The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ho Technical University to deepen partnerships for industrial co-existence.
The MoU binds the nation’s main industrial association to the Technical University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and would, among other things, enhance the channels of industrial exposure for students.
Mr Dela Gadzanku, the Chairman of the AGI in the Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions, said at the event that the memorandum affirmed the recognition of the pivotal roles of industry and academia in economic transformation.
He said the collaboration had become important considering the criticality of local production enhancement towards addressing the nation’s current economic situation.
“That particular department is important in our drive to promote the Volta Regional agenda of tourism and hospitality….,” he said.
Mr Gadzanku expressed the hope that the MoU would deepen relationship with the University, beginning with the Tourism and Hospitality Department, and expanded to other departments to enhance industrial linkages.
He mentioned the possibility of partnering the University to set up a factory under the wings of the IDIF Policy, saying the region’s natural resources and talents made it ready for an industrial revolution.
“You must note that we are going through economic challenges, but the silver lining to it is that the Government has asked us to boost local production for us to be able to shore up our currency,” he said.
“The Volta Region has enormous potential – tourism, agribusiness, ICT. Let’s work with the University to make that happen.”
Mr Christopher Mensah, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University, said the agreement was an opportunity to work closely with the AGI to ensure that the fashion and agribusinesses departments, which had lots of potentials, would realise their vision.
Madam Judith Agboka, the Head of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department, said it was a historic industrial partnership never witnessed since the Department was stabilised in 1968 and was sure it would boost its visibility.
The MOU also marks the opening of the 2022 Functions for final year students of the Hotel Catering and Institutional Management course, providing a practical component for their training.
Fafa Amematekpor, an Entrepreneur and Board Member of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), who chaired the function, said the hospitality and tourism sector remained important to national growth and had become the node for major initiatives such as the “year of return.”
The entrepreneur said innovation would be required in enhancing the sector and charged players to think up creative ways of providing “wholesome” service.
“This will help put the nation in the limelight that would attract more tourists,” she said, calling for the consideration of the AGI, Ghana Exim Bank, the GEA and other stakeholders as key partners.
Dr Eddie Awetey, Chairman of the AGI, Tema, urged students to work hard and engage industry players as mentors adding that they should be honest and dedicated, which were keys to success.
Mama Blemeali Afeanyetornye III, Queen of Afife, who was the Special Guest of Honour, urged parents to support students in the hospitality course, while upholding its ethics.
Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Volta and Oti regions, said the Association trusted the AGI and expressed the hop that the partnership would write the success story.