The KNUST-Africa Institute of sanitation and waste management has been inaugurated in Accra to provide knowledge to individuals, companies and national or local governments through training and research on the many benefits of waste management, such as turning waste products into income.
186 students were also matriculated as the foundation students of KNUST- Africa Institute of Sanitation and Waste management.
The institute which is a partnership between the Zoomlion Group of Companies and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology intends to close the development gap in the waste management industry through research, development and training.It also seeks to equip Ghana’s present and future generation with the required skills to make Ghana and West Africa a cleaner, greener and healthier environment through excellence in waste management.
It will provide training in independent research and development, public private consultancy services as well as tertiary education in the sanitation and waste management area.It will also work through public-private alliances to disseminate research and experiential-based knowledge with agriculturists, industrialists and policy makers to inform them on best practices involving waste management.
The vice chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. William Otoo Ellis who chaired the inauguration of the institute noted that the KNUST-AISWAM is the product of industry academia collaboration adding that “seeks to fill a major void in the area of education and management of sanitation and waste in our national psyche and body politic”.
The executive chairman of the Zoomlion group of companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong indicated that “we have reached a point where there is a strong need for innovation, technology and new approaches to managing waste and sanitation and that is the value that the institute is seeking
He added that the institute will be the number one centre of research and a repository of knowledge for waste management across the African continent.
The chairperson of the council of state,Madam Cecilia Johnson,who represented president John Dramani Mahama noted that the opening of the KNUST-AISWAM has come at a time the country is seeking various ways to deal with the waste management situation in the country.
She recommended to the institute to build behavior change and public education modules into its programmes to enable technical people to improve the sanitation situation in the country, stressing that “people are our core constituents and our knowledge should benefit the citizenry”.
She commended Zoomlion and its stakeholders for once again identifying a national need to be address the critical knowledge and capacity need of the waste management sector of Ghana’s economy.
The colourful event was graced by the vice-president of ECOWAS, ministers of state, members of parliament, district chief executives, industry, as well as, academia and various traditional heads.