Professor Jimmy Adegoke, acting Executive Director of West Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adopted Land (WASCAL), has called for increased investment in space science technology by developing countries.
He said the benefits to be derived were enormous, adding that, data generated through space science could for example provide early warning signs to avert threat to human survival.
These could also give impetus to national economic development.
Prof Adegoke was opening the sixth space science and satellite technology applications conference and the second international biodiversity information resources and data (BIRD) workshop at the All Nations University College (ANUC) in Koforidua.
The three-day meeting is being organized under the theme “The importance of small satellite technology application in enhancing socio-economic activities in developing countries”.
It has brought together more than 20 space science research fellows from Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Prof Adegoke indicated that space science technology could provide wide range of information, from agriculture to every aspect of society – security, urban planning, environmental management, early disaster warning signs and many others.
He, however, noted that the success of any investment in space science would depend to a large extent on trained human resources.
He said such trained people needed to be given the opportunity to pursue their vision in space science, something that required continued injection of resources if the benefits of the investment were to be realized.
Pro Adegoke called for stronger collaboration and networking among public institutions, research institutions and the private sector for successful application of space technology.
He applauded the government’s decision to allocate one per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the research fund with the possibility of increasing it to 2.5 per cent in the near future.
He suggested that the government looked for additional sources to substantially increase the fund.
Ms. Turcia Busakwe, Programme Manager of Space Advisory Company of South Africa, said it was not always the case that “one should develop a satellite” since there were already many out there in the space.
What was important, she said, was to develop a ground space center with the requisite structures to receive data from the already existing satellites for analysis and adoption, depending on the nation’s needs.
The Reverend Dr. Samuel Donkor, President and Founder of ANUC, said the conference would put spotlight on how space science technology could be used to address many of the socio-economic challenges facing the developing countries.