Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Africa is bidding to host the world’s largest Telescope


It is said that Science and Technology [S&T] drives development, and the right investment and commitment in this area is what Africa needs to catch up with the rest of the world, at least if we can't overtake the current leaders. S&T will help solve the myriad challenges that confront the continent, in terms of health, education, industrialization and so on.

That said , it's such a good news to discover that South Africa together with 8 other African countries including Ghana, has taken on the challenge to bid as hosts of the world's largest telescope (see here for some locations with large telescopes). This initiative is called the Square Kilometer Array [SKA] Project, which will be announced in the middle of 2012.

With support from the African Union, South Africa is in partnership with Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia.
So how will these partnering countries benefit?
If South Africa wins the bid, it would consolidate Africa as a major hub for astronomy. The partnering countries would have sub-stations for research as well as address fundamental questions concerning stars and planets, and astrophysics.

How is Ghana preparing?
Ghana has gone ahead to dedicate its large Satellite Earth Station at Kuntunse (Greater Accra region) to the project. In terms of education, there are plans for the Universities to run graduate and post-graduate programs in astronomy and astrophysics. The opportunity will also enhance study in system/radio engineering and space technology.

For those also interested, the newly-formed African Astronomical Society (AfAS) has opened up membership for free.

If you are in Accra, The Ghana Science Project is also a place for astronomy enthusiasts and students.
Directions to the Planetarium:
The GHANA PLANETARIUM is on OSU AVENUE EXTENSION. That is the road behind Police HQ, and also behind Christ the King.

From Christ the King church/school, take the first turn on your right after passing Christ the King on your right. The turn is signposted for Quality Distance Learning (QDL). Take another right where you see another sign for QDL. The road bends round to the left and the Planetarium is on your left, in the same compound as Quality Distance Learning and Office Automation Systems.

Or, from Danquah circle, head towards Kwame Nkrumah Circle on the Ring Road until you get to Police HQ. Take the slip road that is next to Police HQ, and take the right turn that is halfway up the slip road (ie you don’t go all the way up the slip road to the mini roundabout). This road is Osu Avenue Extension. Pass Cinderella’s Night Club, then you will find the Planetarium in the same compound as Quality Distance Learning and Office Automation Systems. There is a large sign on the wall.
Just look for the giraffes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The National Constitution Review Conference begins today:1st-5thMarch

The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) is hosting a 5-day National Constitution Review Conference before a gathering of 2000 people, including His Excellency John Mahama, the Vice President and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Prof. John Atta Mills who will address the Conference alongside Prof. (Emeritus) Albert Kodzo Fiadjoe, Chair of the Constitution Review Commission.

The theme of the Conference is 'The Constitution: Our Identity'.

To attend the conference, you would have to register and print out your ticket.

Airing live on GTV, the Conference will serve as a climax to the CRC's consultations with the people of Ghana, opening to national debate the 75,000+ ideas submitted by Ghanaians on the matter of the Constitution.

  • Experts will have critical discussions on the various suggestions for review.
  • Our national experiences and issues will be compared with international comparative experiences and best practices.
  • Every citizen will have the chance to participate in re-crafting the Constitution

The final recommendations of the Commission will be largely based on the outcomes of the Conference so don't hesitate: register NOW to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the blueprint upon which the future of Ghana will be based.

A full programme for the Conference can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/eMEpUN.

Conference Objectives

1. To serve as a representative national platform where the over-75,000 submissions received and processed will be tabled for national debate.
2. To bring together persons with expertise and experiential knowledge on the various thematic areas implicated by the submissions to assist the conference to arrive at durable solutions and options for constitutional redesign.
3. To provide an opportunity to relate national experiences and issues with international comparative experiences and best practices.
4. To begin to build national consensus around the issues tabled for discussion at the conference.

Conference Participation

Participants are being drawn from public, private and civil society organizations as well as individuals. Identifiable groups such as Political Parties, Youth groups, Gender groups, Persons with Disability, Children, Professional Bodies and Associations, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Private Sector as well as Eminent persons, Facilitators and National and International Consultants would participate.

Consultations So Far

So far, the Commission has undertaken the following levels of consultations:

  • Community and District Consultations (Apr – Jun ‘10): all 170 Districts
  • Follow-Up Community and District Consultations (Jul – Sept ‘10): all 170 Districts
  • Regional Open Forums (Aug – Sept ‘10 ): all 10 Regions
  • Regional Mini Consultations (Aug - Sept ‘10): all 10 Regions
  • Formal Regional Public Hearings (Aug - Sept ‘10): all 10 Regions
  • National Mini Consultations (Aug – Oct ‘10): 56 Interest Groups & MDAs
  • Diaspora Consultations in Kenya, Nigeria Botswana, Egypt and South Africa (Nov ‘10)
  • Written Submissions sent to the Commission from all over the world (Jan – Dec ‘10)
  • New Media/Social Media (website, Facebook and Twitter) entries from all over the world (Mar – Dec ‘10)
  • Special Consultations with Sitting and Former Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc (Dec ‘10 – Feb ‘11)
  • SMS Text-In Campaign across all Networks (Ongoing)
  • Phone Calls and Text Messages from all over the world (Jan – Dec ‘10)

Submissions So Far

The over 75,000 submissions received so far have been synthesized into 12 thematic areas. These have been further broken down into some 77 sub themes and about 548 issues. These will be tabled for debate at the National Constitution Review Conference.

Contacts

Telephone: +233 302 771185 / +233 302 771184

Mobile: +233 20 1635322
Fax: +233 302 771188
Email: info@crc.gov.gh
Website: www.crc.gov.gh
Facebook: facebook.com/CRCgh
Twitter: twitter.com/CRCgh

To contribute to the issues before and during the conference, send a blank text to Short Code 1992 from all Networks to receive and answer any of the top 25 questions (0.50GP/text).

source: www.crc.gov.gh