stakeholders in waste management have been called upon to collectively take appropriate and urgent actions to find solutions to the issues surrounding the management of plastic waste.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development, University of Ghana (UG), Prof Felix A. Asante who made the call said it was in that regard “that our institution must proactively engage with our most important stakeholders, the broader community to address this challenge.”
He said this when the university marked the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) in Accra last Thursday.
The African Union (AU) in 1987 passed a resolution for the celebration of DSRA on June 30 each year to remind African governments and people about the critical roles played by Science and Technology in national development.
It was held on the theme “Ghana Asks, Legon Answers: The Challenge of Managing Plastics.”
“Regardless of your position in society or the role you play at this event African science will only be meaningful if it is applied in all spheres and in a way that brings development across the Continent,” Prof. Asante stated.
“We implore you to take a stand today, to make a difference in addressing the menace of plastic waste; no effort will be too small or none too huge to save the environment,” he added.
Prof. Asante noted that the celebration of the DSRA expressed UG’s recognition of its place and purpose in the development of the country and African Continent.
He said the theme“underscores our strategic mandate and long-standing tradition and aspiration to provide empirical evidence and insights from research and community engagement, to spur development.”
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Prof of Surgery, UG, said for the past two decades, scientific work from the University including those of post-graduate students and research by faculty members, have contributed to the understanding of the Plastics ValueChain in Ghana, particularly in the Greater Accra Region.
“One research team from the university is exploring cutting-edge energy technology, including the conversion of micro plastics into fuel and other products,” he said.
“These efforts are complementing those of research teams from other GhanaianUniversities and research institutions that are using pyrolysis to convert waste plastic into syngas, which is used to generate electricity as is taking place in the hybrid energy project in Gyankobaa in the Atwima Nwabiagya South District inthe Ashanti Region,” he added.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the celebration of the DSRAwas not only to highlight achievements by our scientists but more importantly to remind and prompt African governments to invest in areas that have bearing on the survival of Africans.
“The science and technology infrastructure is very poor and equally poor attention is paid to building the human capital. Without investment and training we will lag behind even in plastic research. Our scientists know that microbes, including bacteria, fungi and bacteriophages that break down plastics exist. They need investments to pursue research in these areas,” he added.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR