Ghana launches International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies

Accra, 17 March 2015 – 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light and Light Based Technology. The Ghana celebration, themed “Harnessing Light and Light-based Technology” was officially launched at a ceremony in Accra to begin a series of events to highlight the significance and contribution of light and light-based technologies to development and culture.

Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Min for Education

Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Min for Education

Launching the IYL2015 on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, the Minister for Education who is also the chairman of Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang bemoaned the little attention paid to the sciences by the education sector, adding that the nation’s development depends largely on the savvy of technology. She called on the private sector in Ghana and development partners to participate in actualizing the four outcomes of the commemoration of the IYL2015 in Ghana for the benefit of industry and the sub-region as a whole. The outcomes are to create an institute for laser and fibre optics at the University of Cape Coast; the establishment of a laser medical application laboratory; the establishment of a solar technology research centre and; the establishment of museum of light and light-based technologies.

Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO Rep to Ghana

Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO Rep to Ghana

Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah a Professor of Laser and Optical Physics of the University of Cape Coast and member of the planning committee, expounded on the usefulness of light and light-based technology citing the range of its value from MRI machines through X’rays to micro wave ovens. He also bemoaned what little advantage Africans are taking of technology compared to other parts of the world, adding that, from the level of research into light and light based technology, it is only a matter of time before pictures are taken in 3D instead of the current 2D.

Cross section of audience

Cross section of audience

There were solidarity messages from UNESCO, the African Physical Society and the embassies of Mexico and Russia. Also in attendance were members of the diplomatic corps, scientists and UN Agencies in Ghana.

As part of the commemoration of the IYL2015, Ghana would host an Africa Regional Conference and exhibition from 26th to 28th May on the theme ‘Harnessing Light and Light Based Technology for Africa’s Development’.