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27.03.2006 General News

Scientists in to telecast eclipse live


Accra, March 27, GNA - An eight-member scientific research team from South Africa arrived in the country at the weekend to collaborate with their Ghanaian counterparts to telecast live to the rest of the world the eclipse of the sun on Wednesday.

The six-member delegation led by Mr Sibusiso Manzini, Director, African Co-operation, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa, called on Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science on Monday.

He said Ghana and South Africa could achieve more in the application of science and technology if scientists from the two countries collaborated more.

"Ghana has played lead role in many international arenas such as at the African Union, NEPAD, ECOWAS and even at the United Nations and we believe that if the two countries collaborated more we could take the Continent out of its doldrums.

"The collaboration on the eclipse is an example of how our two countries can collaborate in science and technology to help each other," Mr Manzini said.

Meanwhile two members of the delegation have already proceeded to Cape Coast from where they would be telecasting the rare occurrence live.

Mr Manzini thanked Ghana for agreeing to allow South Africa to telecast the eclipse live from Cape Coast and pledged South Africa's readiness in assisting Ghana in her bid to promote Biotechnology. Ms Churcher said the time had come for Africa to use its knowledge in science and technology to redeem the Continent from problems such as drought, famine and desertification.

"The Asian giants such as Malaysia have been able to attain their present position in the world due to the application of science and technology to their environment," she said.

Ms Churcher said Africa could likewise use science and technology to solve the problems that confronted it as a continent especially in the area of health and agriculture.

"Why are we still battling with issues of malaria and other diseases or are we not applying science and technology rightly?" she queried. She said the major challenge facing Ghana currently was how to link its research findings with the enterprise and industrial development of the nation.

Ms Churcher said there was ample evidence that through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) there were improvement in areas such as agriculture and health and that sustainable development needs to thrive on sustainable environmental practices," she added.

She said the Radiotherapy Departments of the two teaching hospitals in the country were all created using the knowledge base of the nation's scientists at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), adding that there were plans to extend the technology to the Northern Region. "As Africans, we need to share thoughts and learn from each other and make Africa a beacon of hope for all," she said.

Mr Edward Osei Nsenkyire, Chief Director (MES), who welcomed the delegation, urged African scientists to brainstorm with each other on how to promote agriculture using science and technology to develop implements and tools to help the farmer.

"It is rather unfortunate that at this age of technological advancement, African farmers still use the cutlass and hoe to till the soil. We need to assist the farmers in this regard for them to produce more to feed the Continent," he said.

The South African High Commissioner in Ghana, Fikile Swamanda, accompanied the delegation. 27 March 06