Ferdinand Tornyie (right), Research Scientist, CSIR-IIR, having a chat with Michael S. Regan (middle), US EPA Administrator, and Dr Francis Boateng Agyenim (left), the Director of the Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
Ferdinand Tornyie (right), Research Scientist, CSIR-IIR, having a chat with Michael S. Regan (middle), US EPA Administrator, and Dr Francis Boateng Agyenim (left), the Director of the Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
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USA EPA Administrator tours CSIR Testing Centre

The Administrator of the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael S. Regan, has stated his country’s commitment to deepening its relationship with Ghana, especially in finding a common ground towards solving climate-related issues for mutual benefit. 

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He said the commitment was in line with President Joe Biden’s call to action at the 2022 US-Africa Leaders Summit to expand substantive and meaningful partnerships with African countries, institutions and people across the continent.

 “I am thrilled to be representing the Biden-Harris Administration on this mission to Africa to further the long-standing and enduring relationship between the US and this thriving continent.

“We are focused on how to develop a much stronger relationship between Ghana and the United States in air quality monitoring, best management practices and how we really take seriously the public health implications that we are seeing from air quality,” the administrator stressed.

Tour

Mr Regan said that during a tour of Ghana’s Regional Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at East Legon in Accra.

The tour was part of his five-day visit to Ghana.

Before arriving in Ghana, he had visited Mozambique to build relationships and share solutions on a range of environmental priorities, including the development of clean energy, protection of clean air, encouraging responsible mining of critical minerals and recycling of materials from plastic and electronic waste.

Support

The US EPA administrator said in the past years, the US government had been providing technical support to Ghana and the sub-region in promoting clean cooking solutions and his visit to the CSIR was to apprise himself of activities undertaken to ensure that cookstoves on the Ghanaian market met international standards while mitigating climate-related challenges. 

“We have a lot of technical expertise that we can share but we also believe that there is a lot that we can learn from the Ghanaians.

 So, I am really excited to be here and to strengthen these relationships around climate change, climate crisis, air quality and water pollution as well,” Mr Regan said.

He added that to ensure quality cookstoves were sold on the Ghanaian market, his outfit had sent some local experts here in Ghana for international training.

“We don’t want just countries like America or Germany to have the best stoves. We want all countries to have great cookstoves,” Mr Regan added.

Gratitude

The Director of the CSIR, Dr Francis Boateng Agyeman, commended the US government for the various support given to his outfit in establishing the Regional Cookstoves Testing and Knowledge Centre in Ghana, as well as building the capacity of his staff.

“We are grateful to the US government for supporting us in establishing a cookstove centre and making it international such that regionally, we can bring cookstoves from other West African countries to test and make them more efficient,” he said.

Dr Boateng Agyeman stated that the CSIR had received different support from the US, including technical support, as well as monetary support in establishing the centre to become an international one.

New space

Research Scientist at the CSIR, Dr Ferdinand Tornyie, who led the tour of the facility, noted that the cookstove fuel testing space was a new space which could not be taught in traditional universities.

“So with industrial research leading that space, we needed some capacity and the US EPA is doing great when it comes to this space.

 So they supported us in building our capacity in testing, making sure that when we test a stove in a Ghanaian lab, the results would be the same as that of what we have anywhere in the world,” he explained.

He added that testing the stoves in the laboratory and making recommendations to industry players to enable them to put out the best technology was protecting the market.

“With the Legal Instrument (LI) called Cookstoves Standard and Labelling passed to be accrediting stoves by the Ghana Standards Authority, it means the consumer will be protected,” he explained.

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