GAEC urges government to prioritize space science ahead of GEO Week 2022

Mr Kofi Asare
Mr Kofi Asare
Manager, Remote Sensing and Climate Centre (RSCC)

The Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has urged the government to prioritize space science because it holds the key to the country’s development.

Speaking ahead of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2022, which will start from October 31, 2022, to November 4, 2022, at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), the Manager of the Remote Sensing and Climate Centre (RSCC) at the GSSTI, Mr. Kofi Asare, said the use of space technology is critical in addressing the environmental challenges facing the country through innovative agriculture monitoring for improved food security, crop yield estimation and prediction, weather forecasting, monitoring of water resources, monitoring mining activities and monitoring coastal resources, among others.

“Indeed, we are all consumers of space products. In our daily lives, we use it for electronic banking, GPS navigation, wi-fi and satellite television, and cloud-based data storage, among others, “he added.

According to Mr Asare, this is the first time GEO Week will be convened in Accra, Ghana. He further noted that the world’s attention would be focused on Africa this November because, besides Ghana hosting GEO Week 2022, Egypt is also hosting COP 27. The gathering at GEO Week 2022, he said, would showcase how international cooperation is accelerating the use of earth observation as proof of local impact, both in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

He noted that the GSSTI would be partaking in this year’s event to showcase its technology and innovations in earth observation data, saying that the institute has a lot to offer and contribute to the country’s development once the necessary support is given to it.

“On the second day of the event, GSSTI will be participating in two side events where the Director of GSSTI, Prof. Shiloh K. D., will speak on the topic, Evidence-based decisions and impact through National GEOs, and take part in a panel discussion leading to the formation of National GEO for Ghana. Later in the afternoon, Mr Asare will speak on the theme “Innovative agriculture monitoring for increased food security” with a focus on crop monitoring using Earth Observation data over Northern Ghana,” he noted.

The GEO Week 2022 is on the theme: “Global Action for Local Impact”, and its aim at highlighting how the use of earth observations can help support action on climate change, biodiversity loss, the ocean, nature-based solutions, and tackling the food security crisis.

GAEC Boss urges staff to get vaccinated

The Director-General (DG) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Benjamin J.B. Nyarko has urged staff of the Commission and the GAEC Community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.


He made this remark yesterday after he took his jab at the GAEC Hospital at Kwabenya in Accra – one of the centers for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise.


Prof. Nyarko advised Ghanaians to discard the conspiracy theories about the dangers associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.


“This is not the first-time a vaccination program such as this is taking place. Since the 17th century, there has been one vaccination program after the other against viruses that kept threatening man’s survival”, he noted.


“Polio, measles, and smallpox, among others, are some of the diseases we have been vaccinated against, and so, the process is no different from COVID-19 vaccination”, he added.


The Director of Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of GAEC, Prof. Dickson Adomako, who was with the DG for the vaccination also made a clarion call for Ghanaians to get vaccinated to help curb the spread of the disease.


“Citizens of other nations have taken the vaccine and are helping to minimize the impact of this global pandemic, and so, let’s come out in our numbers and get vaccinated”, he added.




Diagnostic Medical imaging is the technique and process of creating visual representations of the interior of a body (Anatomical) for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of the function of organs or tissues (Physiological). All these procedures are handled by the imaging team to advance a better understanding of the complex practices and protocols behind each image.

The team comprises; Radiologists, Medical Physicists, Biomedical Engineers, Radiation Technologists and other supporting staff, who collaborate to advance the course of the imaging process to the benefit of patients. Interestingly, there have been an increased use of medical imaging in Ghana, mainly for staging and localizing tumors and cancer diagnoses, as well as detecting anatomical and physiological problems. The success of this increase will depend on an effective medical imaging team, with well-trained clinical Medical Physicists and Biomedical Engineers, who are key members of a well-defined imaging team.

The absence of this imaging team hinder the expansion and the development of precision medicine through integrated decision support application software and effective use of medical imaging equipment and devices in Ghana. This is because, the absence has affected the realization and transformation of medical imaging, which would have made medical equipment smarter, imaging results faster and examinations more precise, to obtain effective diagnoses outcomes and above all prevent the constant break down of these equipment.

In Ghana, there are about 500 imaging equipment country-wide, of which 62% are in Greater Accra region, 11% in Ashanti region and the rest of the 27% are dotted across the country. This in balance is a major challenge to health care delivery in the country. According to internationally accepted standards, this is really inadequate to serve the population of about 30 million and use for proper diagnoses of diseases. Unfortunately, this is the stuck reality and we currently have no option but to accept it. Apart from the inadequate imaging equipment, there is also an issue of frequent break down of these equipment. This may be attributed to several factors, among them being the lack of expertise in these centers. This I found as unacceptable since these experts are available in the country and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Basic Safety Standards, of which Ghana is a signatory, says they must be employed by the authorities and owners of these facilities, unfortunately, not much has been done in this regard.

Annually, an average of 250 imaging experts are trained in Ghana, which are made up of Medical Physicists, Radiologists, Radiographers, and Biomedical Engineers. Of this number, just about 50% are employed, who are mostly Radiologists Radiographers. This is because the Radiographers take the images and the Radiologist report and interprets those images. The absence of these professionals will mean no imaging process, hence the system is forced to employ them. However, the other core members of this team namely the Medical Physicists and the Biomedical Engineers, whose jobs are very essential not only for the quality assurance and optimization of the processes and protocols but for the safety of both patients and users of these facilities. In other words, the risks associated with the use of these machines are extremely high in Ghana to both patients, users and the general public when these additional professionals are not involved. As to why this persists it’s only the authorities and owners of these facilities who can explain. It is of interest to note that several attempts by the Ghana Society for Medical Physics and other related health professionals to resolve these issues fell on deaf ears. The politicians are not interested and to make matters worse the technocrats in the field who should know better turn a blind eye, exposing citizens to extreme risk and danger. I intend to leave this aspect for another discussion, however, what the general public should know is that all is not well with the diagnostic imaging processes in Ghana and the earlier something is done about it the better, for the safety of the patients, users, and the general public.

The rapid progress of medical imaging and the invention of various medical imaging equipment have benefited mankind in the developed world. However, this seems to be the reverse in the developing world, including Ghana. I have visited a number of facilities in Europe and had the opportunity of seeing the wonders in using this equipment in the proper and correct diagnosis of diseases as a necessity before treatment. The more sophisticated these bio-instruments are, the better the diagnosis. Unfortunately, I weep for mother Ghana any time I visit these facilities across the country. It is time the general public realized that we are all at high risk for lack of action by our leaders in ensuring that Medical Physicist and Biomedical engineers are employed in all imaging facilities in the country.

Even though medical images play an important role in clinical diagnosis and therapy of various diseases. It is often thought of as a way to represent anatomical structures of the body with the help of X-ray, Sound waves and electromagnetic wave. But often it is more useful for physiologic function in addition to the determination of anatomical structures. With the growth of computers and image technologies, medical imaging has greatly influenced the medical field. As the quality of medical imaging affects diagnosis, medical image processing has become a hotspot and the clinical applications wanting to store and retrieve images for future purposes need some convenient process to store those images in detail.

Generally, there are three forms of medical imaging; first by the use of X-ray as in Conventional X-ray, popularly referred to as X-ray, Computed Tomography referred to as CT, Mammography, and Fluoroscopy. Secondly, the use of waves (electromagnetic and sound) as in Magnetic resonance Imaging, referred to as MRI and Ultrasound, referred to as scan (in Ghana) and thirdly by Nuclear Medicine Techniques, where a radioactive substance is inhaled or injected into a patient and a camera is made to detect the radiation from the tissues of the patient. The difference between the first two imaging processes (X-ray and electromagnetic and sound wave) and the third process (Nuclear Medicine Techniques) is that in the case of the first two cases, the X-ray and the electromagnetic and sound waves are generated from a source and made to pass through the human tissues and a picture of the internal tissues or organs are drawn. However, in the third case (Nuclear Medicine Technique), the source of the radiation is the radioactive substance inhaled or injected into the patient and the camera is made to detect the source of the radiation which is defined by the metabolic activities of the patient’s tissues based on their health state.

Though the final images obtained from many techniques have similarities, the technologies used and the parameters represented in the images are very different in characteristics as well as in medical usefulness, even different mathematical and statistical models are used. Several techniques have been developed to enable CT, MRI and ultrasound scanning software to produce 3D images for interpretation and diagnoses. Traditionally, CT and MRI scans produced 2D static output on film. Therefore to produce 3D images, many scans were made and then used to produce a 3D model which can then be manipulated for the purpose it was taken to answer clinical questions.

Despite all these benefits, medical imaging also poses danger to the users, patients and the general public, based on the use of radiation in acquiring these images if the right care is not taken by the experts in the field. Radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through space and may be able to penetrate various materials including human tissues. Light, radio waves, and microwaves are types of radiation that are called nonionizing radiation. The kind of radiation discussed in most of these imaging equipment is called ionizing radiation because it can produce charged particles (ions) in matter which can cause serious irreparable damage to tissues. However, experts in the field like Medical Physicists are trained with taxpayers’ monies to offer services in this regard, in order to ensure the safe use of these equipment. Unfortunately, those who matter have refused to employ these professionals despite Ghana signing on to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Basic Safety Standard (BSS) documents which demands that these professionals are employed to offer services for the well-being of all Ghanaians.

I have the following questions for the authorities and owners of imaging facilities;

  1. What will it take to ensure that all hospitals in Ghana are made to employ at least one Medical Physicist and a Biomedical engineer each, to ensure the safety and proper functioning of this equipment?
  1. Why are you ignoring the danger posed to the citizens by ignoring your responsibility of protecting the general public and the sick as enshrined in article 30 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

I leave these questions to the conscience of those responsible to do the right thing and I will be back if nothing is done.

Shiraz Issahaku (Ph.D.)

Imaging Expert/Consultant

Experts in nuclear science meet to review work

Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak (4th left), in an interaction with Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng (3rd left), Dr Kweku Anning (left), the Board Chair of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and Dr Dazhu Yang (2nd left). Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

Nuclear scientists and experts are meeting in Accra to review the efforts of member states of the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research and Development and Training (AFRA) related to nuclear science and technology for the peaceful promotion of nuclear technology in development.

The participants will also review the AFRA agreement and deepen collaboration for the full benefit of nuclear science in development.

The five-day meeting, which is the 29th Technical Working Group of AFRA, is being organised by AFRA, in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and hosted by Ghana.

Research funding

Addressing the opening session yesterday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, announced that the government was looking for an appropriate piece of land for a nuclear power plant that would add about 4,500 megawatts (MW) to the country’s power generation capacity.

He said the land for the nuclear power plant must, among several other considerations, be resilient to earthquakes and flooding.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the government would sustainably increase funding for research and development until funding for the sector reached appreciable levels of 2.5 per cent of the budget.

He said innovations in science and technology were the basis of most developed countries, hence the commitment of the government to support science and research through increased funding.

He noted that the focus of AFRA, which is to build capacity in nuclear science across member states, was in “sync with Ghana’s current development agenda which puts human development at the centre”.


The Deputy Director General of the IAEA, Dr Dazhu Yang, who also addressed the meeting, expressed happiness that the meeting would discuss radiation safety and the deployment of nuclear innovation in health and agriculture.

For him, the inability of some member states to conform to safety requirements limited their ability to fully enjoy the full potential of nuclear science in their strides to develop.

He was also happy that the group would discuss the AFRA agreement and pledged the continued support of the IAEA through collaboration with Africa through the group.

Dr Yang reminded the group of current dynamics, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s (AU’s) Vision 2030 and urged the participants to take all of them into consideration in any review they did.

The IAEA Technical Cooperation Africa Director, Mr Shaukat Abdulrazak, in his remarks, encouraged member states to collaborate more and demystify nuclear science for the benefit and awareness of their citizens.

He said there were various opportunities open in the sector and urged member states to improve upon their modes and quality of reporting for the telling of better nuclear science in development stories.


The Chairperson of AFRA, Mr Sabbiti Baguma, in his statement, said the meeting would provide the participants with a platform for them to reflect on the AFRA agreement and the way forward.

He reminded the group of previous decisions and expressed the hope that conclusions would be reached for the next major meeting of the IAEA in the course of the year.

The Chairperson for the opening ceremony, Dr Kweku Aning, noted that Ghana had lagged behind in the deployment of nuclear technology for development and expressed the hope that the situation would change, given the cooperation among members.


AFRA came into being on April 4, 1990 to provide a framework for African member states of the IAEA to intensify their collaboration through programmes and projects on nuclear science and technology.

Source: Graphic Online

Eulogy for Prof. Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey







Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey – of the Royal Sempe Stool, Accra, of Saltpond, of Ghana, of Africa and the World.

We are gathered in the Forecourt of the State House in God’s presence to honor God’s treasure and to send his faithful servant safely Home.

In Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, we have lost both a gentleman and a gentle man, a very decent one at that!

It has fallen to my lot to deliver this Eulogy to Kofi Ampenyin Allotey in a final farewell on behalf of a grateful nation and an admiring world.




My association with Prof. Allotey began in 1973 when I served under him as a Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Board. We remained close friends from that time and discussed a multiplicity of issues till he passed on in November 2017.

Of course, a great deal will be said and written about his wondrous deeds and accomplishments because he was indeed a famous man. We all know now that though Kofi Allotey was born of ordinary circumstances, he lived an extraordinary and fascinating life as a father, academic and a renowned scholar.

From very humble beginnings, Prof Allotey defied all the odds and obstacles that came his way, and indeed there were many of those.

As we celebrate his life, we cannot but also reflect on the family environment from whence he came for, together he and his family symbolize so much about what makes this country of ours the wonderful gem that it is. Poor but proud, that family of humble circumstances strove hard and exhibited industry of a very high pedigree.

Francis Allotey was born on the 9th of August, 1932 to Alice, a dressmaker of Saltpond and the farseeing Papa Joseph Allotey, originally from Accra, a trader and a general merchant who sold books, musical instruments and fishing gear for a living.

With that exceptional combination of sheer industry and talent, it is not surprising that he and Mrs. Allotey bequeathed to this world a decent number of children – seven in all.


Professor Allotey was the second of the seven, four girls and three boys.

They came in this order –Martha, Francis, Elizabeth, Augustine, Agatha, Theresa and Michael. The only survivors are Agatha and Theresa both of who have traveled down from the US to be at the funeral of their brother.

A late entrant to school at the age of nine, Francis assisted his father in his store to sell his wares. Even at that tender age, Papa Allotey marveled at his son’s facility in computing the daily sales and submitting accurate daily accounts. Those were early signs of the young Allotey’s extraordinary mathematical genius.


By age 16, Francis persisted and was enrolled at the Ghana National College as the only student in Form 1 – a clear sign of tenacity and doggedness in the young Allotey.

Motivated by his ambition to gain the benefits of higher education, Francis Allotey courageously traveled alone to Liberia at the age of 19 to obtain a British Passport so that he could proceed to England. He succeeded at that too.

Back to Saltpond, he founded a co-educational secondary school which he named the Fanti Confederation Secondary Technical College, later re-named as the Fanti State Secondary Technical College.

Then onto England, Francis traveled, checking first into Borough Polytechnic before eventually ending up at the prestigious Imperial College of Science and Technology. Such was Francis Allotey’s brilliance at his subject that he was made to skip the Undergraduate degree course and was enrolled directly into the Masters degree program. This was how our African genius traveled through the corridors of higher education in Imperial College, without obtaining a first degree, a feat that I am told, has not been equaled since then in the history of that institution.


From there, take-off to Princeton University in the US was a natural and logical step for Francis. That was in 1962, after a two-year stint at the Department of Mathematics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

I am advised that Francis Allotey was the first African to study at the Mathematics Department of Princeton University, a tremendous feat accomplished at that time. It was while in Princeton studying Mathematical Physics for his Ph.D that Francis Allotey developed his universally acclaimed and world renowned Allotey Formalism theory. Through intrepid research and complicated mathematical calculations, Francis Allotey was able to prove that electrons jump into nucleus only after the nucleus has had an effect called “resonance scattering” on it.


Prof. Allotey’s first wife, Eudoris Enid of blessed memory of the parish of St. Lucy in Barbados bore him two children – Francis Jnr and Joseph. Sadly, she passed on in 1981.

He re-married in 1988 to Asie, my own classmate from the Law Faculty in Legon.

Prof Allotey embraced Asie’s two children warmly as his own. They are Cilinnie and Kay. Regrettably, Asie too passed on in 2011.


The records would show that Prof Allotey did not have the courage to make a third attempt at matrimony though the science of mathematics would seem to suggest that luck attends every third attempt at something good!




Prof Allotey has been recognized for excellence across many fields and his numerous accomplishments are garnished with several firsts –

A pioneer in Computer Science education at the KNUST, first Ghanaian Full Professor in Mathematics at the KNUST, Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission on seven different occasions, a member of the UN Secretary General’s Group of 12 Experts to advise on nuclear weapons, a member of the Scientific Council of the world renowned International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and Founder of AIMS in Ghana, among other brilliant accomplishments.


In short, Prof Allotey’s singular and sterling achievements are indeed written in gold all over the scientific world and in other areas as well. Prof Allotey both symbolized and nurtured the maturing of science, especially mathematics in Ghana. Through his enterprise and hard work, he transformed the scientific landscape of Ghana, Africa and the world for the better. His singular role in the development and promotion of mathematical sciences in Africa is exemplified in the establishment of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) (with that imposing and magnificent mountain-top edifice in Biriwa, near Salptond)


His legacy to Ghana and the world through his fine mathematical mind is monumental and our individual and collective debt to him is unusually large.

In short, Prof. Allotey was the quintessential scholar who won the admiration of all. He lived and practiced his profession in several countries and in multiple jurisdictions across the world.

He was tried and tested in all, yet he traversed every jurisdiction with flying colors.

We thank God for making it possible for us to benefit so richly from the decency of his life and the scholarship of his mind.




There were other sides to Francis Allotey beyond Mathematics and Physics.

So, let me say a word about Prof Allotey as a decent human being and a perfect gentleman.

In a world of unstable values, Prof. Allotey maintained a shining example of simplicity and modesty.


He never lost touch with the common man.

He had a sense of fair play, honesty and sympathy for the underdog, not equaled by many in public or private life.

On a very personal note, Prof Allotey never allowed his supreme knowledge of his subject discipline nor the fact that he was far senior to me to stand between us. Such was the humility of the man!


He was an exemplar. Big hearted and extremely generous, Kofi Allotey cared for and looked after many without counting the cost. As at the time of his passing, Prof Allotey had under his care and protection not less than 10 individuals that he looked after and singlehandedly supported fully. In the area of rural development, Prof Allotey assisted in the establishment of two elementary schools in Edumanfa and Owomasi in addition to funding a library in Saltpond. So long before “one district one factory”, Prof Allotey had his version of an appropriate slogan “One district, two elementary schools and one library!”




God’s beautiful treasure has been returned to Heaven.

So as we proceed to the final farewell, we can say proudly to Prof Allotey -Your life’s work has been accomplished to perfection with aplomb and excellence.

Soft spoken, easy going, never in a fight, seldom appearing to be vexed about anything, generous, and extremely kind –

Warm-hearted, humorous, charming and passionate, Prof Allotey was a giant of this land.


So that no one may accuse me of plagiarism, let me be quick to borrow an apt phrase from President Akufo Addo’s State of the Nation address delivered on the 8th of February, 2018: Prof Allotey was indeed “a national asset”.

What a stupendous life Prof Allotey led!

I am the richer for having known Kofi Ampenyin and worked with him as a colleague and friend.

We thank God for letting Kofi Ampenyin cross our paths. We thank

Him for this blessing on the African continent and the world at large

Within the constraints of human weakness, he gave of his best and in this last fond farewell we now thank God for giving us the opportunity to share in the life and times of Prof Allotey.


He is survived by his children, two boys and two girls – Francis Jnr, Joseph, Cilinnie and Kay, his two surviving sisters Mrs Agatha Narh, Mad. Theresa Allotey and twenty grandchildren.


Our deepest condolences go out to all of them and to the Allotey family of Saltpond and Accra.

Professor of Mathematics, Eminent Scholar, Nuclear and Mathematical Physicist, Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and numerous other Academies and Learned Societies.


May You Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.


Opanyin Kofi Ampenyin, Exquisite Genius,

May God’s Grace lead you home.

The Heavenly Angels await your arrival.

Damirifa Due!!!

Kenyan Delegates Arrive in Ghana to Study Nuclear Technology

A 12 member delegation from Kenya has arrived in Accra to understudy the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in its application of Nuclear Technology.

The delegates who will be hosted for a week are representing various institutions including Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB), Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya bureau Board (KeBS), Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDS) and the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovations (NACOTI).

The training saw participants through various modules including Strategic Action Plan, Business Plans and a comprehensive tour of the various science laboratories.

The Chief Scientist at the Kenya National Commission for Science Technology and Innovations, David Otwoma who doubles as a team leader of the delegates expressed delight at the technological advancement of GAEC.

According to him, the decision to visit GAEC was informed by its impressive advancement in Nuclear applications as acknowledged by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He added that, the information they have acquired so far exceeds their expectations and will help enrich their knowledgebase in the application of nuclear technologies back in Kenya.

The Director General of GAEC Prof. Benjamin Nyarko noted in an interview with GAEC Press that, the World including the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) is preaching sustainability for National Nuclear Institutes in Africa; an IAEA project dubbed “RAF 0047”.

According to him, the IAEA RAF 0047 initiative requires that, pragmatic steps are taken to sustain the operations of National nuclear institutions in Africa.

He disclosed that, as some African IAEA member states are working towards signing their first Strategic Action Plan, the commission is currently on its fourth Strategic Action Plan.

He added that, GAEC’s quest to support all member states that knocks at its door is in line with IAEA’s initiatives to ensure sustainability with respect to Nuclear Institutions in Africa.

Prof. Nyarko described GAEC as a “one stop shop” in the West African Sub regions where member states can acquire the needed support in the application of nuclear technologies. He said, the commission has the human capacity.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Calls for Mining Remediation Fund

Ghana Atomic Energy Commission
Isotope Hydrology Lab

The Nuclear Chemistry and Environmental Research Centre (NCERC) under the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission has called for the creation of a remediation fund for the mining sector.

The call was made in the quest to find a lasting solution to issues of water contamination and environmental degradation challenges which is as a result of illegal mining activities across the mining regions.

The NCERC conducts environmental research which focuses on groundwater/surface water quality monitoring, soil and air quality monitoring, pesticide residue in food and other biological samples, as well as environmental remediation. The Centre employs nuclear techniques such as stable isotope hydrology and atomic absorption spectroscopy in its work.

The Manager in charge of NCERC Dr. Samuel Afful told GAEC Press in an interview that government need to enforce laws that governs the small scale mining sector and also ensure effective supervision of small scale mining activities that have been duly licensed.

This action according to him will help reduce the high rate of environmental degradation, gold smuggling, occupational hazard, unemployment and among others that will subsequently boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Giving insight on what form the “Remediation Fund” should take he proposed that, similar to the Heritage Fund, the Fund must be a constitutional provision that requires small scale gold mining firms to pay a remediation tax.

He also recommended that, all sales of gold and other minerals should be channeled through the Minerals Commission that will oversee the deduction and payment of the remediation levy on behalf of mining companies to ensure compliance. “This is the only way to escape the high cost involved in treating polluted surface and underground water as well as degraded lands.

Citing an example, Dr. Afful Stressed that, portions of the river bed of both River Pra and Ankobra at Prestia; in the western region of Ghana should be excavated in order to remove the contaminants. “The dangers are that, the rivers flow into the sea and in effect, the marine waters will eventually be contaminated by chemicals”

He is confident that, the Atomic Energy Commission has the human capacity and resources to help curb the regrettable situation if funding is made available.

He called on government to consider setting up a Mining Remediation Fund and some other viable initiatives in order to curb the menace.

By:Thykingdom Kudesey

Mathematics; a Dream Killer of Aspiring Female Scientists – Ghana’s First Female Nuclear Engineer Opens up

Ghana’s first female Nuclear Engineer Ekua Mensima has blamed Mathematics as being a threat to the dreams of aspiring young female scientists in Ghana.

The 32 year old award winning scientist told GAEC Press in an interview that, though Mathematics is “an easy to understand” subject it not been fairly handled in schools with respect to delivery.

Ekua, who is currently with the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) at the Nuclear Safety Department, holds a Mater Degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Ghana Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Science. (GSNAS)

According to her, students are given an extremely weak foundation in mathematics right from pre-school to senior high school level hence resulting in low interest in science especially among female students.

She expressed worry at the fact that, many are still being discouraged from perusing science with an erroneous perception that mathematics is difficult. This she said tends to drive more females away from becoming scientists.

Presenting her case on other challenges, she mentioned gender inequality as another thought-provoking factor.” “A situation where women are seen as custodians of the kitchen is highly demotivating. Most women are faced with inferiority complex situations and this causes them to drop science for fear of their future. “

“Being the only female students in my class, I was not given a fair treatment by one of my lecturers who thought i don’t belong to the science class and as a result, i mostly cry to express my pain. She revealed.

Ekua hinted that, perusing science in Ghana’s University is relatively expensive hence depriving most brilliant but needy female students the opportunity to further. She was thankful to her single parent mother who supported her financially and encouraged her when she almost gave up.

Madam Mensima who is currently a mother of two disclosed that, family responsibility also has a way of pushing women away from choosing science. Using her two children as point of reference, she believes that, she could have advanced beyond her current position if not for the necessary breaks. She acknowledged the support of her husband who has encouraging her to pursue her PHD.

She believes that, women in science play a one hundred and five percent (105%) role than men and must be given the needed push to realize their dreams. “Women are assets on every field and must be encouraged to pursue science. I am confident that, women in science have a bright future since the number of enrolment in graduates schools have increased. “

She appealed to the Ghana Education Service to invest more into grooming good mathematics teachers who can give students solid foundation in mathematics.


By: Pricilla Asare

“You Can’t Have All Women In The Kitchen” – Afia Boatemaa

Afia Boatemaa-Nuclear Engineer

Ghana’s second female Nuclear Engineer Afia Boatemaa has called for an affirmative action among female scientist in Ghana.

The 27 year old scientist who graduated with a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Ghana, Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (GSNAS) in 2016 is confident that, women in science can climb the ladder of success if they remain focus.

She expressed worry at the fact that, several avoidable factors have led to the fall out of most aspiring female scientists in various academic institutions across the country.

Afia Boatemaa, who is currently working with the Keshe Foundation, first pursued her undergraduate course, in Chemical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the year 2013

“Female Scientists must stand their grounds and rise to defend their vision” She said. According to her, her quest to encourage other female scientists in Ghana to fight for their right came from several literatures she read concerning gender against female in science.

Afia is of the view that, the tradition that requires women to remain in the kitchen must no longer be heeded to.

Brushing off the challenges, Afia Boatemaa stressed on the need to think about solutions to curb the situation rather than trumpeting on the already known problems.

She disclosed that, even though she is yet to encounter any of such situations, she is mentally psyched to face whatever obstacle that is ahead of her.

“We are not in any competition with men; we only need an accommodating, transparent and a tolerable atmosphere to realize our dreams as female scientists. Ghana has only three female Nuclear Engineers now and we need more.” she cries out.

She advised women not to give inn to any form of humiliation; deceit and frustrations that are meant to kill their dreams but should rather stay focused. She hinted that, those who are financially constrained can apply for international scholarship programmes to finance their education.

She finally made an appeal to the Government to set up a fund to support financially challenged females who desire to become scientists.

CNS: Review Meeting Identifies Ideas to Improve Nuclear Safety

The Seventh Review Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety was held from 27 March to 7 April 2017 at the IAEA Headquarters, in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Contracting Parties highlighted the importance of sustaining and enhancing a nuclear safety culture, maintaining effective legal frameworks, and enforcing safety precautions within the supply chain following a two-week review of nuclear power plant safety.

Following intensive discussions and reflections on the national reports of nuclear safety programmes from 79 countries, delegates at the Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), identified and offered ideas to ensure achievement of high levels of safety. These included ideas to address financial and human resource constraints, safety concerns related to ageing nuclear facilities, and the need for harmonized cross-border emergency planning approaches.

In their Summary Report released at the close of the 27 March – 7 April meeting, Contracting Parties also encouraged the IAEA to continue developing guidance to help countries strengthen regulatory body oversight and practice safety culture.

“Maintaining nuclear sagety requires long-term commitment and vigilance from countries, as well as effective mechanisms for early detection and assessment of problems and networks for sharing lessons learned,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.

Referring to the need to maintain oversight of the supply chain to ensure safety, he said.

“This is a common issue both for countries operating nuclear power plants and those considering nuclear power programmes, because of the lack of availability of identical replacement parts and the need to be able to detect non-conforming, counterfeit, suspect or fraudulent items. Furthermore, with the number of nuclear-grade certified suppliers diminishing, access to manufacturers able to meet nuclear standards will become more challenging.”

Contracting Parties acknowledged the value of the CNS review meetings and other voluntary international peer review processes in encouraging continuous self-assessment and improvement.

“These processes effectively unearth the wealth of experience that countries have on nuclear safety issues, and this is helpful for both countries operating nuclear power plants and those just embarking on nuclear programmes,” said Ramzi Jammal, President of the Review Meeting and Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission “It is important for the IAEA and other organisations to cooperate to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of these reviews.”

Obligations under the CNS

The Convention entered into force on 24 October 1996, setting international benchmarks in the areas of nuclear installation siting, design, construction and operation, as well as financial and human resources, safety assessment and verification, quality assurance and emergency preparedness. It requires Contracting Parties to report on their implementation of obligations under the Convention and subject these reports to peer review by other Parties.

In its first decade, CNS Review Meetings focused heavily on specific technical safety issues. In recent years, the focus has shifted to continuous improvement of nuclear safety.

The CNS Contracting Parties hold Review Meetings every three years. The 8th Review Meeting will take place in 2020.