A seven-member Board of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) chaired by Dr. Kwesi Aning, a former Deputy Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been inaugurated in Accra.

The GAEC Board, which will provide direction to Management, was inaugurated by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kweku Afriyie.

Other members of the Board include the Director-General of GAEC, Professor Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, Chief Director of MESTI, Mrs. Cynthia Asare Bediako, and a Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei.

Minister of MESTI, Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (middle) in a group photograph with members of GAEC Governing Board

/The rest are Prof. Elsie A. B. Effah Kaufmann of the University of Ghana and the Director of Research Survey and Administration at AIESEC Dr. Robert Adjaye.

Dr. Afriyie said the Commission had a long history, which was almost as old as Ghana’s independence; saying with regards to agencies that had dealt with nuclear energy and all its ramifications, GAEC was one of the first in Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

He noted that Ghana had got a very rich nuclear history and culture, stating that the country needs nuclear energy more than any other time its history.

He said the nexus for Ghana’s Atomic Energy was that nuclear energy was becoming very important as a terminal source of energy for the country’s industrial development.

“I know we will go through a transition; we will use gas and all that but the geographical development of Ghana is such that our hydro resources used to be the number one, is still very important, except that we have exhausted almost all the potentials. Coal is a dirty fuel, even the oil is also a biofuel. So, if we are going to transition, then it means at the terminal end we have to look at nuclear energy as a saviour of some sort.”

He said fortunately, under President John Agyekum Kufuor’s regime, Ghana took some steps under Professor Daniel Adjei Bekoe’s Committee, which fortunately other regimes also continued.

He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Government would make sure that Ghana taps its nuclear potential because the knowledge and technical know-how were there.

He said the Government was putting regulations and structures in place to ensure that Ghana started its nuclear power generation.

Dr. Afriyie noted that the Board had come in at a very crucial moment in Ghana’s development, especially with regards to energy; saying the decisions that they were going to take would impact on the country’s rapid development.

He said there was the need to generate more energy to meet the growing demand in the country; such as the feeding industry.

He said if Ghana was to go nuclear there was the need for the GAEC to carry Ghanaians along.

“If you want to do nuclear energy, misinformation alone would mislead the populace that is why it is very crucial for you to do the advocacy as a Board collectively and as individuals, I think that will help,” Dr. Afriyie said.

The Minister urged the Board to make the GAEC more visible to the populace.

On his part, Dr. Aning on the behalf of his colleagues expressed gratitude to the President for the honour done them.

He said nuclear technology was the most powerful technology ever known to man in two senses: “The same technology that can be used to destroy Accra, can be used to determine whether a five-month-old baby is getting enough nutrition; so, its width and breadth of application is very broad”.

He said nuclear technology was very rich but it had a downside, which was safety; adding that, there was a new nuclear regulatory body, which was taking care of the issue of safety.

Prof. Nyarko in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, expressed his joy over the Board’s inauguration; adding that, the Board was coming in at a time when the Commission had a lot of activities waiting for the Board’s approval before their execution.

Source: GNA

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