AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine has cut sod for the construction of an GH¢8.4 million (construction and furnishing) state-of-the-art robotics centre at the Obuasi Senior High Technical School (OSECTEC).
When completed, the centre is expected to be the hub for innovation and technological growth, providing students not only at the school but the entire Obuasi township with resources and opportunities to broaden their knowledge in artificial intelligence, particularly robotics.
Digital skills are critical to learn as there is a growing demand for tech jobs throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
A 2019 study by the International Finance Corporation estimated that about 230 million jobs across the region will require digital skills by 2030, and more than nine million of those jobs will be in Ghana.
The project, which is expected to have three robotic laboratories, exhibition labs, general-purpose labs, stores, washrooms, and others, will be undertaken by DENCENT Company Limited, an Obuasi-based construction firm.
Addressing the media at the sidelines of the sod-cutting ceremony, the Senior Manager, Sustainability, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Emmanuel Baidoo, said the project demonstrates AGA’s dedication to fostering a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among students in their host communities.
It would be recalled that OSECTEC retained its crown as winner of the National Sci-Tech Challenge in 2022 after winning the same award in 2021.
Having built a reputation as the best in technology, innovation, science, and engineering over the past few years, Mr. Baidoo said having the robotics centre in the school will further consolidate the gains the school has made in the field of STEM education in the past few years.
The Senior Manager, Sustainability, further posited that it was the expectation of AngloGold Ashanti that the robotics centre will stimulate the interest of students in Obuasi, especially at the basic level, towards STEM Education.
“We believe that with the centre being here, a lot of hidden talents will be harnessed and Obuasi will become the centre of excellence in robotics,” he stated.
The Headmaster of OSECTEC, Ernest Wiafe, said the school has already positioned itself in such a way that when the centre is completed, it will generate much interest in the study of robotics and STEM-related courses, judging from the successes the school has chalked up in recent times.
He said that although the school has carved a niche for itself as a leader in STEM education in the country, it had to do so under very challenging circumstances. He said their makeshift laboratory had limited resources to facilitate the program.
He described the robotics center to be constructed by AngloGold Ashanti as one of a kind, which will come as a major boost for the school to enhance the teaching of robotics in the school.
On his part, the Municipal Director of Education, George Alfred Koomson, also added his voice to the importance of the center in Obuasi.
He said the project has come at a time when the Ministry of Education is committed to improving STEM education in Ghana.
He said schools in Obuasi, especially at the basic level, have been excelling in the field of robotics over the years, a feat he said will be boosted by the establishment of the center.
Nana Kojo Obeng, the Odikro of Koffekrom, lauded AngloGold Ashanti for the plethora of programs it is embarking on in its 10-year SEDP.
He said that if given the support, AngloGold Ashanti will contribute to transforming the economy and the lives of the people of Obuasi.