By Samuel Hinneh (Accra)
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria, the fore front of space science, particularly satellite technology, in the West Africa sub region says it will collaborate with Ghana in space science technology to provide vital information for socio economic development in both countries.
TheDirector General of the NASRDA Dr Seidu Onailo Mohammed said the decision of the government of Ghana to establish the Ghana Space Centre is a step that will enable Ghana tackle socio-economic issues such as flood, food insecurity among others.
“Ghana and Nigeria need to work together, the world cannot wait for us, use the technology to provide vital information for our peoplein area of food production,water resource development, and communication to help us develop’’, he stated.
Dr Mohammed made these known in an interview during a tour of the NASRDA facility in Abuja, Nigeria by a group of science journalists from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region namely Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. The tour was organised by the Nigerian Association of Science Journalists (NASJ) as part of the capacity building programme during the association’s International Annual Science Communication Conference. The international conference was on the theme ‘The role of Science Technology and Innovation Emerging Economies’.
Dr Mohammed said from the beginning, the agency can support Ghana with 3D images that are currently available in their archives. The images help in many ways such as determining areas of disaster including floods, assisting in finding areas where precision agriculture can be done, photos of different cities and airports, among others.
He added that some of the Ghanaian engineers and scientists will also be offered the opportunity to visit Nigeria’s centre, emphasising “the culture are similar and understanding is quicker being attached to some of our facilities to see how we do it to replicate the same thing in Ghana’’.
He said there are over 200 million GSM lines in the whole of West Africa, which is enough market already for business men in West Africa to come together to provide this key backbone which is the communication satellite.
“This is exactly what our interest is , Our people should be able to do that at home rather than a battling ground for foreign companies, for too long we have done that and it is time to look inward, forget about any barrier, so that we can work together’’.
With a Communication Satellite in place, Tariffs on GSM Phone Services as wellas tariffs on Satellite Television Broadcasting Services will be reduced, it will also link the rural areas with telephone services and promote E-Commerce and E-Government.
He welcomed the Ghana Space Centre into to the African Leadership in Space, and said Ghana will be hosting the next meeting next year