University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), has once again emerged winners of the Gas Challenge organized under the theme: “Embracing the Future Together: The Indispensable of Gas in Facilitating Socio-Economic Growth and Development.” They win the competition for the third (3rd) consecutive time making it a hat-trick of wins in the history of the competition.
UMAT, also referred to in the quiz competition as ‘Team ‘Condensate’ won the Grand Finale of the competition with 49 points. They were keenly contested by the University of Ghana, (Team Propane) who had 45 points and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (Team ‘LNG’) who also amassed 38 points respectively.
The 2022 edition of the Gas Challenge had twelve (12) participating institutions grouped into four (4) zones. Unlike previous editions where participating institutions were grouped to contest based on their geographical proximity, this years’ edition had participating institutions grouped virtually using an innovative ballot system.
UMAT were balloted into zone three (3) to contest against Kumasi Technical University (Team Methanol) and University of Energy and Natural Resources (Team LNG) in the preliminary stage of the competition at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi. They defeated both schools in a close contest to advance to the Semi-final phase of the competition. They subsequently defeated winners of zone two (2) All Nations University (Team Pentane) and winners of zone four (4) Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Team Lean Gas) in the semi-finals to advance to the grand finale of the competition.
University of Ghana and University of Energy and Natural Resources on the other hand secured their slots to the grand finale after having defeated other schools in their respective zonal and semi-final contests of the competition. UNER advanced to the finals by virtue of them being the highest scoring losing school after the preliminary and semi-final phases of this years’ edition while UG came in as a two time finalist and the highest scoring school with an unprecedented 124 points having accumulated from their zonal and semifinal phases of the competition respectively.
Special guest of honour, Second lady of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Samira Bawumia graced the occasion. Other prominent personalities that patronized the event included the CEO of Ghana National Gas Company, Dr. Ben K. D. Asante, some Board Members of the company, an hororable member of the European Parliament, Ms. Samira Rafaela, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe (Ministry of Public Enterprises), Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer (Deputy Ministry of Energy), ING. Henry Teinor (CEO, Ghana Energy Awards Committee), Dr Mary Anti Chama (HOD, UG among many others.
In the address of the Second lady of the Republic, H.E. Samira Bawumia, she commended GNGC’s efforts “at providing cost-competitive natural gas and gas based products for domestic markets including the development of petrochemical industries, fertilizers, and power generation, as well as export markets.”
She also indicated that “with the worldwide demand for cleaner forms of energy to combat the menacing issue of global warming, Ghana ought to set the pace by positioning herself strategically as a leader in the production of clean energy in the overarching context of a just and equitable energy transition [gas a transition fuel]. In furtherance, “she was therefore pleased with the initiative [The Gas Challenge] by the Ghana National Gas Company which seeks to bridge the gap between academia and industry as well as empower and inform critical stakeholder groups about the management and operation of the gas industry.
She intimated that, as a major challenge that affects health, limits opportunities, and widens the inequality gap, energy access is arguably one of the major challenges the world faces today, touching all aspects of our lives. Therefore, the importance of access to clean energy [gas as compared to other sources of energy] will significantly change the narrative of “delivering on gender equity, improved health, poverty reduction, protection of the environment, and enhancement livelihoods.”
She concluded by highlighting the impacts the competition is having on students whom she described as “bright future leaders and change-makers with enormous prospects.” These impacts include “helping to prepare students for the future job market in an era which also requires them to learn new skills, honing the interpersonal skills of contestants through the encouragement of teamwork, and also promoting knowledge sharing while helping students learn about strategizing, trust and encourage taking risks.” These invaluable virtues and values make them ready for life ahead.
As a 1st runner-up, UG took home a cash prize of GH¢ 20,000.00, laptops for the contestants and coach, citation, and plaque for the institution. The 2nd runner-up, UNER also took home a cash prize of GH¢ 10,000.00, laptops for the participants, and a plaque and citation for the institution. Miss. Loretta Osei Bonsu of University of Ghana was named the best female contestant for the competition and was awarded a cash prize of GH¢2,000.00.
The Gas Challenge is a quiz competition designed to stimulate academics on the issues related to the gas industry, refine society on the domestic use of gas, the economic opportunities along the gas value chain, health and safety matters related to the use of gas among others. The competition also seeks to bridge the gap between the industry and academics.