CBAS Holds Its 13th Public Lecture

The College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) held its 13th lecture in the CBAS Public Lecture Series on Thursday, 8th September, 2022 at the Cedi Conference Centre. The Speaker was Ing. Kwabena Bempong, Vice President (Business Development) at Associated Consultants Limited. His lecture was on the topic “The Contribution of Ghanaian Engineers to Development – A Case Study of Pokuase Interchange Construction”.

Ing. Kwabena Bempong

The event was chaired by Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, Provost, College of Basic and Applied Sciences. In his opening address, the Provost stated that the essence of the CBAS Public Lecture series among others are to provide an avenue for identifying solutions to industry-related problems and also enhance the visibility of the College. He added that topics for the lecture are carefully selected to fit into the activities of the College.

Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, Provost, CBAS

Introducing the topic, the Lecturer, an astute Engineer with extensive experience, noted that there is a disparity between what undergraduate engineering students study and what professional engineers and industry practitioners expect them to be capable of doing. According to Ing. Bempong, even though serious attempts are being made to shift from the conventional pedantic curriculum of undergraduate engineering education toward a wider foundational experience for lifelong success, the programme in Ghana has quite a long way to go. He advocated a change in the engineering curriculum and asked engineering practitioners to continue learning new things after their formal education.

He mentioned that the history of Engineering training and practice in Ghana dates back to the colonial era when Trade Schools were established to train craftsmen to help build the infrastructure at that time. He, therefore, called for an engagement with Government and universities to advance the course of promoting the practical aspect of Engineering training to nurture innovators.

Ing. Bempong pointed out that the School of Engineering Sciences at the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, though young, is making good strides. The centres of Engineering in Ghana including public universities, technical universities, polytechnics, private universities, technical colleges, and other training centres have together trained Engineers in various disciplines who continue to make significant contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

He highlighted a report published by Dartey Media in 2019 on an address by Firmin Edouard Matoko, the current Assistant Director-General of the Africa Department of UNESCO. The report argued the need for STEM in bridging the development gap between Africa and the rest of the world. Ing. Bempong took his audience through the life cycle of the Pokuase Interchange Project. He touched on the role of the traditional leaders of the area, the conscious efforts made by the Engineers to incorporate aspects of Ghanaian culture in the aesthetics, challenges encountered and how the team drew on previous experiences to address those challenges.

Cross-section of the audience

In concluding his lecture, Ing. Bempong reiterated that the training received from CBAS and other institutions in the country has nurtured Ghanaians to be able to undertake engineering feats such as the design, construction, and supervision of the Pokuase Interchange Project. He particularly encouraged Ghanaians to have confidence in their human resource rather than consider other alternatives.

In his closing remarks, the Provost congratulated Ing. Bempong for delivering an insightful presentation. He indicated that as part of efforts to bridge the gap between industry and academia, the University of Ghana has established the Institute of Applied Science and Technology to link up with industries. He further entreated the Lecturer and management of Associated Consultants Ltd. to consider the provision of tools for research work at CBAS as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

The audience enthusiastically contributed by applauding the lecturer for an engaging talk and asking several questions.

On behalf of CBAS, the Provost presented Ing. Kwabena Bempong with a citation of honour in recognition of his contribution to the engineering profession and society as a whole.

Presentation of Citation of Honour to Ing. Bempong

Present at the lecture were  Deans and Directors of CBAS, Heads of Department, the Ag. College Secretary of CBAS, members of the faculty, staff, guests and other members of the University community.

Presentation of Citation of Honour to Ing. Bempong

Present at the lecture were  Deans and Directors of CBAS, Heads of Department, the Ag. College Secretary of CBAS, members of the faculty, staff, guests and other members of the University community.