Dr Kwaku Aning, a Ghanaian Scientist has been appointed Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), effective January 1, 2011, making him the first African to assume the exalted IAEA position.
Dr Aning, will be the Deputy Director General for Technical Co-operation, and will head 170 staff.
A statement issued in Accra on Tuesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Dr Aning would be responsible for the implementation of nuclear technology projects in 120 member states of the IAEA.
Prior to joining the IAEA in 2000, Dr Aning served with the UN in various capacities for 23 years in New York, Angola and Geneva.
He obtained his doctorate degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Columbia University, New York; a master’s degree in Solid State Physics from Princeton University, Princeton; and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (First Class) from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.
Dr Aning has edited two books on information and communication technologies and published a number of articles in scientific and technical journals.
The IAEA has been providing assistance to Ghana in various nuclear related projects including the Nuclear Research Reactor of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) at Kwabenya, the cancer treatment centres at Korle-Bu Hospital, and the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
The IAEA also supported the establishment of the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana and the Atomic Campus among other projects.
The statement quoted Professor Edward H.K. Akaho, Director General of GAEC hailed the appointment of Dr Aning, saying his new position is a great source of inspiration for the promotion and enhancement of peaceful uses of atomic energy in Ghana and Africa.
He said Ghana’s intention to explore nuclear power option in the country’s energy sector made co-operation with the IAEA extremely important.