Ghana needs new policy regime on space engineering – ANU Chancellor Oti Boateng

The development team behind the satellite[/caption] Chancellor of the All Nations University has called for a new policy focus to harness the potential of Ghana’s new global brand in space engineering for economic development in the areas of security, education and capacity building. Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, who is also the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, says Ghana has now joined the elite group of nations with space science programmes, following a global historic milestone in launching its first satellite into space. The country will participate fully in next year’s meeting marking the 50th Anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Daasebre Oti Boateng says whilst the successful deployment of Ghana’s first satellite into space from the International Space Station has placed Ghana on the global pedestal, the remarkable feat must be the starting point for a new national policy regime to develop and fully utilize the benefits of space science for national development as a new global player. “GhanaSat1 will beef up and strengthen our national security by taking pictures with on-board cameras to monitor Ghana’s coastal regions. It will also stimulate and promote science, technology; engineering and mathematics (STEM) related skills by demonstrating the unique power of broadcasting songs from outer space to invigorate the learning process,” he said in a statement. He is confident this will particularly encourage girls to be more interested in and responsive to STEM related disciplines which will continue to be in high demand and a major pathway to bridging the gender gap in the development process. The successful deployment of Ghana’s first satellite, GhanaSat1, into space followed a three-phase process with the initial major milestone accomplished on June 3, when GhanaSat1 was successfully launched aboard SpaceX-Falcon 9 CRS11 spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center making a steady progress on its trajectory towards the International Space Station (ISS). The second milestone was achieved with the successful rendezvous of the spacecraft with the ISS on June 5 while the final phase was achieved with the successful deployment of GhanaSat1 from ISS into orbit at an estimated altitude of 400km above the earth atmosphere via the Japan/Kibo Deployment System. The scientific data and earth observation images taken by GhanaSat1 will be shared with both government and non-governmental institutions to promote capability building and the utilization of satellite-based information to solve relevant and pertinent problems in the country. Daasebre noted “this emerging global brand pioneered by the young scientists from the All Nations University, Koforidua in the Eastern Region, remains a source of pride for all Ghanaians and a remarkable inspiration for the youth to adopt and embrace a globally competitive spirit to make a difference in this era of globalization”. He commended the young scientists and applauded the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly authorities at the All Nations University, for providing the requisite investment and extensive collaboration with leading universities and institutions worldwide to make this achievement possible.

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By Kofi Adu Domfeh||Ghana ]]>