remarks, charged other corporate bodies to emulate what MTN has done, because depending on government alone to fund such programmes, would be a difficult task.
He said, the MOU between the two parties has set a greater platform to build stronger relationship among industries and academia