MEMBERS of Parliament have congratulated the students and management of the All Nations University College (ANUC) in Koforidua for making the nation proud by sending Ghana’s first Space Satellite into orbit.
According to them, the releasing of Ghana’s first Space Satellite into orbit was no ordinary invention or breakthrough of regular unearthing by a group of individuals or an institution.
George Mireku Duker, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsuaem and Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu, in two separate statements on the floor of the House, commended the three students and management of the University for setting their vision high and making every effort to prove to the world what Ghana was capable of.
Three engineering students from the ANUC designed, built and launched the satellite from the International Space Centre. The purpose for the lanch into orbit of Ghana first space satellite, among other things, is to collect data for the country’s Space and Science and Technology Sector.
The Ghana Sat 1 also has low and high resolution camera on board capable of taking pictures of Ghana and providing data on happenings on Ghana’s coastal areas and the environment to the outside world.
Duker also stated that space satellites automatically have emotional impact on the day-to-day activities and make life better by offering contemporary conveniences through broadcast education. Space satellites are simply artificial objects put into orbit.
He said Space satellites inform, educate, and entertain the human race through television, in-flight phone communication on airplanes, navigations, instant credit card automation, weather forecast on a global scale, land monitoring, among others.
He said satellites were increasingly becoming important to the developing world and for a country like Ghana with populations separated by uneven landscape and different languages, the use of communication satellites to provide remote population access to education and to medical expertise that would otherwise not reach those in marginalised areas.
Mubarak, on his part, called on the House not to just celebrate this success but add its voice to calls to help the ANUC and other institutions of higher learning that were exploring for new technology.
He said the nation must be seen to be investing and spending more on research and development.
He said data from the Ministry of Finance showed that less than five percent of the country’s GDP was spent on research and development, adding that would get the nation nowhere if the people were not interested in gaining from the advantages that come with advancement in technology.
Mubarak also stated that the world was changing so fast and Ghana just could not afford to choose inaction as an option.
“We have to rise to the occasion and become competitive, if we can’t be the best in the world, Europe and Africa, let’s be number one in West Africa,” he added.
He said for the country to succeed in the years ahead depended on the people’s ability to work for it.
He said not only did the country need to send more satellites into orbit, but to make its own advances in science and technology that would give the nation a front row position in the world of science and technology.
Samuel George Nartey, MP Ningo-Prampram, in his contribution, stated that Parliament should be giving policy direction and shaping in which institutions would be the primary agent that would harness the information from the new satellite for national development.
He said the Ghana Sat 1 can help the Ghana Navy in the fight against the menace of light fishing and pair-trawling which was affecting local Ghanaian fishermen.
Frank Annor-Dompreh, MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, called for the setting up of National Research Fund to support such laudable initiatives in the country.
He said the nation also has to guide research institutions in the country by giving them certain deliverables that were relevant.