Parliament has passed the University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Bill.

This will give legal backing to the proposed conversion of the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education, Winneba, (UEW) after late industrialist, Akenten Appiah-Menka.

The suggestion to name the university after the late Appiah-Menka is because of his enormous contributions to industry in Ghana.

The university, when established, will award doctorate degrees in technical and vocational education training (TVET) with the potential of transforming TVET education in the country.

The University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Bill is currently before Parliament with the hope of converting the UEW’s Kumasi Campus into a fully-fledged University dedicated to the training of teachers and equipping them with the relevant competencies for teaching in technical and vocational education and training institutions.

The bill comprises 45 clauses; and seeks to prioritise training of teachers to provide them with the relevant knowledge and aptitudes to create the necessary condition for effective and efficient training of students.

Contributions at the second reading of the bill supported the naming of the proposed university.

According to the Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip Moses Anim Parliament, “The name of the university has to be named after Appiah-Menka. Mr. Speaker when we do that, I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong. Appiah-Menka was an all-rounded person.

“He was a trained lawyer. At the age of 32, he was the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry under Prof. Busia’s government, and astute politician at that level.”

Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak supported the move, saying, “This is a very laudable initiative. A former MP and a former industrialist. Even though he’s past and gone, my uncle, Appiah-Menka has been one of the early industrialists in our country. I remember the Apino soap very well. It was a common name.

“Unfortunately, today many of the industrialists are struggling and import most of their raw materials.”

The late Appiah-Menka, was one of the founders of the Dankwa-Dombo-Busia tradition, from which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was borne.

An astute entrepreneur and businessman, he founded the Apino Complex, manufacturers of the popular Apino soap.

He died on February 13, 2018 at age 84.

Mr Appiah Menka served as a Minister of State in the Second Republic under Prof K. A Busia.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in December 2019 announced that the Kumasi campus of the University of Education would become an autonomous institution under the name, University of Skills and Entrepreneurial Development.

At a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of a Technical Examination Unit at the College of Technology Education, the President noted that plans were advanced to make the school an autonomous institution.

The purpose of the University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Bill, 2020 is to establish an outstanding internationally acclaimed educational institution dedicated to training of teachers to equip them with the relevant competences for teaching in technical and vocational education and training institutions.