“I am always Motivated when I enter Atomic Energy Commission” – Minister

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has lauded the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) for consistency in technological developments.

The Minister made this comment at the 2019 edition of the Meet-the-Press Series for the Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), held at the Ministry of Information, Accra.

According to him, he is motivated anytime he pays a working visit to GAEC to assess their progress of work.

He pointed out advances made by the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of GAEC in the use of the Gama Irradiation Facility (GIF), to process crops for shelf life extension as a way of reducing post-harvest losses. He also lauded the introduction of a new cassava variety by BNARI and added that it is a step towards the successful implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, being championed by the Akufu-Addo government.

Deputy Director of BNARI, GAEC; Dr. Micheal Osae (right) briefs Information Minister, Kojo Opong Nkrumah (middle) and Minister for MESTI, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng(left) on the use of Biotechnology to boost Agriculture.

He assured that the mosquito sterilization project (Sterile Insect Technique) that aims at reducing the spread of malaria, being championed by GAEC, through the Radiation Entomology and Pest Management Centre of BNARI, would be revamped. He lamented that the project stalled due mainly to power and other challenges.

Prof. Boateng expressed joy at the rapid progress made by Ghana in line with International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) guidelines and regulations for citing a Nuclear Power Plant. He added that the nuclear power plant would add a substantial base load to the national grid to support industry.

GAEC Exhibition Stand

He commended the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of GAEC, the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) and Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), among others for their tireless efforts.

Responding to questions concerning safety of encroachers on GAEC lands and how the situation could be curtailed to avoid a recurrence at the Nuclear Power Plant site, he cautioned the public to desist from encroaching on GAEC and other government properties. He revealed that those lands where left as buffer zones to protect the public and aid in the operations of GAEC.

He assured that appropriate steps would be put in place to ensure that the Nuclear Power Plant site will be secured against encroachment and any form of irregular activities.

 

By: Thykingdom Kudesey, Office of Corporate and Public Affairs, (OCPA) – GAEC

 

 

Designation of an Acting Director General

As a consequence of the recent passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano, and in order to ensure the orderly and smooth functioning of the Agency, the Board of Governors has decided to designate Mr Cornel Feruta as acting Director General, until a Director General assumes office.

Source:iaea.org

Announcement

The Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency regrets to inform with deepest sadness of the passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano.

The Secretariat wishes to share his most recent reflection which he intended to include in his letter to the Board of Governors announcing his decision to step down:

“During the past decade, the Agency delivered concrete results to achieve the objective of “Atoms for Peace and Development”, thanks to the support of Member States and the dedication of Agency staff. I am very proud of our achievements, and grateful to Member States and Agency staff.”

The IAEA flag will be lowered to half-mast.

Source:iaea.org

UCC Students Honor Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Representatives of the Department of Laboratory Technology, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, presented a citation to the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) during their tour of GAEC facilities.

Augustine Atta, a Senior Research Assistant, who led the students said the gesture was in appreciation of GAEC’s Commitment to help build their practical knowledge and capacity in Laboratory Technology.

According to him, unlike other Institutes which rarely paid attention to their requests for visits, GAEC has constantly dedicated time and resources to educate them on their educational tours to the Commission.

“This is the time to show how grateful the entire UCC Department of Laboratory Technology staff and students are”, he added.

Presenting the citation on behalf of the students present (numbering about 80), Miss Juliana Amoah, another Senior Research Assistant of the Department, was hopeful that GAEC would offer more opportunities to their students to help in their practical knowledge.

She appealed to the Commission to consider more students from her Department for internship and possibly for employment if need be. She also thanked the authorities of GAEC for dedicating time and resources to them during their educational visits.

Receiving the citation on behalf of the Commission, James Kuofie a staff of the Human Resource Department, GAEC, expressed joy for the gesture. According to him the UCC Department of Laboratory Technology group is among the few who have shown gratitude towards GAEC’s immense support to Ghana’s educational sector.

He was optimistic that GAEC will continue to offer untiring support to students from all educational institutions and other stakeholders who knock at our doors.

The students spent the entire day touring key GAEC facilities to acquaint themselves with the activities of the Commission and learn some practical laboratory activities.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey – Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA), GAEC

Ghana hosts international workshop on Dish Conversion for radio astronomy

The Ghana Space Science Technology Institute (GSSTI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) on Monday, opened an international Dish Conversion workshop on the mobilisation of radio astronomy technology for economic development.

Professor Dickson Adomako, the Director of the Ghana Space Science Technology Institute, at the opening ceremony in Accra, said the workshop is the first of the four series to be hosted in Ghana, Mexico, Thailand and the United Kingdom respectively, with financial support from the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), a UK Agency.

These workshops, he explained, would gather experts to discuss and share requisite skills, experiences and knowledge in radio antennae conversion, telescope controls and receiver systems among others, for socio-economic development.

The week-long workshop in Ghana would create the platform for participants who are from Africa, Latin America, and Asia, to share engineering expertise on the topic, learn more from Ghana’s Dish Conversion experience, and further build networks to facilitate the onward sharing of knowledge and information after the programme.

Prof Adomako said he would provide countries who were yet to have a dish conversion with the needed knowledge and skills for adoption, and for those advanced in the use of the technology, to share their expertise with others.

The Director who later narrated Ghana’s Dish Conversion experience, said it has not been an easy journey to convert the 32 metre ex-telecommunication antenna at Kuntunse in Accra, into a radio telescope.

He said “we have had to deal with administrative and technical challenges,” but the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), GAEC, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), the Royal Society-UK, the Development in Africa through Radio Astronomy (DARA), and other international institutions have been committed to assisting with efforts to make a the project a success.

The GSSTI together with its collaborators, he said, have since the conversion, intensified outreach programmes to attract young talents into astronomy and related fields, and have been using the converted facility for research and training purposes.

He thanked the GCRF for providing funding for the workshop, and also for its commitment to the course of developing global astronomy.

Prof Melvin Hoare, Chairman of the Science Organising Committee (SOC), said the benefits of radio astronomy were enormous as it provided accurate data and forecast information to drive socio-economic development.

He commended Ghana for the tremendous success made so far in its strides towards the development of radio astronomy, saying this would enhance science and research development across the continent.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said Ghana was the first among the partner countries to achieve these milestones and acknowledged the continuous collaborative work between scientists and engineers from Ghana and their colleagues from other parts of the world, especially South Africa and the UK.

She also mentioned the GSSTI’s collaboration with various international organisations to organise workshops, conferences, summer schools and training programmes, as well as award scholarships to a number of Ghanaian Scientists,

Technologists and Engineers to pursue Postgraduate studies in Astronomy and related fields in South Africa and the UK in particular.

“These are all opportunities for Ghana to build valuable human capacity in astronomy and to harness the relevant skills in Science, Technology and Innovation for socio-economic development of the country, she said.

Madam Appiagyei said the funding support from SARAO, GCRF, DARA, Newton Fund and all the other international establishments have been very encouraging and commendable for the sustainability of the Project.

“Obviously, as a country and globally, we are in the right direction and committed to building critical infrastructure to ensure that we fully enjoy the benefits of astronomy and its associated science, Technology and Innovation,” she said.

She said currently, universities in Ghana were working on introducing programmes and courses in astronomy and related fields and there is the need to enhance the efforts to include the teaching and learning in the academic curriculum.

She urged the GSSTI and its stakeholders to work assiduously on the interventions to promote astronomy education, and develop programmes that would address the current national, regional and global needs, while the government through the Ministry does its best to support these efforts.

Prof Benjamin J. Nyarko, the Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, commended the GSSTI for its current level of achievement in the development of Astronomy, saying “I have observed with admiration the progress made with the execution of the astronomy projects and programmes in the country.

“I am enthused about what had been achieved and what is yet to come, I am therefore not surprised to witness such a global astronomy workshop in Ghana today,” he said.

He explained that since Ghana officially decided to join the astronomy and space science fraternity in less than a decade ago, a lot has been invested, and with the support of countries like South Africa and the United Kingdom this dream has become.

Prof. Nyarko said the debate that Science, Technology and Innovation was key to national development remains pertinent and has been the motivation to keep pushing the scientific research and innovation agenda.

He said it is the hope that very soon the country would fully enjoy the benefits of astronomical technologies and other spin off businesses, and encourage charge participants of the workshop to translate the enacting experiences and expertise into forms that would help develop not only astronomy, but other relevant sectors of the economies of their countries.

Source: GNA