Ghana Atomic Energy Commission marks Scientific Renaissance of Africa Day

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has held a scientific and innovations dialogue to commemorate this year’s Scientific Renaissance of Africa Day.

The African Union (AU), by a declaration in 1987, enjoined all member states to celebrate June 30 each year, as the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa.

Each year, the day is marked to recognise and celebrate the vision, sacrifices, investments, tenacity and hard work of scientists in the nuclear and allied sciences.

In Ghana, one such great scientist is the late Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, who is known and celebrated globally for his work on soft X-ray spectroscopy, which led to the postulation of “Allotey’s Foundation “ which positioned Ghana on the world map in the sciences.

The technique is used to determine how matter moves in outer space.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: “harnessing the power of the atom for economic transformation through science and technology”.

Nuclear energy

The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director Science, Technology and Innovation at MESTI, Kwamina E. Quaison, said nuclear technology had the potential to create new industries and jobs in Ghana.

The country, he said would however need to take the necessary steps to build capacity, starting from the basic level of education.

The government, he said, had introduced science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in senior high schools and encouraged young people, especially females, to take up science courses at the senior high school level and pursue further studies in specialised fields, such as nuclear science, space science, among others.


The minister said resilient economies across the world depended on reliable and affordable energy and it was important for the country to take a critical look at its energy production and energy consumption activities.

“Ghana’s electricity generation at present has changed from 84 per cent hydro and 14 per cent thermal to 38 per cent hydro and 60 per cent thermal.

This has caused high tariffs due to gas rise and erratic gas supply,” he said.

Also, he said, 40 per cent of production costs for industries in Ghana was attributed to electricity costs which had made it difficult for Ghanaian industries to stay competitive.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the minister said, had directed MESTI and the Ministry of Energy to take the appropriate steps to facilitate and enhance the coordination role of the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation.

He said based on a comprehensive report at the end of phase one of Ghana’s quest to go nuclear, a request for information was issued and six large reactors and nine small modular reactors responded.


The Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare, said scientists in Ghana continued to offer research-driven solutions to societal issues in agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, energy and water resource management, among others.

GAEC, he said, had improved crop yields and developed new varieties for cassava, tomatoes and others that were drought tolerant, disease-resistant and of better nutritional quality through research.

Recently, the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital had implemented a new type of cancer treatment for advanced prostate cancer called the Lutetium -177 prostate-specific membrane antigen therapy.

The Director-General of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, Prof. Paul P. Bosu, said it was important to set aside a day to recognise the value and the significance of science to the nation and the continent.

Later, scientists from the Boitechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute  and Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute during a panel discussion highlighted the potential of nuclear technologies in addressing food security and health, particularly the cancer challenge using radiation. 

SOURCE: GraphicOnline

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