Ghana is making strides in key space programmes, especially in the area of astronomy and will soon launch a 32-meter telescope which will form part of the network of African radio astronomy telescopes to be used for high-tech scientific research.
Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister for the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who made this known at the opening of the African Leadership Conference on Space Science Technology in Accra, yesterday, added that government was also committed to the implementation of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.
Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei said space science and technology was an essential tool for socio-economic development and for improving the quality of life.
He said developing space science and technology in Africa meant raising the standard of living of African people through direct employment of advanced technologies.
Space technology development, he said, could also help in the management of disasters and cushion the devastating effects of such disasters as well as other man-made problems through early warning scientific data.
Dr Oteng-Adjei, therefore, called for the establishment of research facilities for outer space programmes such as satellite communication and radio astronomy in order to develop a concretised and sustainable National Space Programme.
He pledged government’s commitment to pursuing the development of human capacities in space science through the introduction of new undergraduate and post graduate programmes in some key universities in Ghana.
In a keynote address, Prof. Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and interim President of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana, underscored the importance of human resource development as a key need for Africa in space science and technology for the development of science.
Prof. Allotey said there was the need for human capacity with rich skills and knowledge to man the African space science and technology enterprise.
He said space technology was essential in agriculture and access to water, adding that even though space research was capital-intensive, the returns were of huge benefits to the economy.
This year’s African Leadership Conference, the fifth in a series, serves as an important cross-regional organization that seeks to harness space and science technology for the betterment of human conditions in Africa, through active regular engagements and interactions among African political leaders and their professionals and scientists, with the goal of building a vibrant African partnership in space science and technology.
The three-day conference, which is being organised by the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS), is on the theme: ‘Building a shared vision for Space Science and Technology in Africa.’
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