Tag: Kumasi


Nuclear science and technology is not new to Ghana

Nuclear technology has a long track record of positively contributing to global social and economic development. For more than 70-years nuclear research reactors have proven to be cornerstones of innovation in the global development of science and technology.

The African continent is no exception, the continent has 10 out of more than 240 research reactors operating globally. In 2009, Africa passed a milestone of half century of involvement with nuclear technology, dating from the initial criticality of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first research reactor (RR) at the University of Kinshasa. The construction of Congolese RR ushered in a new era of scientific development in Africa.

Africa’s RRs are a vital component of the evolving role nuclear science and technology play in the development of society. These reactors have significantly contributed to the scientific progress made in a wide range of spheres. Moreover, RRs are an indispensable tool in the education and training of future Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operators and engineers as well for the production of scientifically and technologically important materials, such as radioisotopes. These reactors are also used for testing new types of nuclear fuel and studying the radiation resistance of new materials and electronic devices.

For instance, South Africa can be considered a true role model for emerging countries on how nuclear science innovations can be employed to improve the quality of human lives. The SAFARI-1 RR, one of Africa’s first 20 MW research reactors, which already marked its 50-year milestone, successfully provides high quality products and services for domestic and international needs. Being the only nuclear research unit in SA the SAFARI-1 reactor is renowned as one of the leading producers of medical isotopes in the world, in particular molybdenum-99, which is a key isotope used in 40-million diagnostic procedures per annum worldwide. It is estimated that medical products, produced by the SAFARI-1, are used in approximately 10 million medical procedures in more than 60 countries per year, saving countless lives.

Nuclear innovations from Africa have made it possible to eliminate a range of harmful pests, which previously destroyed entire crops of fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. Due to nuclear technologies the tsetse fly no longer poses serious risk to famers and cattle in many previously effected regions. Moreover, nuclear techniques have enabled the increased productivity of the agricultural sector in many regions which has reflected positively on farmer’s incomes.

Ghana has successfully been operating its RR since 1994, apart from research purposes, the Ghanaian RR is utilized in support of the oil and aluminum manufacturing industries. The reactor is also used in geochemistry and hydrochemistry, soil fertility studies as well as mineral exploration.

Global experience of using nuclear technologies has shown that the research units are also widely applied for environmental monitoring and pollution assessments (air, water, and soil), food and agriculture, health, medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Nuclear-derived technologies, have for instance, helped the Central African Republic’s researchers to detect rich bodies of water in the deserts of Sahel. This region is a home to roughly 135 million people, whose biggest challenge is access to clear water, which is essential not only for drinking, but also for food production and sanitation.

In recent years, more and more African countries have seen the substantial benefits of modern nuclear technologies and realized that large-scale national nuclear programmes are able to stimulate sustainable and dynamic development in other important spheres, such as industry, agriculture and medicine.

Research reactors have the potential to adjust nuclear technologies for social development. For instance the production of medical isotopes to treat cancer and other diseases would not be possible without research reactors.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the rate of cancer cases is expected to rise. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than half million people die from cancer every year. Such a tragic tendency can be considerably leveled down by the availability of nuclear medicine, through the development specialized local isotope production facilities and medical centres.

The establishment Ghana’s RR made it possible for the country to open a radiotherapy centre in collaboration with the IAEA. With the help of the radioisotope production facility the radiotherapy center has proven to be highly effective not only for Ghanaian citizens, but also for cancer patients from neighboring countries. The center treats nearly 15 000 patients per year.

Prior to the centre, Ghanaian cancer patients had to travel abroad to India, the Americas and Europe to access treatment. A second center in Kumasi was established in 2004 again in collaboration with the IAEA, whilst the Swedish Ghana Medical center in Accra, a private venture was established in 2013. All three facilities in the country have capabilities for 3-Dimensional treatment planning.

Today there are only three radiotherapy centers in the country which do not cope with growing cancer incidence. In order to increase the efficiency rate of cancer treatment, Ghana needs more centers in different regions of the country to treat the growing number of patients.

The National Centre for Radiotherapy in Accra experiences some challenges. On average, 1200 new cancer cases are referred to the facility every year with about 70% requiring radiation treatment, however, less than 50% of these patients complete their treatment.

A shortage of skilled man power in the Centre hampers the full potential of the establishment and limits the delivery of state of the art radiation treatment aimed at improving outcomes and reducing side effects.

The modernization of the research facility and the construction of a Center of Nuclear Science and Technology will certainly have a positive effect for Ghana’s social and economic development.

Touring Ghana – Part 8…

Ashanti Region

untitled

Birthplace of historical figures Yaa Asantewaa and Okomfo Anokye, land of the ‘Golden Stool’ and gold, home of quality kente cloth, the Ashanti region if one of the most important regions in Ghana with a powerful history to match. With historic palaces, festivals filled with pomp and pageantry, unspoiled natural attractions, picturesque villages and wild life parks, a trip to the kingdom of gold is a trip one is unlikely to forget.

Getting there

There are STC buses that travel to the region’s capital Kumasi from all parts of Ghana. For those of you who wish to fly, there are flights from Accra to Kumasi at least twice a day and least once with other major regions with airports.

Where to stay

untitled

Being a major region in Ghana, the Ashanti region has several hotels, guest houses and resorts to suit any budget. Some of the best in the region are Wadoma Royal Hotel, Lake Bosomtwe Paradise Resort, Royal Park Hotel, Sanbra Hotel, Amis Wonderland Hotel, Laposada Hotel and Sweet Vine Hotel. In terms of places to eat there are many restaurants and fast-food outlets providing local Ghanaian dishes and international dishes such as Chinese, Indian and other continental meals. But to get a real taste of authentic local food and drink visit the numerous chop bars available local open air bars and street cafés.

 

Things to do

The cultural heartbeat of Ghana, there’s never a lack of thing to do in the region. I can’t possibly cover all things you can get stuck into so I’ll highlight the main things to do and look out for if you happen to visit this part of Ghana. First of all indulge in some local folkore and myth by visiting the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, where legend has it that Anokye (fetish priest and co-founder of the Ashanti empire) drove the sword so hard in the ground to mark the city of Kumasi that no one has ever been able to dig it up (Anokye also conjured up the ‘Golden Stool’ from the sky, believed to carry the spirit of the Ashanti nation). Visit the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum to discover Ashanti royalty and its history. There, one can view royal paraphernalia crafted in gold, war mementoes including the ‘Golden Stool’, the ‘Brass Pan of Independence’, famous royal battle outfits and historic photographs. Also worth a visit is the Manhyia Palace Museum, the former residence of past Ashanti kings.

untitled

The capital Kumasi is home to the largest open air market in West Africa at Kejetia so make sure you head there for a bargain. You can also head to the Cultural Crafts Centre to see local carvers, brass smiths, kente weavers, baskets weavers and adinkra textiles printers at work. Alternatively, you can visit the villages where these crafts are made – pottery at Ahwiaa, wood carvings at Ntonso, adinkra cloth-making at Asuofia and Asamang and bead-making at Ampabame. But an absolute must is a visit to the village of Adanwomase, the royal weaving village of the Ashanti king. There, you can take a special tour of the village and learn how kente is woven by the locals.

The Ashanti region is also one of the most beautiful regions in Ghana with unspoiled natural attractions. Digya National Park is a must for anyone visiting this part of Ghana – one can find many species of monkeys and baboons, elephants, antelopes, crocodiles, buffalos, water bucks, wildebeests, warthogs and many more. For the birdwatchers among you visit the Owabi Forest and Bird Sanctuary where you can find migratory and tropical birds and endangered Mona monkeys. Also worth a visit are the Bomfiri Wildlife Sanctuary with its waterfalls and wildlife and Bobiri Forest Butterfly Sanctuary. If you’re looking for adventure then Lake Bosomtwe is the place to go. A picturesque meteorite crater lake surrounded by beautiful fishing and farming villages, the lake basin is ideal for swimming, diving and mountain climbing. Other places worth a visiting are the Obuasi goldmines, Mframabuom Caves in Kwamang, Kumasi Zoo, Pankrono Shrine and the Atiwa Rock Formations.

untitled

Finally when it comes to events and festivals filled with pomp and pageantry, no one beats the Ashantis. Festivals taking place all year round are the Akwasidae Festival (celebrated every six weeks), Papa Festival (March), Kente Festival (July/August), Yaa Asantewaa Festival (August), Mmoa Nni Nko Festival (October) and Nkyidwo Festival (November/December). During these festivals one can witness the procession of the Ashanti king in his magnificent gold attire and local chiefs, sacrificial rituals and drumming and dancing. Before leaving make sure to try the regions speciality dishes – fufu with light soup containing ‘akrantee’/bush meat or snails and ampesi (yam, plaintain, cocoyam or cassava).

Yaa Nyarko (@yaayaa_89)

D-Black & Trigmatic

The other day we let you know how D-Black is nominated for a BET award. Well if you are in Ghana and somehow do not know D-Black is performing tonight, well he will be doing so in Kumasi!

He will be supported by Sarkodie, Yaa-Pono and others include Ghanas finest and a favourite of Me FiRi GHANA Trigmatic

D-Black-Live-in-Kumasi

D-Black-Live-in-Kumasi