The Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has urged the government to prioritize space science because it holds the key to the country’s development.

Speaking ahead of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2022, which will start from October 31, 2022, to November 4, 2022, at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), the Manager of the Remote Sensing and Climate Centre (RSCC) at the GSSTI, Mr. Kofi Asare, said the use of space technology is critical in addressing the environmental challenges facing the country through innovative agriculture monitoring for improved food security, crop yield estimation and prediction, weather forecasting, monitoring of water resources, monitoring mining activities and monitoring coastal resources, among others.

“Indeed, we are all consumers of space products. In our daily lives, we use it for electronic banking, GPS navigation, wi-fi and satellite television, and cloud-based data storage, among others, “he added.

According to Mr Asare, this is the first time GEO Week will be convened in Accra, Ghana. He further noted that the world’s attention would be focused on Africa this November because, besides Ghana hosting GEO Week 2022, Egypt is also hosting COP 27. The gathering at GEO Week 2022, he said, would showcase how international cooperation is accelerating the use of earth observation as proof of local impact, both in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

He noted that the GSSTI would be partaking in this year’s event to showcase its technology and innovations in earth observation data, saying that the institute has a lot to offer and contribute to the country’s development once the necessary support is given to it.

“On the second day of the event, GSSTI will be participating in two side events where the Director of GSSTI, Prof. Shiloh K. D., will speak on the topic, Evidence-based decisions and impact through National GEOs, and take part in a panel discussion leading to the formation of National GEO for Ghana. Later in the afternoon, Mr Asare will speak on the theme “Innovative agriculture monitoring for increased food security” with a focus on crop monitoring using Earth Observation data over Northern Ghana,” he noted.

The GEO Week 2022 is on the theme: “Global Action for Local Impact”, and its aim at highlighting how the use of earth observations can help support action on climate change, biodiversity loss, the ocean, nature-based solutions, and tackling the food security crisis.

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