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21.01.2005 General News

Experts discuss establishment of nuclear technology school

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Accra, Jan 21, GNA- Ghana and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are discussing the possibility of establishing a post-graduate school on Nuclear and Allied Sciences at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The need to develop the human capacity of the University for the management and utilisation of nuclear and biotechnology projects in Ghana is also under discussion.

Professor Edward Akaho, Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), disclosed these in a briefing with the Ghana News Agency, after a closed-door meeting with the visiting Director General of the IAEA, Dr Mohammed ElBaradei and top-level Ministers of State and other Government officials in Accra on Thursday.

Prof. Akaho said the meeting, chaired by the acting Senior Minister, Mr Joseph Henry Mensah discussed areas of enhancing technical cooperation and the sustainability of IAEA-assisted projects in Ghana. He quoted Dr ElBaradei as saying that the IAEA was trying to encourage member states, like Ghana to demonstrate their commitment to the careful application of funds, and maintenance of the Agency's assisted projects.

Prof. Akaho cited the COBALT 60 Machine at the Radiotherapy Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, which he said needed regular maintenance to remain functional.

Funds would not always be available from the IAEA to support such equipment, Prof. Akaho said, adding that the IAEA also wanted members to engage in co- funding of projects.

The meeting acknowledged the benefits Ghana had derived through its technical cooperation with the IAEA in the fields of Agriculture, Human Health, Industry and Environment.

It also noted that development was highly linked to energy supply, hence the need to assess Ghana's capability to opt for nuclear energy to generate electricity.

Dr ElBaradei, who is on a three-day visit to Ghana, at the invitation of President John Agyekum Kufuor, had paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

The GAEC and Ministry of Environment and Science had also held a reception in honour of Dr ElBaradei.

The Director-General of IAEA who is visiting West Africa for the first time would participate in the official inauguration of a Radiotherapy Centre at the Komfo Anokye Hospital in Kumasi, on Friday and address a durbar of workers of the GAEC, at Kwabenya on Saturday. The Vienna-based IAEA provided the equipment, training and expertise through the GAEC for the establishment of the two radiotherapy centres at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the new one to be inaugurated in Kumasi.

Ghana was the third country from Africa, south of the Sahara to become a member of the IAEA in September 1960 and has since benefited from the Agency's Technical Cooperation projects, including financial support of more than 123 million dollars.

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