A 3-day Commonwealth Science Conference (CSC) Meeting in sub-Saharan Africa hosted by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ghana’s premier learned society, has ended in Accra. The meeting, funded by the Royal Society, UK, took place from March 14 – 16, 2022, and brought together some very talented early-career research scientists from Africa and the UK, to share their perspectives and experiences, as well as find ways of working together on the research challenges affecting the region.
The object of the meeting is to equip participants with the tools and experience to propel their research findings into the heard of policymaking. Present at the opening ceremony on Monday 14th March 2022 were Emerita Prof. Isabella A. Quakyi: Acting President of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Prof. Robin Grimes: Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, UK; H. E. Ms. Harriet Thompson: the High Commissioner of UK to Ghana; and Dr. Eric Nkansah: Director, Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education, who represented the Ministry of Education. Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser and Head of the public health profession, kickstarted the discussions after the brief opening ceremony on Monday.
The meeting was divided into three streams, broadly defined as Energy, Biodiversity, and Equitable access to health. Each stream had a programme of live talks followed by discussion sessions with speakers. There were also opportunities for plenary talks, panel discussions, poster sessions, and informal networking opportunities.
Some of the exciting presentations delivered included:
- Future Technologies for Energy Transition;
- Conservation, Restoration, and Adaptation;
- Equitable Access to Health: A Systems-based Approach – Challenges and How to Leverage Access;
- Prioritizing Sustainability in Transition;
- Climate Change and Land-use Impacts on Biodiversity; The Future of Climate Change on Future Pandemics; and
- The Impact of Climate Change on Health.
There were also two very instructive presentations on various aspects of Communication:
- Communicating Science Advice to Governments by Sir Robin Grimes, Foreign Secretary, Royal Society, UK; and
- Effective Science Communication by Dr. Modestus Fosu, Senior Lecturer in Language and Communication Studies, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Accra
Flowing directly from the 2021 virtual CSC, the programme was developed by the meeting Co-chairs from across the UK and SSA, comprising Professor Cecil King’ondu, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana; Dr. Rebekah Shirley, World Resources Institute, Kenya; Dr. Adrie Mukashema, Rwanda; Professor Daniela Schmidt, University of Bristol, United Kingdon; Dr. Kwaku Poku Asante, Kintampo Health Research Centre, Ghana; and Dr. Nathalie MacDermott, Kings College London, United Kingdom.
– ENDS –