African Scientific Renaissance Day Marked in Accra

This year’s African Scientific Renaissance Day was on Friday marked in Accra with a call on African scientists to pool resources to help address the continent’s agriculture challenges.

Professor Kwabena Frempong-Boateng, Minister of Environmental, Science, Technology, and Innovation, who made the call said the continent could feed itself if the scientists took decisive decisions to adopt science and technology in agriculture application as done in other parts of the world.

“The sad truth is that most African countries are not doing well in agriculture, and this sad state of affairs has everything to do with the deficits that Africa exhibits in engineering, technology, and innovation, that is why the scientists must come together and propose individual country needs to produce enough food to feed their people with the most precious arable land at its disposal”.

June 30 has been set aside by the African Union as the African Scientific Renaissance Day for the continent to reflect on the contribution of the continent’s scientists to the development of modern science and technology.

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) organised the event on the theme: “Transforming agriculture towards Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda: The role of science, technology, and innovation.”

Topics discussed included Planting for Food and Jobs: The role of nuclear technologies, and local science and technology solutions for value additions to Ghana’s agro products.

The minister who lamented the slow pace of the continent’s agriculture revolution said it was only in Africa that the “Green Revolution has not taken place”.

“All human activities are driven by technology because it has the enviable track record of providing solutions to humanity’s challenges, whether on transportation, health, sanitation, water resources, security, defense, energy and any area of socio-economic activity,” he added.

Professor Frempong-Boateng noted that the application of Science and Technology and Innovation (STI) in agriculture was critical in an era where arable land is under assault from climate change, forest degradation, and population growth.

He stated that man had survived hunger in the face of rapid population growth as a result of advancement in STI and its adoption would produce enough food to feed the increasing population.

It was to address these challenges, he explained, that the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda was underpinned by the desire and commitment to manage the country’s natural resources in a manner that allowed financing of the development agenda without recourse to external assistance.

“The time has come for all African scientists to support the continent’s vision to reduce food imports, create job for all the people especially the youth, expand and improve upon current resources through the deployment of science and technology to provide the needs of their people,” he said.

The Director General of GAEC, Prof Benjamin J.B. Nyarko, said the day which formed part of the African Regional Corporative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology, (AFRA) would help African countries to use modern technology to transform the agriculture sector, since the livelihood of many African countries depended on increased food production.

The Director General said the issues of the entire value chain in the agriculture sector needed to be effectively managed towards adopting modern techniques in the sector.

Prof. Nyarko said GAEC had developed new species of crops, tissue culture, and shelf life extension using ‘Gamma Irradiation Facility,’ the control of pests and diseases, as well as fruit flies using cutting edge research solutions.

He commended the government for adopting the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, which he said, would create job opportunities for the youth.

Source:Ghanaian Times

GAEC Inaugurates 5th Competency Based Training COTVET Programme

The Deputy Director General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Shiloh Osae, on Tuesday June 4, 2019 welcomed the 5th batch of informal sector apprentices to undergo a Competency Based Training (CBT) programme in Consumer Electronics at GAEC.

The training programme is jointly sponsored by the Germany Government through the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Voucher Project (GTVP) and Council for Technical and Vocational Education (COTVET) in partnership with GAEC.

In his welcome address, Prof. Osae, assured the learners that GAEC is not a bomb manufacturing organization, but a government agency involved with the use of nuclear technology for the socio-economic development of Ghana.

He enumerated the various specialty areas available in GAEC including; Agriculture, Health, Space Science, Nuclear Power, specialized Research areas, Industrial applications, among others. “Our Scientists here work tirelessly to bring about new crop varieties, new ways of treating diseases, testing for water quality, environmental issues, the list is endless”, he added.

Prof. Osae was optimistic that the learners will take their studies seriously. “If you are able to complete the various courses and modules, you will obtain certificates that will enable you have job opportunities in big organizations. The consumer electronics industry sectors are all available to you”, he revealed.

A representative from GVTP, Mr. Isaac Boaten indicated that this programme is designed to equip those in the informal sector with literacy skills as well as sharpening their skills in their various vocations.

The Manager of the Technology Transfer and Marketing Center, Ms. Sheila Frimpong also encouraged the learners to be serious and be punctual as well as regular for classes. “You won’t get this anywhere, coming to acquire new skills, and on top of it, being given lunch and transportation every day. You must take full advantage of this golden opportunity given you”, she advised.

The programme was attended by representatives from GAEC including the Deputy Director of Administration, Mr. William Srekumah, The Human Resource Manager, Mr. Maxwell Nyarko and the Manager for Office of Corporate and Public Affairs, Mr. Mark Kwasi Sarfo. Also present were representatives from COTVET and executives of the Ghana Electronics Servicing Technicians Association.

By OCPA

Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation Inaugurates GAEC Ladies Association

The Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation and MP for Asokwa constituency, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei on Friday June 7, 2019 inaugurated the newly formed GAEC Ladies Association, at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Auditorium in Accra.

The theme for the event was “Harnessing the Power of Synergy among Women to promote GAEC Agenda”.

Delivering the inaugural address, the Dep. Minister was extremely grateful to the leadership of the GAEC Ladies Association and Management of GAEC for the invitation.

She stated that GAEC’s Vision and Mission, positions the Commission to become the leading organization contributing to sustainable national prosperity through the effective utilization of nuclear, biotechnology and other related technologies, but this cannot be achieved without the contribution of women.

“There have been women engagements in various fields of expertise within the Commission including research, technical, administration and others”, she added.

Akosua Agyapong at the Inauguration

Hon. Appiagyei lamented that although there is increasing gender diversity compared to two decades ago, she believes that more can be done to achieve great milestones as women. “Currently only one out of the ten Directors within the Commission is a woman. This observation is worse that the McKinsey 2018 ‘Women in Work’ report, where only one in five women make it to the C-Suite and the crucial gaps in the talent pipeline”, she revealed.

“The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission at 56 years has entered a new era of corporate development with responsiveness towards United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, she charged.

She opined that in this new era, GAEC Management in responding to SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, should eschew all forms of discrimination, violence and undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources among others.

She advised all the ladies to do away with the toxic culture of fear, uncertainty and self-interest. “There should exist a new culture where women support each other and develop their careers through hard work, dedication and integrity”, she encouraged.

Delivering a statement in solidarity with the women, the Director General of GAEC, Prof BJB Nyarko was glad for the formation of the association. “This will empower ladies in the Commission and is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) agenda to increase women Staff at the top management of the Agency”, he said.

The Director General was mindful of the cost implications on personal lives of women who pursue greater career development and higher qualifications on the academic ladder.

He lamented on the low numbers of women in the core nuclear sciences. “Our current Staff strength is 890, down from 1030 a few years ago, mainly due non-replacement of retiring Staff. Out of this number, 271 representing 30% are women, but majority of this number are at GAEC hospital and the Basic School. Also, in 2019, out of a total of 233 Research Scientists, only 52 are females and out of 106 Technologists, only 16 are females, he enumerated.

The president of the GAEC Ladies Association and Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute, Prof Mary Boadu, in in her welcome address said the association was created in order to help organize female Staff of the Commission and ensure their active involvement in GAEC’s agenda and programmes in order to promote the development of women as a whole.

Also present at the inauguration were the Board Chairman of GAEC, Dr. Kweku Aning, the Chief Director of MESTI who doubles as a Board member of GAEC, Mrs. Levina Owusu, former Director General, Prof. J.H. Amoasi, Former Deputy Director General, Prof. Mrs. Victoria Appiah, Deputy Director General of GAEC, Prof. Shiloh Osae, Directors of Institute, Ghanaian ace broadcaster, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, Ghanaian musician and motivational speaker, Akosua Agyapong, representatives of GBC Ladies Association and the representative of the CEO of Cocobod, Madamme Agness Owusu Ansah.

Gifty Anti Charges GAEC Ladies

Popular Ghanaian Journalist and Broadcaster, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, encouraged Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) ladies, at the inauguration of the GAEC Ladies Association on June 7, 2019, to strive for higher heights regardless of limitations imposed on them.

In her remarks at the ceremony, she said that the association is coming at a dicey time in Ghana where the gender fraternity is divided on some comments made by the President of the nation, H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akuffu-Addo. “we need to do something to make our impact felt and clear all doubts in the minds of people”, she stated.

She hinted that the women need to employ the power of synergy which is a binding force that leaves no room for divisions. “It will be difficult to maintain women groups, but it is possible”, she added.

Ohene Yere revealed that women have to juggle between domestic and professional duties and are still required to produce the same results as their male counterparts. “Just at the time that you have to go for a programme, the baby starts to cry, do you do a quick breastfeeding or leave for the meeting, knowing that the nanny will have a difficult day if you don’t”, she asked.

She was very grateful to the Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, for imparting some life lessons into her when as a journalist she interviewed the Minister some years ago.

She concluded by stating that when there are challenging times, GAEC Ladies Association should not be afraid to ask for help and counsel. “We are all here to help”, she reassured.

Freight forwarder praises the Radiation Protection Institute of GAEC

The Managing Director of Bajfreight and Logistics Limited, Mr. Eric Kofi Owusu, has praised the role of the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in the training of occupationally exposed persons on how to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of radiations and radioactive materials.

He made these remarks at the closing ceremony of a 3-day refresher training programme held at RPI, GAEC from May 13-15 2019, to train members of his Staff on Occupational Radiation Protection and Safety during transport of radioactive materials.

The course objectives among others were to equip the workers with basic radiation physics and adequately informing them of the effects of ionizing radiations. It was also aimed at teaching the workers on the possible health hazards associated with radiation and radioactive substances and training them on the basic principles of radiation protection and how they can apply them in their work environment and also during transportation.

Mr. Owusu opined that due to the potential hazards that radioactive sources pose to the workers and the public, during transportation of radioactive materials from one point to the other, it was essential that his team’s capacity was built and brought up-to-speed with current trends in safely transporting radioactive materials.

He revealed that they have benefited greatly from these trainings and this session is the company’s third time. “The benefits have been immense because it served as a refresher course for some of us and has taught the new trainees among us on how to work safely during transportation of radioactive materials”, he added.

He encouraged other freight forwarding companies to follow their footsteps to train their staff on safe handling and transportation of radioactive materials to avoid penalties and sanctions as well as reducing unnecessary radiation exposure to the public and workers.

 

Dr. Francis Otoo, a Senior Research Scientist of RPI and a Facilitator of the training programme said the Institute, will continue to offer training to all end users of radiation sources as well as companies involved in the transport of radioactive materials. He also commended the Bajfreight Logistics Limited for availing themselves for the training. He expressed confidence that the knowledge acquired by the trainees would be put into practice in order to ensure safety and security in the transport of radioactive sources/materials.

By: OCPA, GAEC