The Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre (GSSTC) was opened on 2 May, with the aim of becoming an arena of excellence in space science and technology, through teaching, learning and space research commercialisation.
Prosper Ashilevi, a space scientist and chairman of GSSTC, said space science and technology will equip young Ghanaian scientists and researchers with capacity and skills in areas such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) monitoring, as well as in data interpretation and application.
Ashilevi said the centre’s first flagship project, the Ghana Radio Astronomy Project, will involve the conversion of an abandoned Vodafone earth satellite station at Kuntunse, near Accra, into a radio astronomy telescope. Currently Ghanaian and South African experts are replacing worn out parts, to make the equipment operational again.
From 2012-2024, Ghana will seek financial support of US$5 billion to develop infrastructure and human capacity in space science, from a global consortium of multinational institutions – including the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the bank HSBC – and through bilateral and multilateral agreements.
“We have approached the South African National Space Agency and NASA for space science exploration, and similar institutions in Japan and Britain for technical advice,” Ashilevi said.
The implementing agencies are Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).