Ghana is to hold its first national science congress next month.
The congress begins in Accra on August 2, 2011, and the opening ceremony is expected to be performed by the President John Evans Atta Mills.
A formal invitation was extended to the President on Tuesday, when members of the National Planning Committee of the Congress paid a courtesy call on him at the Osu Castle in Accra, to announce to him the preparations so far made on the upcoming congress.
The Congress, with a proposed theme “Water, Sanitation and the Environment- Securing our Future through Science,” would be in three parts, namely presentations from the Ghana science and industry communities, exhibitions of works of people in the scientific community and an awards ceremony for distinctions in science.
President Mills underscored the importance of Science and Technology in national development.
He said: “Nobody can downplay the importance of science and technology. Science and technology should be the basis for national development. The fact that we have established the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology underscores the premium we place on science and technology.”
President Mills lauded the scientists for coming together, and expressed concern about the rapid rate of environmental degradation in the country.
The President wondered what would happen to the environment in the next 15 years, and called for concerted efforts in bringing the ills being done to the environment under control.
President Mills assured the scientists that Government would take an active interest in their activities and the congress.
He expressed the hope that the congress would come out with concrete proposals that would help to address the concerns of the environment.
Professor Mariann Ewurama Addy, Chairperson of the Committee, commended the Mills Administration for instituting the congress, saying it was an indication of the importance Government attached to the development of science and technology.
She stated that there would be participants from the science community, industry, Local Government, and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
Professor Francis Nkrumah, a distinguished biological scientist and medical doctor, observed that Ghana had a lot of catching up to do in the development of its science, technology and innovation culture.
He recalled that science, technology and innovation had driven the development of South Korea rapidly, and called for the building of capacity in these areas for the benefit of the nation.
Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, and her deputy, Dr Omane Boamah, accompanied the delegating.