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The Twin-Cities In Sustainable Partnership Project, a sister city project between Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Palermo Municipality in Italy, funded by the European Union, has begun discussions with Takoradi Technical University, TTU, to promote the study of Arts and its commercialization. The partnership project which will be under the auspices of the Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology of TTU, was discussed when the implementing officials of the Twin-Cities Project from Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Palermo Municipality met with the Vice Chancellor of TTU, Professor John Frank Eshun as well as some management members.

The Communication Officer of the Twin-Cities In Sustainable Partnership Project, John Laste, explaining the project objectives during the meeting at TTU said the Arts is key to realizing the Twin-Cities project objectives.

“The Twin-Cities In sustainable Partnership project has three objectives of ensuring Multi-Urban Level Governance, Climate Change and Culture and Tourism Development…we are here basically looking at the culture aspect of the project, especially the area of the Creative Arts. How can we get the youth to be interested in this area? One of the leg of the project is to discourage migration. We all know the issues of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and Europe and the dangers they face. So we are looking at how we can develop interest of the youth in the Arts as an avenue for employment creation for youths to discourage their migration.
So visual arts is one area that we are very much interested in to promote tourism and culture”, he said.

John Laste-Communication Officer, Twin-Cities In Sustainable Partnership Project

He therefore indicated how it intends to team up with TTU to promote the Arts which is within its culture and tourism exchange component of the project focus area.

“we are here with our Palermo team to also engage the University especially the Departments of Art to see how we can have some collaboration between us and Takoradi Technical University and the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts
…STMA through such previous Sister City relationships with cities across Europe promoted exchange education projects so for schools, so with this Palermo Municipality relationship, we also want to establish that same type of relationship where at the end of the day, even after the project, there will be some established collaborations between institutions and other actors within the Metropolis and Municipality of Palermo“, he added.

The Vice Chancellor of Takoradi Technical University, Professor John Frank Eshun while welcoming the Twin-Cities project team from Palermo said the university has a goal to become a university of global relevance hence welcomes such collaborations that advances it objective.

Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun-Vice Chancellor, TTU

“the vision of the University is to be a World-class University, recognized for excellence, innovation and societal relevance and I believe what you have said fit in with what we intend to do. We have five faculties, thus Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Built and Natural Environment, Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Business. What you said fits in well with Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology and I believe your coming will help to build the relationship with the faculty so that, we can reach out to the world. The Faculty is the best faculty in the country if you take all Technical Universities, there is none anywhere that can match, so you are at the right place“, he said.

Representing the three-man Palermo Municipality delegation from Italy, Lawyer Francesco Campagna said the exchange visit is to strengthen the twining-relationship between the cities of Sekondi-Takoradi and Palermo through the project for a win-win benefits.

Lawyer Francesco Campagna-President, Ghana-Sicily Business

“I am very happy that the University is focusing on technology on one side and Art on the other. This is because the other key focus of our project is the added value that culture and artistic expression can have on building a common ground, a common platform for the shared knowledge. My tie is made from Kente from Ghana but this same thing is made in Italy. So that idea is the project we are promoting. The idea is that a new beauty can be produced if there is a contamination…Sicily has a historical background that is very rich with different cultures that arrive there and with a very rich heritage, if you talk about the architecture, food, language with environment that is very rich. Also Ghana has a lot to tell and until now I feel that in Europe, in Italy and in Sicily, there is no awareness of the richness from this part of the world that can be shared. The future is Africa, because those who didn’t look at Africa with interest now have all changed their minds and have admitted that the future is Africa. So we have to setup an approach for win-win solutions for dialogue between players to get rid of the old approach”, he said.

Lawyer Campagna who is the Honourable Consular of Ghana and Sicily as well as the President of the Ghana-Sicily Business Forum said the project is to promote the culture of dialogue and business between the two countries on the back of technology.

“The new generation of entrepreneurs is finding a good partnership based on a frank dialogue, constructive step by step but in terms of players. Technology, the new generation of business men, of course, are the ones that can be asked to focus on this approach and I think that we can collaborate in a sort of a business clinic that can help the project, a business workshop between the two countries. I have the interest of the professor that is in Palermo University that is in charge of international relations, we talked about special focus, a special team on Africa. The idea is to connect the two countries and I hope they were preparing an introduction letters. The idea is to create a shared environment for students for researchers to support this new approach towards Africa with the technology and tools that can be the real boost to promote the exchange between companies.So I think that, the role of the Universities in developing skills, capabilities and the knowledge toward the future, of course partaking in something from the past, the beauty of the past, but in a new way to help the new world to tell the future can be very helpful and strategic for this project to help us to create this shared platform in every step. So it’s just a method to build this architecture of co-operation that includes also the role of the University. I hope I will be able to connect you with your colleagues at the University of Palermo”, he noted.

Prof. Victor Kweku Bonzie-Pro Vice Chancellor, TTU

Pro Vice Chancellor of TTU, Prof. Victor Kweku Bonzie Micah on his part said the proposed collaboration between the TTU and the Palermo University holds high potential for students works.

“We welcome the idea as it will bring more ideas to the culture exchange area and we will be able to understand your art forms and translate it to ours and reflect yours. Especially, the synergy that we could have in sharing language, visual language through artefacts and all that, I think we can do it best and better when we get more into the project to understand the areas that the project want to look at. Our students are trained to sell, to market their products, alongside having conceptual idea dissemination. So we could come together to see how best it can influence the works that our students do and also influence the works that we do as lecturers over here”, he said.

Vice Dean of TTU’s Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology, Dr. Owusu Ansah Ankrah said the faculty is very much ready to work with the Twin-Cities Project on the collaboration.

Dr. Owusu Ansah Ankrah- Vice Dean, Faculty of Applied Arts-TTU

Other members of the visiting three-man Palermo Municipality delegation were Prof. Mario Zito, Councilor of Culture for Palermo Municipality and Professor at the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts as well as Artist Francesco Bellina, a photographer whose works have been published in major international media.

Also present at the meeting was the Registrar of TTU, Dr. Moses Maclean Abnory and the Finance Director of TTU, Dr. Gabriel Sam Ahinful.

The visiting delegation toured a an art exhibition at the TTU Faculty of Arts and Technology.

The Twin-Cities In sustainable Partnership project is a 3-year project sponsored by the European Union at cost of €3million with the STMA is providing a counterpart funding support of 5%.

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