It turns out Ghana missed the deadline to bid to host the African Union’s (AU) African Space Agency.
The AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Professor Sarah Anyang Abor revealed the bid from Ghana arrived a month late, disqualifying Ghana from consideration.Speaking at a briefing at the AU headquarters, she said, “the deadline for the bid was October 30, 2018, and Ghana came in November so automatically, without even looking at the documents, you [Ghana] were not considered.”
Ethiopia, Egypt, Namibia and Nigeria put in bids but Namibia withdrew from contention later on.
In April 2018, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng indicated Ghana’s desire to host the space agency and served notices that Ghana was going to put in a bid.
The agency is in line with the AU’s plan to leverage space technologies for Africa.
During their 26th Ordinary Session of the AU on January 31, 2016, in Addis Ababa, African leaders adopted the African Space Policy (ASP) and Strategy.
The strategy was the first step towards realising an African Outer Space programme in line with the AU Development Agenda 2063.
Ghana was hoping to ride on the successful launch of a satellite, GhanaSat 1, into space by some students of the All Nations University College in June 2017.
The satellite was handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Prof Frimpong Boateng said the students had boosted the government’s confidence in potentially hosting the AU Space Agency.
GhanaSat 1 was developed with support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and has been embedded with low and high-resolution cameras to take pictures of Ghana and provide data that can be used to monitor the coastal areas of the country.
The project was aimed at stimulating interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in high schools and tertiary institutions.
By: Delali Adogla-Duke & Mensah Opoku | citinewsroom.com | Ghana