Good morning, fellow geoscientists of our noble Institution. Today marks the beginning of a new era with the inauguration of a new team to administer the affairs of the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists for the next two years. Let me take this opportunity firstly, to thank the Almighty God who has given us life to see this day, secondly, to thank the immediate past leadership of our Institution for the work they did to bring us where we are today, and thirdly, to thank every one of you who have taken time off your busy schedule to witness this inauguration in person and via zoom.
Even though most of the new leadership was part of the old era, we begin a new era with a new direction and renewed strength and enthusiasm to move our noble Institution to greater heights. Colleagues, we have the most diverse of professionals in one Institution with a common motto, “To the Earth for its Wealth and Preservation.” Whether we seek for its minerals, oil, gas, water, or rock aggregates, we are united and resolved to extract these natural resources in the most environmentally friendly ways to develop our nation. This is why we as an Institution have to make the loudest noise against the destruction of our environment by exploitation of our precious minerals by illegal and sometimes legal miners.
The Ghana Institution of Geoscientists (GhIG) has evolved over the years but in spite of the successes chalked in the past, the Institution still lacks the recognition that it merits in the country. Most of the state institutions that depend on the services of geoscientists do not give the GhIG its due recognition whiles the bulk of the geoscientists themselves do not see the need to be part of the foremost geoscience Institution in the country. In order to change this narrative; there is the need to have the legal backing for the Institution to regulate the practice of geoscience and geoscientists in the country. The process began with the last two administrations and it is the desire of this new administration to vigorously pursue and complete this process in the shortest possible time.
Currently, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) Act 2016 (Act 928) contains the laws that constitute the principal and subordinate legislation regulating the mining of both industrial and precious minerals in Ghana among others. Whiles the GhIG seeks its own legislation as a Professional Body to regulate the practice of geoscience and geoscientists in Ghana; GhIG is in talks with GGSA to develop common platform to work together on how to operationalize the Act 928 to create more jobs especially for the new graduates and to protect geoscientists, their respective practices and welfare as well as their professional development.
To enhance the visibility of our Institution, the new leadership will improve our periodic seminars and workshops in addition to our annual conferences to constantly engage members to discuss new and emerging trends in the various geoscience industries. These meetings are to be held by both physical and zoom attendance in order to encourage participation by members outside Accra. We are also going to constantly engage our Regional Representatives to create new and innovative ways to keep members active in the regions.
We will improve and sustain our outreach to geoscience students at Public Universities to encourage the formation of Student Chapters. We will take initiatives to assist these students firstly, with their academic programs and secondly, with mentorship and training programs that will provide them with competence and confidence in their chosen geoscience careers. We will by this means recruit more student members and professional members once they are out of school.
In order to achieve the desired success with a student membership; we will initiate the discussion on student membership subscription, its growth and sustainability.
Professional development and continuous improvement is key to any credible Institution and as geoscientists, we will constantly engage our members in development opportunities through seminars, symposia, workshops, conferences, quick field visits on topical issues and cases, other field activities where we will bring our experienced professionals to interact with young geoscientists to equip them with the needed skills for the promotion of the geoscience profession and the development of Ghana.
In order to achieve the above set objectives; there is the need for all of us to work together. We have the numbers to push our agenda and the need to foster all-inclusive membership cooperation cannot be over emphasized. As leaders, we don’t claim to have all the answers and initiatives so we invite all members both active and inactive with innovative ideas to engage leadership to find solutions to our challenges instead of sitting on the fence only to find faults for criticism. We are calling for all-inclusiveness, to unite and fight a common course for we win together with our noble Institution. I will take this opportunity to encourage our corporate and individual members to honour their annual dues regularly and timeously.
Finally, I will want to pay tribute to our forbearers who set out this journey many years ago and sacrificed their time and resources to sustain this noble Institution and all who have carried the banner over the years until now. Some of these gallant men and women are still alive today while others have been called to glory. (we take a moment of silence in their remembrance). We salute you all for your sacrifices over the years. May the good Lord guide and strengthen us and give us wisdom along this noble journey we begin today.
Long live the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists! Long live Ghana!
Thank you and God bless us all!!!
ANTHONY A. DUAH(PhD)
16th December 2021