The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Ghana, briefed about COMSATS’ programmes and recent activities

The Executive Director COMSATS called on Hon. Ing. Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei, FGhIE, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Government of Ghana, in his office in Accra to discuss the on-going and future programmes of COMSATS with special reference to Ghana’s participation. The meeting held on May 3, 2013 was attended by Ing. Dr. Eugene Atiemo, Director of CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), Ghana, representing the Director-General CSIR; the outgoing Director of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Benony Komla Kortatsi and Mr. Isaac Kofi Yankson, Scientific Officer of CSIR-BRRI.

While thanking the Hon. Minister for hosting the meetings of COMSATS’ two major organs, consecutively on 1-3 May 2013 in Accra, he emphasised the need for Ghana to exercise its leadership as the Chair of COMSATS and entrust COMSATS Secretariat to achieve specific targets of S&T cooperation in Member Countries, especially in Africa.

The Executive Director further informed the Hon. Minister that 14 Member States were represented in the meeting of COMSATS Consultative Committee held on May 1, whereas 12 Centres of Excellence participated in the Coordinating Council meeting on May 2-3, 2013. The representative of 2 prospective Centres also presented the profiles of their Centres as part of the induction process in the Network.

The Hon. Minister welcomed the Executive Director and expressed his delight at the presence of high-level officials and eminent scientists in Accra. While regretting his inability to be present in the joint opening ceremony of the meetings, he assured that the contents of the message read out on his behalf in the ceremony were based on his personal commitment to support COMSATS’ activities in Ghana. He also expressed keen interest in the International Thematic Research Groups of COMSATS and the educational facilities offered to the students of COMSATS Member Countries at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad.

The Hon. Minister reiterated that from independence, Ghana had envisioned her development through Science and Technology. He said, for example, that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah set up the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in 1963. The Minister emphasised that the new direction of MESTI is towards Innovations and Technology Development and that research should problem-based and meant to solve problems. Hence, research and development should be related to thematic areas such as Energy, Agriculture, Health, Water and Sanitation, Construction, etc. He asked, for instance, can BRRI develop a material to help reduce dust on Ghana’s untarred roads?

Among other matters that were agreed upon, during the meeting included:
(i)    Preparations for a meeting of COMSATS’ officials with the Chairperson of COMSATS;
(ii)    Closer contacts with COMSATS Secretariat through the office of the relevant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana;
(iii)    Consideration of setting up video-conferencing link between MESTI and COMSATS Headquarters;
(iv)    Review of the possibility of launching the Thematic Group on “Construction Materials” under the Lead Centre, CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute, Ghana;
(v)    Exploring the possibility of sending an officer of MESTI on secondment to COMSATS Secretariat;
(vi)    Placement of Ghanaian students in the graduate studies programme of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology.

At the end of the meeting, the Executive Director presented COMSATS Annual Report 2012 and COMSATS Shield to the Hon. Minister.