CSC Alumni Ghana Lecture
The CSC Alumni Ghana Lecture was held at the British Council on Friday 23 November 2018 to discuss ‘The role of science and technology for peace and development’, in commemoration of World Science Day for Peace and Development, held annually on 10 November. The lecture was open to Commonwealth Alumni and members of the public.
The purpose of the event was to draw attention to the challenges faced by science and scientists, to strengthen public awareness of the role of science in building peaceful and sustainable societies, and engage Commonwealth Alumni and stakeholders on the national importance of science. Key speakers were drawn from the science and technology community and included Francis Kemausuor, Senior Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005 Shared Scholar, MPhil Engineering for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge); Dr Thomas Tagoe, co-founder of GhScientific, a STEM based NGO with the primary aim of building capacity in STEM through public engagement and outreach activities; and Millicent Koranteng-Yorkr, a volunteer at Developers in Vogue, an organisation which aims at creating a community of highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionise Africa and beyond.
Alan Rutt, Country Director British Council Ghana, provided background about the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK and the objectives of Commonwealth Scholarships in providing individuals with the skills and knowledge required for sustainable development in their home country. He also outlined the role of the British Council in contributing to social and economic development priorities.
During his presentation, Francis highlighted the important relationship between peace and development. He explained how peace and development can result in an increase in income, healthy life expectancy, and social support and freedom, which are the foundations of the happiness index. He provided examples using ten different countries between 2015 and 2017. He emphasised that science and technology has played an intense role in improving peace and development across the globe, but many countries have not explored this. He added that science and technology has made life a lot easier with the advancement of agriculture, medicines, infrastructure, transportation, communication and industry. Francis concluded his presentation by pointing to the fact that in spite of the advancements in almost all sectors, the world is not free from hunger, disease, pollution, communication, illiteracy and poverty.
A contributors’ session with Dr Tagoe and Millicent followed the presentation. Dr Tagoe discussed how individuals can find an efficient way to harness their growth potential in the field of science and technology. He added that individuals should contextualise solutions to societal problems in the area of science. He suggested the hashtag #technologyisGREAT. Millicent went on to further highlight that ‘little’ technologies do not exist. As a society individuals should strive to build on their own inventions because the things considered as ‘little’ affect our future. Scientific development can be achieved by each member of society.
During the contributors’ session, alumni were given the opportunity to address a wide range of issues on science for development. Asare-Odei Van-Ike (1995 Scholar, MBA Banking Management, University of Exeter) provided insight on the role science and technology has played in furthering the development of the banking industry, highlighting the introduction of internet as a key development. Research promotion locally was also raised by an alumnus. The efficient sharing of research findings and application locally would boost growth in the agricultural sector of the Ghanaian economy.
At the end of the discussion, working groups were created on four action areas: promotion of science and technology for rural agriculture development, promotion of science and technology in basic schools, promotion of information and communication technology in state and private institutions, and the leading of advocacy for higher education research spending in developing countries. The formation of the working groups will provide alumni the opportunity to discuss and promote science and technology in different areas for development and feedback. Each group, led by an alumnus, will engage its members to champion the action areas.
Closing remarks were delivered by Chikodi Onyemerela, Director, Programmes and Partnerships at the British Council Ghana, who reiterated key issues discussed during the lecture. This was followed by a networking reception.
Photos from the event are available on CSC Flickr.
If you are a Commonwealth Alumnus and would like to find out more about CSC events and activities taking place in Ghana, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also get involved in the local alumni association, Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni, Ghana (CoSFAG), which is coordinated by an elected Executive Committee of alumni and supported in its work by the British Council Ghana.