Ghana aspires to reach middle-income nation status in 2015 through green science. As part of this ambitious sustainable development effort, the first ever Ghana Science Congress was held August 2nd – 5th 2011 at the International Conference Centre, Accra under the theme; “Water, Sanitation and Environment: Securing our future through Science”.
The Congress provided a platform for scientists in the country and abroad to deliberate on developmental issues relating to science and technology. There were presentations from the Ghana science and industry community, exhibitions of works of people in the scientific community and an awards ceremony for distinctions in science. The event was attended by African, American and European Scientists, academicians, industrialists and students.
On August 2, President John Evans Atta Mills opened Science Congress, in Accra, with a call on stakeholders to make the work of scientists easier by safeguarding the environment and being conscious of sanitation.
He said Ghanaians would have to build a Better Ghana and gave government’s assurance to lend maximum support to science development and the activities of Ghanaian scientists.
“While our scientists continue to research and contribute their quota to building a Better Ghana, it is incumbent on all of us to also make the work of our scientists much easier by being alive to our responsibilities of safeguarding the environment as well as being sanitation conscious,” President Mills said.
President Mills noted that science had always shaped and determined the advancement of mankind, and it would continue to be extremely pivotal as more innovative ways were searched for in building a Better Ghana and a better world.
“We have no option but to commit ourselves to building a strong national scientific and technological capacity,” President Mills said.
He said such efforts required that the relationship between Science, Technology and Innovation must be fully appreciated.
President Mills noted that the nation was facing challenges of sanitation as well as managing the environment, but his administration was determined to overcome the challenges of water supply, sanitation and the environment.
He said despite the improvement in water supply, and Ghana being on course with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving people without access to water by the year 2015, the challenge still remained to improve the quality of delivery and ensuring sustainability.
President Mills said there were still challenges in the areas of sanitation like choked gutters and the menace of plastic waste, and urged scientists to work more assiduously to deal with the visible and pressing sanitation problems in the society.
President Mills urged the Sector Ministry to continue to conserve and effectively manage Ghana’s biodiversity and called for an effective development of the science human resource.
Science, Environment and Technology Minister, Ms Sherry Ayittey, called for concerted efforts to address problems of coastal sanitation.
Dr Namanga Ngongi, President of Africa Green Revolution Association, commended Ghana for her strides on the development of science like the establishment of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, establishment of Atomic Energy Commission and organizing the congress.
He stressed on research as the basis for scientific development and called for more investment in science research to address challenges of water supply and storage systems to ensure food security on the African continent.
Professor Francis Kofi Allotey, an Eminent Scientist, in a solidarity message from the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, announced that the Academy had instituted a Best Science Reporter Award from next year.
WHY SCIENCE congratulates Ghana for showing leadership in how Africa can use science to leapfrog into the 21st Century.
Source Cited: Ghana News Agency
For more information on how Ghana is using science to spur innovation and sustained economic growth visit the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology website.
For details on research activities check out the Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development website.