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Ghana Launches The Celebration Of 2015 As The International Year Of Light And Light-Based Technologies (IYL, 2015)

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Ghana has launched a year-long celebration of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015. The Ghana celebration, is themed “Harnessing Light and Light-based Technologies for Africa’s Development”, was officially launched at a ceremony in Accra on the Tuesday, 17th of March to begin a series of events to highlight the significance and contribution of light and light-based technologies to the development and improvement in the quality of life.

Launching the IYL, 2015 on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, the Hon. Minister for Education who is also the Chairman of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, called for an increased attention for science and technology in the education sector, adding that, the nation’s development depends largely on the savvy of the science fields. The President called on the private sector in Ghana and development partners to participate in actualizing the four outcomes of the commemoration of the IYL, 2015 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; establishment of a Solar Technology Research Centre and; the establishment of a Museum of Light and Light-based Technologies.

Prof. Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, a Professor of Laser and Optical Physics of the University of Cape Coast and a member of the planning committee of the IYL in Ghana, expounded on the usefulness of light and light-based technologies, citing the range of its value from MRI machines through X’rays to microwave ovens. He said Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science today. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

Among the participants at the ceremony were Ministers of Education, Science and Technology; Members of Parliament; Representatives of Regional bodies - AU, ECOWAS; UN Agencies in Ghana; Members of the Diplomatic corps and Development partners. Also in attendance were key industry players in Optics and Photonics; Vice-Chancellors of Universities and other Academic Institutions and Centres; Students’ of Physical Societies at the Tertiary level; Students at the Junior and Senior High School level as well as Non-Governmental Organizations.

There were solidarity messages from the UNESCO Representative to Ghana, the President of the African Physical Society and the Embassies of Mexico and Russia Federation, who were part of the initiators of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies at UNESCO circles.

As part of the commemoration of the IYL, 2015, Ghana would host an Africa Regional Conference and Exhibition from 26th to 28th May in Accra on the theme ‘Harnessing Light and Light-Based Technology for Africa’s Development’. For more information and participation, please log on to www.light2015.unescoghana.org

 


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