The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Dickson Adomako, says collaborations and innovations at local and international levels can help improve Ghana’s healthcare sector from its current level.

He emphasized that the global response to COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of pooling and sharing resources such as medical equipment, specialist facilities, and expertise when addressing health challenges.

“The past few years have highlighted the world’s interconnectedness. COVID-19 demonstrated how health challenges in one region can quickly become global issues affecting everyone. This reality emphasizes the need for collaboration, innovation, and solidarity in addressing these challenges” he said.

A group picture of the participants at the Global Health Catalyst Summit, Ghana.

Prof. Adomako made these remarks at the inaugural Global Health Catalyst (GHC) Summit in Accra, organized through collaborations between the Global Health Catalyst USA, University of Pennsylvania, GAEC, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Peace and Love Hospital, and the Sweden Ghana Medical Centre.

The summit brought together leading health experts, researchers, advocacy groups, and government officials to discuss and collaborate on advances in global health, focusing on cancer care and treatment in Ghana.

He noted that Ghana has made significant progress in improving and managing cancer-related cases, combating infectious diseases, and improving maternal and child health. “However, more work remains to be done to improve Ghanaians’ overall health status ” he added.

He encouraged participants to share actionable concepts and ideas for addressing difficult health issues, improving care quality, and strengthening Ghana’s health systems.

One of the Global Health Catalyst Directors, Prof. Steven Avery, stated that the summit’s purpose was to bring people together to collaborate and find solutions to global health issues.

“Not just scientists, but also religious leaders, community leaders, policymakers, and government officials are involved. The primary goal is not merely to convene and discuss the problem, but to collaborate on generating solutions” he said.

Prof. Avery stated that the summit was simply a stepping stone to future projects in Ghana, adding, “We are excited about the time we spent here and the many projects that we have in mind. We intend to establish Ghana as an African center of excellence, serving as a training, education, and research hub for regional countries.”

On his part, the Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of GAEC, Prof. Francis Hasford, expressed his gratitude for the GHC collaboration and the various projects that have emerged.

A panel of experts delivering their presentations at the Global Health Catalyst Summit, Ghana.

“Out of this collaboration, Ghana is actively pursuing CAMPEP accreditation in medical physics. Additionally, efforts are underway to establish an AI Centre of Excellence in Ghana with the goal of transforming the training of medical physicists, biomedical engineers, and other professionals. There are also plans to establish an International Centre for Global Health Research” he added.

The summit witnessed quality conversations and panel discussions from high profile speakers including, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann and Prof. Raymond Atuguba of the University of Ghana, Prof. Joel Yarney and Prof. Verna Vanderpuye of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Eric Addison of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Prof. Edem Sosu and Prof. Francis Hasford of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.

Other speakers included Prof. Stephen Avery and Prof. Shannon O’Reilly of the University of Pennsylvania, Prof. David Pate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dr. Laurence Court of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre, and Prof. Afua Yorke of the University of Washington.

Also on the panel were Prof. Mary Boadu, Dr. Theodosia Adom and Dr. Theophilus Narh of GAEC, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai of Peace and Love Hospital, Dr. Ignatius Awinibuno of the Ministry of Health, and Dr. Klenam Dzefi-Tettey of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.


United States and Ghana Advance Cooperation on Clean, Secure, Safe and Reliable Nuclear Energy

Accra, Ghana – U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Ann Ganzer announced new civil nuclear cooperation to further support Ghana’s safe and secure use of nuclear power, including establishing Ghana as a small modular reactor (SMR) regional hub. The announcements were made at the Africa Nuclear Business Platform meeting in Accra, Ghana on May 28.

SMRs can provide 24/7 reliable power, complement other clean energy sources, have flexible siting requirements, and use a small land area. U.S. SMRs incorporate advanced safety features, including designs to withstand extreme weather and seismic events, and can be tailored to match the specific needs of a country’s power grid, with the ability to scale up as needed. Importantly, SMRs can play a critical role in decarbonizing nonelectric sectors, such as industry and transportation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Ann Ganzer joins industry and government representatives at the MOU signing ceremony (May 28, 2024)

Joined by U.S. Charge d’Affaires Rolf Olson, PDAS Ganzer attended the signing of key arrangements facilitated by the U.S. Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Program, to advance the safe and secure deployment of a U.S. SMR in Ghana:

  • Memorandum of Understanding and Contractual Arrangements for the Provision of the NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center and related services at GAEC. The documents, signed by GAEC and ISTC and by GAEC, ISTC and NuScale, respectively, advance Ghana’s technical readiness for SMR technology. The deployment of a NuScale E2 Center in Ghana — a first for the African continent — will be a key tool for preparing the workforce for SMR deployment in Ghana and beyond.
  • The E2 Center, a simulator of NuScale Power’s SMR control room funded by the FIRST Program, will provide a hands-on training facility to develop and train the next generation nuclear operators and engineers.
  • It will also establish Ghana as a regional educational and training hub for the next stage of safe and secure civil nuclear deployments in Africa, consistent with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Milestones Approach and nonproliferation standards.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for a Regional Welding Certification Program between the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), which will provide essential training and a unique skillset to enable Ghanaian technicians to qualify for construction jobs in the nuclear energy sector. Funded by the FIRST Program, this certification program will help to establish Ghana as part of a safe and secure SMR supply chain in the region.

In conjunction with these significant developments, the Government of Ghana represented by Nuclear Power Ghana is working on a cooperation agreement with the project developer Regnum Technology Group LLC to develop an industrial enclave utilizing NuScale SMR nuclear power plant as its main source of energy. The U.S. government strongly supports the deployment of NuScale’s technology through Regnum Technology Group as a project developer in Ghana and looks forward to seeing the conclusion of this agreement.

The United States is also currently in negotiations with Ghana for a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement (or 123 agreement) and looks forward to concluding negotiations to enable closer cooperation in this important field.

Today’s announcements build on the U.S., Japan, and Ghana commitment announced at the 2022 International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Power Ministerial to work together to support Ghana’s intent to be the first operator of SMRs in Africa and build jobs through workforce development to support future SMR supply chain needs. The United States is committed to enabling the use of innovative clean energy technologies to enhance global access to zero emission, reliable 24/7 power and to support sustainability, energy security, and climate goals.

Source: U.S Embassy Ghana

CTBTO Executive Secretary to visit Ghana as part of West African tour

The Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr. Robert Floyd, will visit Ghana from June 2 to 5, 2024, as part of a multi-country tour of selected West African countries.

The visit is aimed at strengthening international cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and promoting the global effort to achieve a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests.

Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr. Robert Floyd

During his two-day visit, Dr. Floyd will pay courtesy calls to several government agencies, including the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI).

This will be followed by a public lecture to stakeholders, including policymakers, academics, the security services, and the public, on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS) of the University of Ghana, GAEC, to offer a better understanding of the CTBTO’s mission and the relevance of the treaty to global security.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was established to ensure that States that sign and ratify it refrain from conducting nuclear explosions, including nuclear weapons tests.

Ghana signed the CTBT in 1996 and therefore has set up a CTBT National Data Centre (NDC) at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission to help with international efforts to better monitor nuclear weapons test explosions around the world.


Isotope Hydrology Training: GAEC calls for collaboration for sustainable management of Ghana’s water resources

The Director of the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Dr. Samuel Yao Ganyaglo, has called on stakeholders to build synergy to preserve water resources to avert the threat of water scarcity in the country.

He made the call on Tuesday at the opening session of a five-day isotope hydrology training organized by the Water Resources Research Centre of NNRI at Kwabenya in Accra.

The training is aimed at advancing water sustainability efforts in Ghana. It brought together participants from GAEC, the Soil Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Water Resources Commission, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fellow from Rwanda, as well as postgraduate students from University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

According to Dr. Ganyaglo, sustainable water management cannot be the responsibility of a single institution but should be a collaborative effort among stakeholders in leveraging their strengths to meet the water needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations.

“We should learn to identify and utilize each institution’s unique strengths because some are good at conventional technologies while others are good at nuclear technologies. By bringing these institutions together, we can create a team dedicated to the sustainable management of our water resources,” he added.

He asserted that water scarcity poses a significant threat to the nation’s development and the well-being of its citizens, and he added that collective action must preserve water resources for future generations.

” To effectively address this issue, we must work together as a team, pooling our resources, expertise, and knowledge for sustainable exploitation of our water resources,” he underscored.

Dr. Ganyaglo urged the participants to take the lessons seriously, utilize the knowledge they would acquire on isotope hydrology, device mechanisms or measures to exploit water sustainably and work together to help preserve the country’s water resources. “Thus, making water adequate for future generations to depend on,” he added.

Among the topics to be treated are data analysis and analytical methods using laser spectrometry, an introduction to stable isotope hydrology, water sampling for isotope analyses, dating groundwater with carbon-14 and tritium for recharge studies, and Bayesian models for contaminant tracing in water, among others.  The training program is being organized by the Water Resources Research Centre of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.


Ghana and China to co-operate on HPR 1000 nuclear project

Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Overseas Limited signed a cooperation and framework agreement on the margins of the 26th World Energy Congress in Rotterdam for the construction of a HPR-1000 (Hualong One) Nuclear Power Project and the upgrade of Ghana’s grid. Ghana restructured its nuclear programme in 2008 to meet the expected increase in energy demand. Nuclear Power Ghana was established in 2018 as the Owner/Operator of Ghana’s first proposed NPP.

Based on support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), several countries have expressed interest in assisting Ghana in the development of its nuclear power programme, including China which has long-standing cooperation with Ghana in the fields of energy and commerce.

Image: Ghana’s Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh and President of CNNC, Yu Jianfeng at the signing ceremony (courtesy of Nuclear Power Ghana)

Speaking at a pre-agreement signing ceremony, Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the agreement represents a profound commitment to advancing Ghana’s energy sector, ensuring sustainable development, and meeting the growing demand for electricity. “Ghana is at a crucial juncture in its journey towards economic prosperity, and thus, the integration of nuclear power into our energy mix will play a pivotal role in achieving our goals,” he said.

CNNC President Yu Jianfeng commended the Minister for his leadership in the collaboration. “Any time we meet the Minister, we meet new energy and so I have no doubt that this agreement will yield fruits,” he said. NPG said the Government of Ghana continue to support the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme, which is under the Power Directorate at the Ministry of Energy by its active participation and funding.

Yu and Prempeh previously met during in December 2023 during the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. The two then reviewed successful experiences of collaboration in microreactor projects and the conversion of miniature neutron source reactors. They also discussed their shared vision for further nuclear cooperation.

Source: Nuclear Engineering International

Clinical Training in Diagnostic Radiology underway in Accra

A six-month clinical training to enhance diagnostic radiology skills for medical physicists from Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, and Namibia has commenced in Accra.

Dubbed the “Technical Cooperation Group Fellowship on Clinical Training for Medical Physicists in Diagnostic Radiology,” it provides fellows with specialized training in the medical application of radiation physics to evaluate practices that involve medical exposure and optimize the physical aspects of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in terms of benefits and risks.

It also forms part of efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to address the shortfall of clinically qualified medical physicists with specialties in Africa.

The program is being hosted by the Medical Radiation Physics Center of the Radiological Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) at the GAEC for the third time since 2019 under the auspices of the IAEA.

A cross-section of participants at the opening of the training.

Among the topics to be treated are mammography, computed tomography, fluoroscopy, interventional radiology, dental X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound.

Speaking at the opening of the training, the Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare, said that the training is one of the projects launched by the IAEA to enhance the capacity building of medical physicists to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical imaging.

“This is after the IAEA, through its programmes, identified a huge gap in the shortage of clinically qualified medical physicists in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in Africa,” he stated.

Prof. Dampare, who is also the National Liaison Officer (NLO) for IAEA in Ghana, explained that the project is being implemented under the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) cooperation framework.

“Its objective is to improve the overall safety and effectiveness of nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology services in Africa through dose optimization and an appropriate quality assurance program conducted by medical physicists,” he said.

He indicated that, in pursuit of the project’s objective, the IAEA provided dosimetry laboratory equipment to some African member states to aid in measuring the radiation dose of persons exposed, as well as awarded fellowship training to 24 medical physicists in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine.

“These fellows, in 2021, were trained in three selected training centres: Ghana, Egypt, and Algeria, for a period of six months. Last year, Ghana hosted eight fellows from five African member states, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tanzania, for a period of six months,” he stated.

Prof. Dampare expressed gratitude to the IAEA for the unwavering technical assistance to its African member states, which he said was crucial in helping member states acquire the requisite knowledge and skills in the application of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He urged the participants to be agents of change to ensure the quality of care and improved patient outcomes, and transfer the knowledge they would acquire to their colleagues back home to help improve their professional competencies.

On his part, the Director of RAMSRI, Prof. Francis Hasford, commended the IAEA for the confidence it has reposed in the Institute to offer training in the field of medical physicists to its fellows for the third time since 2019.

“We see this as a great opportunity presented to us to enrich the skills of our African brothers and sisters, and we believe that the training will add value to their medical physics competencies,” he said.

The course supervisor, Dr Theophilus Sackey, complimented the participants for selecting Ghana as their preferred training destination.

He admonished them to keep and update their portfolios throughout the training, which he said was crucial. “A completed test and the procedures used to obtain the desired results must be documented and presented to the course facilitator to countersign. This will be a very useful document when you get back to your country,” he noted.


GAEC, French Embassy, others partner to train scientists in computer software

The School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has partnered with the French Embassy to train scientists and technicians in the Geant4 Monte Carlo Simulation Toolkit in Accra.

The Geant4 Monte Carlo Simulation Toolkit, a computer software, is used in scientific disciplines such as nuclear and accelerator physics, medical physics, and space science to understand the behaviour of particles in a variety of virtual situations without having to rely solely on expensive and time-consuming real-world experiments.

The five-day workshop organized for researchers, students, and professionals at the conference hall of SNAS from March 18–22, 2024, has the University of Paris Saclay and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) as other partners to ensure the successful dissemination and sharing of knowledge and skills on the software.

Addressing the participants at the opening ceremony, the Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare, emphasized that the program resonated with GAEC’s vision of enhancing the computational skills of its technical and scientific staff.

“The Commission is particularly proud to be a collaborator on this project, as the project’s objective of equipping scientists and technicians in Ghana with relevant computational skills is very much in line with GAEC Management’s vision for its staff,” he said.

Prof. Dampare stated that the Commission’s research efforts over the years have had a significant impact on the nation in critical sectors such as health, food safety, agriculture, and the oil and gas sector.

He indicated that leveraging software tools like Geant4 would further enhance GAEC’s contribution to the socio-economic development of Ghana.

“We look forward to making more modern tools available to the global scientific community, including resorting to computer coding and simulations, especially in the era of the ascendency of artificial intelligence and improved computing power,” he added.

The project coordinator from the University of Paris Saclay, Dr. Daniel Adjei, stated that the launch of the Geant4 program in Ghana in 2022 was the first of its kind in Africa.

He noted that the workshop was made possible through GAEC’s show of interest and urged the participants to seize the opportunity to enhance their careers.

“By staying true to your shown interest, we are here again with the main developers of this code, through funding from the University of Paris Saclay, under the framework of the Direction des Relations et Internationales Européennes (DRIE). We have no other option than to take full advantage of this to make a career out of it and/or to use this powerful tool in our contemporary research,” he said.

One of the instructors leading the training session, Prof. Marc Verderi, Spokesperson of Great4, expressed gratitude to the participants for their keen interest in mastering the Geant4 Monte Carlo Simulation and assured them that they would be provided with hands-on practical training throughout the session.
“I encourage you to ask questions so that by the end of the training, you will be well-equipped to use the Geant4 toolkit,” he added.


GAEC Trains Medical Laboratory Scientists in Infectious Agents, Epidemics and Response

A capacity-building workshop for Medical Laboratory Scientists to effectively respond to epidemics of infectious agents and utilize molecular biology methods to improve their diagnosis in Ghana is underway at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, Accra.

The five-month program is aimed at improving the national preparedness of medical laboratory scientists towards the detection of infectious diseases like COVID-19 in case of future outbreaks in Ghana.

The workshop, organized by the Cellular and Clinical Research Centre of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), is being funded by the Ghana Skills Development Fund (GSDF).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare, assured the participants of hands-on training, which he said would provide them with the necessary skills for both clinical and research pursuits.

A cross-section of participants at the opening ceremony.

“Available data shows that medical laboratories need technology, and laboratory personnel are happy to receive training in molecular diagnosis. Therefore, this short course has been designed to address the skills gaps, boost career progression, and create employment opportunities in the medical laboratory sector of the Ghanaian economy,” he stated.

Prof. Dampare urged the participants to take the lessons from the workshop seriously and contribute meaningfully to the health and well-being of Ghanaians.

On her part, the Course Coordinator, Dr. Edna Dzifa Doe, bemoaned the scarcity of medical laboratory personnel with the needed skills to apply molecular biology techniques to detect infectious agents, and attributed it to the insufficient number of universities and research institutions offering such relevant training.

“Research institutions or universities that provide or can provide hands-on training in the application of molecular biology techniques in the diagnosis and detection of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections in Ghana are few, and only a limited number of these institutions are engaged in providing this needed service,” she said.

Dr. Doe explained that the inadequate training of medical laboratory personnel in molecular biology techniques somehow hindered the country’s ability to manage the COVID-19 outbreak effectively.

“During this critical period, the entire nation had to rely solely on the Noguchi Memorial Institute for accurate testing, which slowed the process. By improving the skills of biomedical laboratory scientists through this workshop, we are strengthening our defenses and ensuring a more agile response to emerging threats” she added.

The Director of RAMSRI, Prof. Francis Hasford, expressed gratitude to GSDF for their sponsorship, which enabled the institute to acquire the necessary logistics to conduct the training.

The training workshop has five (5) modules in three (3) cohorts and is scheduled to end on the 26th of July 2024.





Ghana aims for 30 percent nuclear energy by 2070

President Nana Akufo-Addo says Ghana is envisioning nuclear energy to account for 30 percent of the country’s energy mix by 2070.

This would ensure the provision of clean and affordable electricity to drive the country’s industrialisation agenda.
“It is also meant to position Ghana as a net power exporter in the ECOWAS region through the West African Power Pool,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo made the statement when delivering the 2024 State of the Nation Address to Parliament.

He stated that his remark was an extension of what he said at the US-Africa Nuclear Energy Summit and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation (IFNEC) Ministerial Conference, which took place in Accra in November last year.

“We have committed ourselves to the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” he added.

Nuclear energy comes from splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine and generate electricity.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear is a low carbon emitting source of energy apart from being a clean, reliable, affordable, and modern energy source.

Available data indicates that the total installed capacity for existing plants in Ghana is 5,134 Megawatt (MW), with a dependable capacity of 4,710 MW.

Thermal generation accounts for the largest share of Ghana’s power generation, representing 66 percent, with hydro accounting for 33 percent.

Ghana’s thermal power generation is fuelled largely by natural gas, but occasionally using light crude oil and diesel. Ghana exports power to Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
Source: GNA

GAEC orients 40 technicians for consumer electronics training

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) last Tuesday held a one-day orientation session in Accra for 40 technicians to receive training in consumer electronics.

The eight-month competency-based training program, which begins in February this year and leads to the award of a certificate of National Proficiency II, is under the Ghana TVET Voucher Project (GTVP) and sponsored by KfW of Germany.

The training is designed to provide participants with the necessary skills to interact with, install, diagnose and rectify minor and major malfunctions of various electronic devices that are commonly used in homes and workplaces. These devices include but are not limited to mobile phones, air conditioners, desktop computers, and refrigerators.

The Project Coordinator of TVET at GAEC, Ms. Sheila Frimpong (Middle), and a section of the technicians at the orientation.

Speaking to the participants, the Project Coordinator of TVET at GAEC, Ms. Sheila Frimpong, underscored the importance of empowering electronic technicians with practical knowledge in consumer electronics to bridge the skills gap in the industry.

Ms. Frimpong, who is also the Deputy Director for Commercialization and Communication, pointed out that people often struggle to find electronic technicians to repair their home appliances, resulting in the unnecessary disposal of these devices.

“When my TV malfunctions, I struggle to find someone to repair it. Most of the time, I end up disposing of it. And that is just one tiny example” she said.

She encouraged the participants to view the training as a business opportunity rather than merely a sponsored educational endeavour.

“Personally, education loses its meaning if the business aspects are not considered. When you learn, and you know it, you must apply it. The consumer electronics industry has a lot of business potential. However, starting a business can be difficult, so I will advise that after completing this programme, maybe two or three of you could collaborate and launch a new venture” she admonished.

On his part, the President of the Ghana Electronics Servicing Technicians Association (GESTA), Mr. Andrew Gyan, urged the participants to take the training seriously and commit to learning as much as possible during their lessons.

“During training programmes like this, we sometimes start with a large number of participants, but then some drop out before the end. I believe that once you complete this programme, you will be able to pursue a career. So, I want to encourage you to apply yourself and acquire all the knowledge you need” he said.

Facilitators will be drawn from GAEC to instruct in Consumer Electronics, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), entrepreneurship, Science, Mathematics, and English.