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19.08.2013 General News

Ghana, Nigeria to collaborate on scientific project

Ghana and Nigeria have been urged to collaborate in order to benefit economically from the upcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project slated for 2017.

A space scientist with the Harvard -Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, Dr Katrien Kolenberg, said the Square Kilometre Array Telescope  would be the world's biggest telescope and one of the biggest scientific project ever in Africa with 13 countries including Ghana participating.

'The two West African countries have the brain power and infrastructure to benefit immensely if they collaborate, especially considering the in-roads Nigeria has made with regard to space exploration, 'she said.

'It will come with a lot of benefits because of the huge funding for the project and the generation of jobs not only for scientists but those running the facility as well,' she added.

Dr Katrien Kolenberg who doubles as an asterseismologist was speaking at the end of a five-day astronomy workshop which was held in Accra.

Organised by the Ghana Planetarium, the workshop has the objective to promote and encourage a higher level of study of astronomy in the country and contribute towards the development of science and technology.

It sought to raise interest in the subject by offering examples on how to teach astronomy by raising awareness of possible routes to higher studies and career paths.

In all 35 participants made up of astronomy educators, university lecturers, university students and teachers were taken through the various modules such as: astronomy, radio astronomy , scale model of solar system and star counting, zooniverse , galaxy zoo, science, citizen science, among others.

The Director of the Ghana Planetarium, Dr Jacob Ashong, challenged  participants to be ambassadors of astronomy by forming clubs across the country to whip up  interest of students in astronomy.

He called for the institution of an astronomy week to create awareness on the subject , as well as for  further collaboration between the media and the Ghana Planetarium to educate the public on astronomy.

By Fred Dzakpata/Daily Graphic/Ghana