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Ghana signs MoU on promoting radio astronomy

Prof Frimpong Boateng - Minister of Env't, Science, Tech & Innovation
Prof Frimpong Boateng - Minister of Env't, Science, Tech & Innovation

Government under the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to institutionalize cooperation in radio astronomy.

The MOU which was signed between Ghana and eight other African countries is expected to enhance collaboration between the said countries in the promotion of scientific studies and projects.

It also follows the launch of the GH₵30-million Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory at Kutunse in the Greater Accra Region.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who launched it described the development as the beginning of a new era in Ghana’s quest to harness the potentials of Space Science and Technology for the accelerated socio-economic development of our country.

Also, South African Minister for Science and Technology, Naledi Mandisa Pandor expressed optimism that the MOU would help African countries achieve higher heights in the field of science.

“Now that we have a project of this nature, the square kilometer array, it offers us an opportunity to improve research infrastructure in African countries and we are really proud of what we have achieved of Ghana in creating a radio astrology in Kuntunse”.

She added, “So we are very excited about that, we are also pleased that Ghanaian researchers and institutions now have a facility through which they can do research so we are making advances and this is very important. We have agreed that the various countries are going to inform our regional bodies about the work that we are doing”.

The launch of the observatory also known as radio telescope makes Ghana the second African country to own a radio telescope, which allows radio astronomy to achieve high angular resolutions.

Ghana, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Botswana, Mauritius and Zambia are the African partner countries involved.

Background

The South African Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, who is the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the AVN, said a vital part of the effort towards building Square Kilometer Array (SKA) on the African continent over the next decade was to develop the skills, regulations and institutional capacity needed in SKA partner countries to optimise African participation in the SKA.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, said Ghana and South Africa announced the combination of first light science observations.

This also confirmed the successful conversion of the Ghana communications antenna from a redundant telecom instrument into a functioning very long baseline interferometry radio telescope in July 2017.

By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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