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Ghana launches International Year of Light and Light-based Technology

BY: Mary Mensah

Ghana is to host the Africa Regional Conference and Exhibition on light and light-based technology which will promote the central role of light in enhancing development.

It will also showcase the many opportunities derived from the utilisation of light and light-based technologies for the welfare of humankind.

Themed ‘Harnessing Light and Light-based Technology for Africa’s Development’, the event will he held from May 26 to 28, 2015.  

Significance of light

The conference is expected to be attended by members of the scientific community, businesses, policy makers, the diplomatic community, students and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), among other institutions.

Launching the conference, the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, said the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015), had been proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight the significance and contribution of light and light-based technologies to development and culture.

Science and technology

She said the conference was also expected to open up science and technology for the appreciation of policy makers, politicians, social commentators, industrialists and the public in the region in particular and the world at large.

The minister, who is also the chairperson of Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, bemoaned the little attention paid to the sciences by the education sector, adding that the nation’s development depended largely on the savvy of technology. 

She called on the private sector in Ghana and development partners to participate in the conference for the benefit of industries in the sub-region as a whole. 

Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, a Professor of Laser and Optical Physics of the University of Cape Coast, explained the usefulness of light and light-based technology, citing the range of its value from MRI machines through X’rays to micro wave ovens. 

Advantage of technology

He indicated that Africans took little advantage of technology as compared to other parts of the world, adding that from the level of research into light and light-based technology, it was only a matter of time before pictures were taken in 3D instead of the current 2D.

There were solidarity messages from the UNESCO, African Physical Society and the embassies of Mexico and Russia.