The Wa Polytechnic, which was the last of the ten regional polytechnics in Ghana, was officially established in September 1999. However, it was not until 2002 that the Interim Governing Council was appointed by Government to provide policy direction to the Polytechnic. The first batch of tertiary students was admitted in 2003 to pursue HND programmes in Agricultural Engineering and Secretaryship and Management Studies.
The Polytechnic started from “scratch” and has faced a lot of challenges. Nearly a decade after its establishment, Wa Polytechnic operated from borrowed buildings. For example, while the Wa Municipal Directorate of Education released their former offices to house the Central Administration of the Polytechnic, the Wa Secondary Technical School gave a four-classroom block to serve as classrooms, library, computer laboratory as well as departmental offices. The Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Institute of Adult Education, Wa, also provided a hall each to serve as additional temporary classrooms.
The Polytechnic acquired land for its permanent site and prepared a master plan to guide the development of physical infrastructure with funding from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund). The support of GETFund has made it possible for the Polytechnic to build a modern administration block, a lecture theatre complex, workshops, and bungalows for some staff which are currently being used. However, the current allocation from GETFund is not enough to meet the numerous pressing needs of the Polytechnic. Residential facilities for students were and are still non-existent.
The Polytechnic developed a strategic plan to guide its operation from 2006 through to 2016 with the vision to become “a world class centre for applied technology and providing career-focused education for rural poverty reduction and national development”. The five thrusts of the strategic plan are:
- Training, Research and Innovation
- Human Resource Development
- Physical Infrastructure Development
- Expansion and Application of ICT
- Financial Resource Mobilisation and Management