Ghana has launched a Space Science and Technology Centre, to develop and coordinate programmes in space science and technology for the socio-economic development of the country.
By its vision, the centre is expected to uncover and exploit the capabilities of science and technology for national socio-economic and technological development through cutting-edge research. It is also to establish a centre of excellence in space science and technology, to foster teaching and learning as well as the commercial application of space research for the economic transformation of Ghana and West Africa.
The centre will focus on the coordination of implementation of projects and programmes in areas including remote sensing and geographic information systems, meteorology, astronomy and astrophysics, communication, as well as human capacity development.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed last week between the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and Vodafone Ghana, to allow the centre to convert vodafone’s redundant earth satellite station at Kuntunse, which has a 32-meter antenna into a telescope for research and developments in astronomy.
Professor Kofi Awoonor, Chairman of the Council of State, explained that the centre which was established by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, under the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) would undertake, spearhead, steer and manage all space science programmes, projects and research activities in the country.
He underscored the importance of investing in space science and technology, and added that “global space science and technology programmes have resulted in tremendous changes in some developed countries, in areas including communication, agriculture, industry, health and environmental management.
Awoonor said: “The centre should be supported to research and manage exploration activities, especially as Ghana has now joined the league of oil producing countries.”
He expressed hope that the outcome of research undertaken would help improve science education in second cycle and tertiary institutions in the country.