REPORT ON THE PREPARATORY WORKSHOP ON THE GHANA-SOUTH AFRICA BILATERAL SYMPOSIA
August 31, 2016
Ghana and South Africa signed an agreement in September 2012 to facilitate the exchange of scientific and technological information through the exchange of scientists, researchers, experts, bursary-holders and course participants. The agreement covered 2013-2016. With plans to review and enter into another 3 year Plan of Action, there was the need for a symposium by the Ministry to reflect on the achievements of this partnership in considering new areas or strengthening existing areas of cooperation. Some key projects implemented during these 3 years included ICT, where MEREKA Institute, CSIR- South Africa and GTUC- Ghana played a major role. Also in Space Science, the South Africans were instrumental in the setting up and equipping of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute in Accra. The 3- day symposium brought a lot of governmental institutions which were identified to benefit from such bilateral partnership with South Africa. These institutions included; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Ghana, University of Mines and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), University for Development Studies and the University of Ghana. The team from the University of Energy and Natural Resources which attended this symposium comprised Dr. Mark Amo-Boateng, the Deputy Head of the Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre (EORIC), Mr. Caleb Mensah (Meteorologist) and Mr. Evans Yaw Adom (Chief Technician) all from the Centre arrived in Accra 5:30 am. The meeting started at 9:30 am with an address from the Chief Director of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Ms. Adelaide Asante, the chairperson, gave a presentation on the existing Ghana- South African bilateral relationship and the benefits which the two countries have enjoyed through exchange programmes between the respective tertiary institutions. Each Ghanaian institution present at the meeting gave a presentation of on-going and future research projects that could be partnered by prospective South African partners. KNUST gave a presentation on Optical Amplification, Diode Physics and Nano Science for health application, and also proposed collaboration on Nano Science between them and UCC. University of Mines and Technology also presented greener electricity for Senior High Schools and laser technology for treating contaminated water. GAEC briefed the house on the ongoing project for flower production and radio astronomy (SKA). UENR also gave a presentation on the various projects in which the Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre was already involved with South African partners. These projects included the Advanced Fires Information System (AFIS) which was being done in partnership with CSIR- South Africa in detecting and monitoring wildfires across the West African sub-region. Other projects presented also include the High-Performance Computing Virtual Infrastructure, Intake Flow Simulation and Optimisation for (Akosombo) Hydropower Project using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Real-time flood forecasting and inundation mapping system and application to high flood-prone areas (using High-Performance GPU Computing), UAVs for Smart Agriculture (Soil, Water and Inputs Management for Sustainable Agriculture). After further discussions and deliberations, the various field of interests was identified to engage the South African partners in. The University of Energy and Natural Resources were to be the lead institution in research works involving energy and the use of High-performance Computation. Ghana Atomic Energy Commission was to also lead in Space Science and Technology, whiles the other institutions were to partner with each other in the area of Agriculture and the enhancement of food productions. As such all institutions were to meet and conclude on two (2) research projects proposals within the areas outlined and present in a meeting to be convened on the 2nd of September, 2016.