18 September 2013
The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of successful cooperation between Ghana and the IAEA. Over the past five decades, the IAEA has provided technical cooperation support to the country in all thematic areas in which the IAEA operates, including human health, agriculture and food security, water and the environment, industry, education and training, as well as safety and security. Recently, Ghana has also been receiving support with developing nuclear power infrastructure as the country embarks on a nuclear power programme. As a result of half a century of cooperation, Ghana now has the capacity to not only serve its own needs but also to provide training and education on the application of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to other countries in Africa.
To celebrate this notable accomplishment, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has organized a country booth at the 57th annual IAEA General Conference. The exhibit displays posters describing successful technical cooperation projects and showcases actual examples of project outcomes, such as irradiated food.
The exhibit was officially opened on the first day of the conference with a celebration ceremony addressed by several high-level officials. Speakers included Prof. Emeritus A. K. Fiadjoe, Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Kwaku Aning, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, Dr Musheibu Mohammed-Alfa, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E. Sammie Eddico, Permanent Representative of Ghana to the IAEA, Permanent Mission of Ghana, Geneva. The opening ceremony was moderated by Prof I. J. K. Aboh.
In his remarks, Mr Aning noted that “Ghana is an excellent example of long standing country cooperation with the IAEA that has resulted in significant achievements and steady advances in science and technology.”
For example, as a result of the long-standing cooperation, Ghana has considerably improved its cancer treatment and management capabilities and established two radiotherapy centres, which now treat local patients as well as patients from neighbouring countries. In the area of food and agriculture, a food irradiation facility was installed with the support of a technical cooperation project, to ensure food safety. Some of the main technical cooperation achievements also include substantial human resource development as well the establishment of a Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences at the University of Ghana.
“Ghana will continue to partner with the IAEA to develop the necessary human resource capacity in the African region and beyond so that the African region can also take advantage of the application of nuclear science and technology to support socioeconomic development”, said Dr M. Mohammend-Alfa in conclusion.
The opening ceremony ended with a small reception at the country booth where attendees could talk to the exhibitors about Ghana’s achievements and learn more about how the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme has helped Ghana get closer to reaching national development goals.