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General News Fri, 30 Apr 1999

Ghanaian scientists urged to utilise laser centre

Elmina (Central Region) 30 April ?99

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Professor Y.S. Boafo, has called on the country's scientists to utilise the Laser and Fibre Optics Centre (LAFOC) at the UCC to accelerate the country's technological development.

He said he could foresee a breakthrough in the application of optics and laser technology in the next millennium, and urged the centre to do some more prospecting, to enable the Ghanaians appreciate the good works of scientists.

Prof Boafo, made the call at the closing session of the first West African sub-regional college on "optics education for tertiary teachers and researchers" at Elmina on Thursday.

About 30 researchers and teachers from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun and Cote d'Ivoire attended the four-day workshop.

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It was aimed, among others, at exposing the participants to the activities of LAFOC with the view of encouraging collaboration between the centre and other institutions.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor said he believed that the science optics and laser offers immense opportunities and advantages to mankind.

Laser application in communication, medicine, industry, environment and agriculture should be looked into, he suggested.

Prof Boafo hoped that deliberations at the college would be put to good use and that LOFAC would serve as a resource centre for research work.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the college, the participants, expressed concern about the shortage of manpower and low funding which are hindering optics research, particularly in areas such as computing, electronics and communication.

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They complained about the low level of collaboration in optics research among research institutions and between institutions and industries.

The participants said postgraduate training in computing, optometry and electronics should be encouraged to strengthen the manpower needs of the sub-region in general and LOFAC in particular.

They also urged research institutions to seek partnership with industries as a means of identifying demand-driven research areas and funding, and called for a strategic plan that would guide LOFAC in its research and development efforts.

The participants further asked that adequate equipment be provided for the optometry unit of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to enhance the training of more qualified optometrists.

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