Prepared by Prof. Daniel Kwadwo Asiedu (GhIG President 2019- 21).
Mr. Chairman, GhIG Council members, Newly Elected Officers of the GhIG, General Membership of GhIG, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure, to be standing in front of you on this day, 16th of December 2021, exiting my position as the President of GhIG for the past two years. Thank you for the privilege and opportunity you gave me to serve the Institution as President from 2019 till today. In the same breath, I congratulate Dr Anthony Duah who is succeeding me as President of the Institution and wish him well in his new role. I also wish him and all other elected officers of the Institution well in all their future endeavours.
I would like to thank the Council members of GhIG for their selfless dedication to the affairs of the Institution. They served at a high level of commitment. They sacrificed their time and resources to work for the good of the institution at no financial cost to the Institution. Many times, they had to go through heavy traffic to attend Council meetings at the GhIG Secretariat located at the Geological Survey Department Head office. I will also want to thank the general membership of the Institution, particularly those who served on various committees of Council and those who participated in other activities of the Institution, including seminars and workshops.
Mr. Isaac Adjovu and the staff at the GhIG Secretariat, keep up the good work. Your work demands a high level of integrity and competence and you are so far doing a great job. Keep it up!
As Council for the year 2019 to 2021, I would like to touch on some of our achievements, challenges, and some advice in the form of recommendations to our incoming Council.
Mr Chairman, over the past two year amongst the achievements, are;
- In August 2019, we successfully organized the Annual GhIG Conference (GHICON) at the University of Mines and Technology. The theme of the conference was: geoscience, environmental stewardship and society
- In September 2019, we completed the review of the GhIG constitution and byelaws. Hardcopies were printed for members.
- In October 2019, we successfully celebrated the International Earth Science Week. The theme for Earth Science Week was Geoscience Is for Everyone.
- In October 2019, we created regional branches of the institution and elected Chairpersons for each of these regional branches
- In December 2019. The Council established three (3) publication outlets: Journal of the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists, Bulletin of the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists, and Ghana Institution of Geoscientists Newsletter
- In January 2020 editor-in-chief and publication managers were appointed for each of the 3 publication outlets. These officers are expected to form the Editorial Board, associate editors and establish the journal/bulletin/newsletter
- In March 2020, A committee was formed to develop a document for the regulation of geoscience professional practice.
- In July 2020 a series of webinars were organized to educate members and the general public on earthquakes and seismology.
- November 2020. A virtual conference young geoscientists was organized. The theme of the conference was: Building the competencies of young geoscientists for academia and industry.
- March 2021. Submitted documents to the Registrar General for the legislation of the Institution as a Professional Body
- March 2021. A proposal has been sent to the Department of Earth Science, University of Ghana for partnership to run short professional development courses for our members and the Geoscience community.
Mr. Chairman, the Council faced challenges in three main areas:
- Covid-19 pandemic: Activities came to a halt by the end of the first quarter of the year due to the covid-19 pandemic. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns and ban on meetings and gatherings, GHIGCON-2020 and GHIGCON-2021 could not come on. The covid also affected some of our Action plan for 2021 and 2021 which included awards nights, end-of-year get-together, engagement with industry, and frequency in the organisation of workshops, public lectures and symposia.
- Finances: Even though our membership increased has increased significantly for the past two years this has not led to corresponding increase in the payment of dues. Also, inflation and the general the cost of living in the country increases every year. However, the levels of our dues payment has remained constant for more than the last 5 years. Finally, most of the funds we use to run the institution and pay for the salaries of the staff at the secretariat have been derived from sponsorship we obtain for our annual conferences. Since we have been unable to organise CHIGCON for 2021 and 2022, this has significantly affected our finances
- Delivery of targets for the period (2019-21): The work of the institution is sacrificial and members who are assigned work are not enumerated in anyway, therefore the they have to use their time and resources for free. This has affected the timeous delivery of targets. Of course, the covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to this situation.
Mr. Chairman, I end my speech by making the following 10 recommendations to the incoming Council:
- Fuel public awareness and enthusiasm for Geoscience, through public lectures and other engagement initiatives, and provide information on the Geoscience relevant to people’s lives.
- Institute training programmes for Geoscience graduates and equipping them with the skills needed for the job market.
- Institute a mentorship programme for early career Geoscience professional GhIG members.
- Institutionalize the celebration of the International Earth Science Week, to educate the general public on the importance of geoscience to their everyday living
- Increase the financial base of the Institution through the establishment of GhIG Foundation
- Oversee the establishment of the Chartered Professional Geoscientists scheme for professional practitioners in the field of Geoscience, and promote their value across all Geoscience sectors.
- Regulate the professional works of Geoscience practitioners in the country through the establishment of a Geoscience Council.
- Establish a functional and effective sub-discipline branches such as Hydrogeology, Petroleum Geoscience, Environmental Geoscience, Mineral Geoscience, and Engineering Geoscience.
- Partner with industry to engage in activities for our mutual benefit.
- Develop a 5-year strategic plan for the Institution.
I like to congratulate all the elected officers who have availed themselves to serve in the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists for the term 2021- 2023. I pledge my support to you and wish you all the best.
To the incoming President Dr Anthony Duah, it is not going to be easy to lead GhIG as it has grown bigger and complex for the past four years. But with the support of the incoming executives, the Council, GhIG Secretariat, the general membership, and last but not least, your family, you should be able to sail through and effectively deliver on your mandate. Above all, ensure that you thoroughly enjoy your term as President of GhIG.
I thank you all, for your attention. May the Good Lord bless us all!