Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Africa to deepen the existing bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the areas of Science and Technology. The Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Sherry Ayittey, signed on behalf of Ghana, while Mrs Grace Pandor, Minister for the Department of Science and Technology, initialled for her country.
The MoU signing was a sequel to a Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation established and signed between the two countries in 2004.
In addition, there would be technology transfer and the commercialisation of research results by the two countries.
Ms Ayittey, in her remarks after signing the MoU, in Accra last Monday, said science and technology were vital to the development of the two countries.
She said the two countries could create knowledge, products and services that would boost “our trade and investment relationship,” and said the signing of the pact marked a significant milestone in promoting science and technology.
“Indeed, today marks a significant historic event where Ghana and South Africa are going to deepen their relationship in a very critical economic sector such as science and technology,” she said.
The Minister said government was keen on promoting science and technology innovations and making it take centre stage in the country’s development agenda.
She said a Science and Technology Fund had been established to provide funding for implementing science and technology programmes and projects.
In her remarks, Mrs Pandor said the signing of the science and technology agreement was in line with the vision of the late President, John E.A. Mills, to develop Ghana through science and technology.
She said under the MoU, Ghanaian scientists and engineers would be trained in South Africa with the necessary skills to run an observatory.
She was impressed that Ghana was among eight African countries – Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia – which had been working on the bid to host the square Kilometre Array (SKA) since 2003 and hosted the 3rd Working Group and the 5th SKA steering committee meeting in September 2010.
Mrs Pandor said the SKA project was a global scientific enterprise to build the largest scientific instrument ever envisaged, saying it would help Africa to operate radio astronomy observations and participate in global radio anatomy, and also engage in advance scientific research, adding that Ghana had a strong history of mathematics and physics, which formed the basis of skills needed for radio
Coordination is provided by ISC Intelligence in Science as one of the initiators of AERAP, together with the South African Mission to the EU.
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