A Professor of Civil Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Rev. Charles Anum Adams, has been inducted into office as the 51st President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE).
He takes over the mantle of leadership from Mr Alexander Leslie Ayeh.
The Investiture of Ing. Prof. Adams took place at the banquet held at the Golden Tulip, Kumasi, to climax the 4-day long Engineering Conference and the 51st Annual General Meeting held from 23rd – 26th March, 2021.
Under the theme: “Engineering, key to Sustainable Development Goals”, the conference and AGM were held virtually with few leaderships of Engineers assembling at the auditorium of the Institute of Distance Learning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.
In his welcome address, the Immediate Past President, Ing. Alexander Leslie Ayeh said the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic has trimmed the normal activities of the Engineering Conference, but it has also enabled them to think outside the box.
“The absence of in person activities has taken out the excitement of gathering but it is my prayer and hope that normalcy should be restored soon”, Ing. Ayeh added.
However, Ing. Ayeh continued that, in terms of membership, the institution saw many more Engineers, both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaian acknowledging the need to the compliant with the Engineering Council law.
He hinted that the strategic plan which was drawn by the leadership of council had in its projections, a target to have membership of Registered Engineers on the roll to reach 8,000 by the year 2023. This figure had been achieved by January, 2021 and with the current growth pattern should exceed this target significantly.
In his inaugural address, the new President of GhIE, Ing. Prof. Rev. Charles Anum Adams expressed his sincere thanks and to the outgoing President, Ing. Leslie Ayeh for his service to the institution during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted activities globally with lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, mask wearing, social distancing and more recently COVID vaccination. In spite of all this, the Immediate Past President, Ing. Leslie Ayeh steered the ‘ship’ to the harbour after a successful journey.
Creativity for development
Prof. Adams charged engineering practitioners to use their creativity, services, talent and solutions for the development of the country.
“We embrace ‘Ghana beyond Aid’. Engineers are planners, evaluators, designers, builders in operations and infrastructure systems and facilities. Engineers are system thinkers and problem solvers. Engineering is all about creating systems and technologies to provide solutions. Engineering is about making imaginations real,” Prof. Adams explained.
“To this end, the Council of the GhIE intends to embark on multiple activities and initiatives in the coming years, some of which include to build a motivated engineer through our technical division and branches, as well as strengthening the national secretariat to support council activities, including engineering practice to make it more exciting to join,” he said.
The GhIE President further said the council would set up mentorship programmes for engineering practitioners to improve their skills and build confidence and their marketability.
To all stakeholders, he said: “We are aware of how Ghanaians are becoming impatient to see our country’s development to enjoy a better quality of life and, therefore, expect more from its engineers. We will ensure professionalism, responsible and ethical practice.
“However, we will also demand that society values both our advice and rewards for practice. There is profit in reliable and diligent labour.”
He said he was humbled by the unique mandate and extraordinary show of confidence that the engineers in the country had conferred on him and gave an assurance that he was determined to do all in his power to accomplish the tasks ahead.
Rev. Prof. Adams explained that the institution had come of age with significant strides made.
He, however, added that there was more room for capacity development, especially considering that the country desired to move to a new development level that would make it self-sufficient.
Reducing shoddy work
Earlier, while calling the conference to order, the Executive Director of the GhIE, Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, encouraged members of the GhIE, and for that matter engineers, to take advantage of the Continuous Professional Development programmes undertaken by GhIE to sharpen their professional career and learn new ways to deliver engineering solutions to reduce the incidence of shoddy works in the country.
In his welcome address, Mr Ayeh said the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic trimmed the normal activities of the Engineering Conference, but it also enabled them to think outside the box.
In a message read on behalf of the Guest of honour for the ceremony, Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, by one of his chiefs, Hiahene Oheneba Prof. Boachie-Adjei, the Ashanti King advised Engineers to be more result oriented instead of activity oriented.
In attendance were the President of FAEO, Ing. Carlien Bou,-Chedid, Council members, Past Presidents of GhIE, and Engineers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and other parts of Africa and the world joined the conference online through zoom.
Prof. Adams is the Founding Centre Director of the Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK), a World Bank Centre of Excellence in Transport and Mobility for West Africa and also leads the UKAID/ReCAP-supported Centre for Sub-Saharan Transport Leadership (CSSTL). Both centres are hosted at the KNUST.
He has worked as a consultant on several projects in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Liberia funded by the World Bank Group, European Union, the GTZ and JICA.