By Kelechukwu Iruoma
Prof. Emeritus Francis Allotey has urged government at all levels in the West African countries to invest heavily in Astronomy and Space Science as parts of efforts set to realise the millennium development goals.
Allotey said this at the West African International Summer School 2017 Tagged: “Ghana West African International Summer School for young Astronomers 2017”, held at Ghana Atomic Energy Centre (GAEC)/ Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI).
The two week Astronomy Summer School was organised for young astronomers across space researchers, universities undergraduate and graduates to sharpen their intellectual capability in the advancement of space research, engineering and astronomy in Africa continent which involved six West African countries which were Gabon, South Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Columbia and Ghana including other European countries.
He said investing in astronomy and space science will enable them gain a good stand globally in science, adding that governments need to fund science heavily to work and improve on astronomy and space science in the continent.
The Acting Director, National Space Research and Development Agency NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space, Nsukka (CBSS), Dr Bonaventure Okere, in his remark, said: “Engaging youths in Space Technology Research with manpower will provide adequate solutions to myriad of problems facing Information Communication Technology in Africa as well as address daily environmental challenges in rural communities like a magic wand.”
Dr. Okere a Nigeria renowned Astrophysicist described astronomy as a foundation for technological development. He applauded Prof Seidu Onalo Mohammed, Prof Borofice Ajayi, Professor emeritus, Pius N. Okeke and Nigerian government, for their commitment to Space development, adding that the foundation laid would continue to grow and evolve in serving the Nigeria space industry.
Other remarkable achievements, Okere highlighted were to coordinate astronomy activities in West Africa and help encourage the introduction of astronomy in the schools’ curricula. He said Nigeria was considered to host the West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development WAROAD, WAROAD, because the country has become a model for Space Science and Technology development in West Africa and Africa at large, he added.