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Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

When Professor F O Kwami was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, in 1982, the College of Engineering misplaced the companies of an exceptionally gifted engineering educator. A German-trained engineer and a pure trainer, Frank Kwami was a pure selection for speedy promotion to full professor after which to the vice-chancellorship. If the hearsay mongers muttered a few political appointment of a fellow tribesman by the just lately self-appointed Head of State, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, they’d have been onerous pressed to call a greater certified candidate. Even so, his efficiency on the head of the college was much less memorable than that of his three distinguished predecessors and steered a gently modified type of Professor Parkinson’s well-known legislation that ready folks are typically promoted to a stage of lesser competence.

KNUST was finest recognized internationally for its Know-how Consultancy Centre (TCC): an independently-funded organisation that operated a wide-ranging programme of grassroots industrial improvement tasks. Vice-Chancellor Dr E Evans-Anfom had based the TCC in 1972 and his successor, Dr E Bamfo-Kwakye had been instrumental in gaining funding help for the TCC’s Intermediate Know-how Switch Items (ITTU) at Suame Journal in Kumasi and Tamale within the Northern Area.

Frank Kwami had utilized unsuccessfully for the submit of first TCC director in 1972, and on turning into vice-chancellor a decade later considered one of his first strikes was aimed toward gaining management of the TCC and its international funding help. This led to 4 years of battle that drew within the Authorities of Ghana and worldwide donors and resulted within the TCC retaining its unbiased standing. It was unlucky that this private problem positioned a blot on Frank Kwami’s time period as vice-chancellor.

Frank Kwami presided over the affairs of KNUST throughout a interval of remarkable political and financial turbulence that was mirrored in life throughout the college. Presently there have been frequent energy cuts and three days every week working, the KNUST Catholic Pastor was shot and wounded at a street barrier and professors have been referred to as on early morning radio bulletins to report back to the pinnacle of state in Accra. When Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings first seized energy in 1979 he was widespread with the college college students however throughout his second coming in 1982/3 he misplaced reputation by closing the schools and sending the scholars house to assist feed the nation by engaged on the farms. Meals was scarce and lecturers joined lengthy queues for the chance to buy a couple of merchandise of ‘important commodities.’

Frank Kwami’s time period as Vice-Chancellor could not have been distinguished by any vital growth of the college’s vary of capabilities however at the moment to protect the establishment was a worthy achievement. On retiring from his excessive submit he returned to the College of Engineering as an emeritus professor within the Division of Mechanical Engineering. Right here, he not solely revived his common instructing actions however took half in an modern programme that stored his reminiscence alive in circles distant from the college.

Beginning in 1994, Intermediate Know-how Ghana (ITGhana) started a survey of about 100 small engineering enterprises, largely in Kumasi, Accra and Tema but additionally in Tamale, Takoradi and Sunyani. The purpose was to establish technical weaknesses that could be strengthened by quick coaching programs held at KNUST throughout the college holidays. Frank Kwami turned the Director of a sequence of two week residential programs for proprietors and technicians drawn from engineering companies included within the survey. The programs coated matters reminiscent of decoding and dealing from engineering drawings, computer-aided drawing and foundry-based manufacturing.

The grassroots engineers warmly welcomed the chance to check on the college and obtain instruction from eminent professors. Frank Kwami earned the lasting respect of those women and men who significantly appreciated his talent in presenting advanced points in clear and easy phrases that they might perceive. What impressed them most of all was Frank Kwami’s willingness to convey his information right down to their stage and likewise his concern for making use of this information within the work of their enterprises. On this manner Frank Kwami shared along with his illustrious predecessors a worthy document of helping within the grassroots industrial improvement of Ghana.

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