From 1992 when Ghana was once more ushered into the era of constitutional rule, encroachment of research and educational institution lands has been on the increase up to date.  This article therefore makes a most passionate appeal to the Prez to use his presidential powers to stop these encroachments.

The relevance of education to national development is nowadays deeply appreciated by most Ghanaians as evidenced by the growing number of enrolment in our educational institutions, ranging from the primary to the secondary and finally to the tertiary institutions. Notwithstanding this, there is everything to show that the relevance of scientific research to national development is doubted, out of ignorance, by the greater majority. While this is excusable in the instance of ordinary Ghanaians,it is unacceptable in the instance of some politicians ,especially when they are behind these efforts to grab government lands for private development. The truth is that education, scientific research and industry are closely related in an ascending order like three bricks cemented on top of each other. Disturbance in one affects the remaining two. Fortunately for Ghana the relevance of applied scientific research to economic and national development was realized right after independence in 1957. Hence the establishment of research institutions alongside educational institutions and industrial establishments resulting in excellent symbiosis amongst them. Research institutions   are called quaternary institutions since they occupy the top-most position of the ladder beginning from the primary to the secondary to the tertiary .They are therefore called centres of excellence where contributions are made.

A typical example of these mutual benefitscalled symbiosis comes from the establishment of the GhanaAtomic EnergyCommission (GAEC) close to the University of Ghana,Legon. Lecturers from not only legon ,but also from Cape coast and Kwame Nkrumah University ,Kumasi conduct research at GAEC using their excellent research facilities.Researchers at GAEC, on the other hand, impart knowledge to undergraduate and post graduate students at Legon. In addition GAEC workers also conduct research and are awarded PHD.by Legon, Kumasi and Cape coast. From these same research institutions research findings with potential industrial applications are passed on to the industrial establishments. Among the scientific research institutions established in the country are: The council for scientific and industrial research (C.S.I.R), Cocoa and crops research,Water research,Animal research,GAEC, Noguchi Memorial Institute for microbial research,just to mention some few.

With the recent outbreak of the world-wide covid-19 pandemic, all eyes in Ghana are on Noguchi. Though they have not been motivated with heavy funds by the government to produce the ultimate vaccine to stop the disease, yet efforts being made by them to stop the

spread of the disease in the country are deeply appreciated by all level of Ghanaians. There can therefore be no better opportune time to convince Ghanaians of the great dependence of national development on scientific research than the present. Thus when the entire world is engulfed in the fear of annihilation from invisible microbes, mankind is wielding only one physical weapon to fight it and that is science!!!

Let me shift to another indispensable research institute on which our economy is directly and heavily dependent and that is the cocoa and crops research institute, responsible for the development of new varieties (hybrids) of crops and cocoa. TettehQuarshie was the original variety that made this nation to become the number one cocoa exporter as far back as the colonial days. TettehQuarshie takes seven years to mature and fruit, which could not satisfy growing industrial demand worldwide. Hence the need by research scientists to find alternative varieties that would cut down this long period to mature in addition to yielding bigger and more abundant beans. The results are cocoa hybrids produced at these crop research stations strewn all over the country. But when the lease of the lands of the Cocoa and crops research institute at Kwadaso ,Kumasi expired some yearsback (2001-2009) ,the then Government failed to renew the lease. The lands went back to the chiefs who sold them to individuals.Theresult is that vast and fertile tracts of land owned by the institute has now been reduced to some couple of plots where they are still engaged in the production of hybrids for farmers. They have been relocated to Poanoin theAmansie West Region of Ashanti, about 20 miles from Kumasi.

Coming to GAEC it was established as far back as 1963 by Kwame Nkrumah near Kwabenya. The size of the land was four miles square and the institute was established purposely to bring application in nuclear science and technology to bear on Ghana’s economic development. It acquired a miniature sized Chinese Nuclear Reactor in 1992, used primarily for analysis of environmental, mine, medical and plant samples to enable experts know their elemental concentrations. For example if the concentration of gold in mine samples is three parts per million then it means the sample is mineable. Analyzing a sample whose mineral content is 0.000003gm (3gm out of every million grams) calls for the use of a technique that is very sensitive, hence reliance on neutron activation analysis that is equally fast, precise and accurate!! In nuclear medicine radioisotopes that emit radiations are used in the detection of diseases (goitre)and in the irradiation of cancerous cells . Followed by removal through surgery cancerous cells and tissues in the human body are ridof. You often hear of Ghanaians going to South Africa for such treatment that can be done locally. Then there is the gamma irradiation facility for the irradiation of foodstuffs, especially the cereals (corn) to destroy their microbial contents, hence prolong their duration during storage and reducepost-harvest losses.

The ultimate goal in the acquisition of a research nuclear reactor for research is to acquire a power nuclear reactor for electricity generation. With power from our rivers exhausted, very little can now be added to our national grid from hydro sources.Wind, solar and

hydrothermal are still at the research and developmental stages. Only proven nuclear powerremains to be added to our energy mix as the most reliable energy source that can take us deep into the future from now. With huge, impenetrable and self-automatingcontainers built around nuclear reactor cores, safety is now hundred percent assured .Any so called fallouts during accidents is now a thing of the past. When  a power reactor is acquired ,it can generate about 3,000 jobs for scientists,engineers, technicians, economist, accountants and most importantly legal experts. Secondly, it will enable the highly trained and competent scientists, engineers and technicians at GAEC to irradiate cobalt rods in the high fluxed neutrons from the reactor. From the irradiated rods can be obtained most powerful gamma rays for use in medical diagnosis and treatment as well as for use in the reduction of post-harvestlosses of foodstuffs.Thus pushing the nation ahead towards industrialization. But here you are with the vast GAEC lands, measuring four by four miles, being increasingly reduced by encroachers. As at now not less than a third of it lands has been encroached upon, with some politicians behind them!

Equally worrisome is the following piece of news item thatappeared on the front page of the Inquisitor newspaper in its 21-23rd, 2020publications: ”Donkomi,CSIR lands for sale.” Meaning that CSIR lands are now being auctioned for sale. According to details of the full story published on page four of the newspaper, both the Government and some private business man have succeeded in their procurement of parts of CSIR lands in Accra and Kumasi for the constructions of houses and flats.

Similarly, State Boys Middle School’s vast lands at Bantama,Kumasi have been seriously encroached. An MP and a member of the SDA Church has built a Secondary school, a JHS and a Church within the premises of the school. Politicians,by virtues of the trust put in them by theState, are protectors of state properties, hence should be seen to be protecting state institutional lands and not grabbing them. As a result of these encroachments the time, energy and meagre resources of such institutions are being spent on legal services for the protection of lands. Thus bringing enormous pressures on the Directors of such institutes, all these notwithstanding the fact that politicians, through protocols, reap the greater benefits when it comes to employment at such centers. Will you enjoy delicious fruits of a tree, yet cut the roots of the tree at the sametime to destroy it? A word to the wise is enough!

Research institutions remain our window of hope to an industrialized future .Let me therefore end on the passionate note of appeal to the Prez. Nana AkuffoAddo to stop all that using his Presidential Powers vestedin him by the State as is done in the advanced countries.


Let the State protect scientific and education institution lands May God protect our Ghana and make it prosperous. Amin!


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