Shama (WR) May 4, GNA - The Acting President of the Shama Traditional Area, Nana Kwamena Wieno II, Chief of Yabiw, has lauded the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) for consistently supporting the education, skills training and health needs of people in its host communities.
This follows the presentation of scholarship awards to 142 students from five communities in the Shama District of the Western and Greater Accra Regions.
The beneficiaries have been given full scholarship to pursue their education at the tertiary level.
A total of 104 of the beneficiaries are from the Aboadze area (Aboadze, Abuesi, Dwomo, Lower Inchaban and Shama communities) while the rest are from Tema Manhean and Kpone.
Nana Wieno II said the scholarship package from WAPCo, was a relief to parents who had difficulties funding the education of their wards especially at the tertiary level.
The students are currently pursuing medicine, pharmacy, engineering, law, social sciences, actuarial science and mathematics, while a few others have already completed their first-degree programmes.
Dr Isaac Adjei Doku, General Manager Corporate Affairs of the WAPCo, said for the past nine years, the company had invested more than ¢4million on the scholarship programme.“We believe that in the not too distant future, our host communities will have a number of professionals who would contribute to the development of their communities.”
Dr Doku said their investment in the communities was informed by the fact that “through such initiatives it could contribute to the development of the communities in which we operate.
He said they had also introduced the Community Youth Enterprise scheme (CYES), which is a skills acquisition programme and upon completion WAPCo gives start-up tools to beneficiaries to set up their own businesses and objective of the scholarship was to support brilliant, but needy students to obtain secondary and technical education, university education and development of entrepreneurs.
He said each year, WAPCo supported 10 young people from each of their seven host communities in Ghana to pursue their education, five under the Scholarship Scheme and the other five for the Community Youth Enterprise Scheme.
The CYES provided the youth who had completed basic education, but could not pursue their studies due to financial constraints, the opportunity to learn a trades of their choice in vocational and technical institutions in Ghana.
From the onset of the WAPCo Project, they invested in the development of its stakeholder communities, particularly in programmes that had cumulative impact on the generality of the communities in which it works.
He said at the early stage and during the construction phase of the pipeline system, its investments in education were to assist local governments to provide the necessary school infrastructure in communities that lacked them. “As a result, we constructed a number of school projects in the district; key among them were; the Abuesi Methodist Primary School, Shama Model School Junior High School and Kindergarten school blocks, and renovated the Dwomo Methodist Junior High School,” he said.
According to him, many of the children were ‘forced’ to end their education after the Junior Secondary School level. “We also realised that most of the youth were not equipped with relevant skills for gainful and meaningful jobs.”
Dr Doku said after the introduction of the free senior high school policy, the company reviewed the programme to support brilliant, but needy students to pursue tertiary education in Ghana and so far, WAPCo had supported 447 students made up of 339 students in the mainstream scholarship scheme and 108 students under the skills acquisition programme.
Mrs Afia Amoakoah-Quansah, the Shama District Director of Education,commended WAPCo for investing in communities in which they operated.
“This is a succession plan that the company is building; thank you for the foresight, this investment will not go waste and urge beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity and learn harder”, she said.