Report on the Preparatory Workshop on the 2nd Ghana- South Africa Bilateral Symposia
September 20, 2015
Ghana and South Africa signed an agreement in September 2012 to facilitate the exchange of scientific and technological information through the exchange of scientists, researchers, experts, bursary-holders and course participants. The agreement covered 2013-2016. With plans to review and enter into another 3 year Plan of Action, there was the need for a symposium by the Ministry to reflect on the achievements of this partnership in considering new areas or strengthening existing areas of cooperation. Some key projects implemented during these 3 years included ICT, where MERAKA Institute, CSIR- South Africa and GTUC- Ghana played a major role. Also in Space Science, the South Africans were instrumental in the setting up and equipping of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute in Accra. The Second meeting gave all institutions present the opportunity to interact with prospective South African partners on how and which area of interest to collaborate. As such, there were smaller group discussions based on the specialization areas. The UENR representatives attended the ICT infrastructure group discussion. However, UENR is to provide technical support to the Agricultural biased group in the area of GIS mapping, through EORIC. Find below the briefing from the meeting.
Institutions Present at Discussion:
• Ghana Technology University College (GTUC)
• University Of Energy And Natural Resources(UENR)
• University Of Mines And Technology (UMaT)
• Csir- Ghana
• Csir- Mereka, South Africa
• Ministry Of Environment, Science, Technology And Innovation (Mesti)
Purpose of the meeting was defined as identifying a common project of partnership within the area of ICT infrastructure for the institutions above. A Chairperson, Rapporteur and Laison were appointed as Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa (CSIR- Mereka), Caleb Mensah (UENR- EORIC), and Miss Roberta (MESTI) respectively. Each institution gave a brief but in-depth description of a proposed project for implementation. The Research Proposals Proposed by each respective institution includes;
TV White Space Spectrum Usage:
This project has already been running since the first bilateral partnership and the GTUC outlined their achievement and further expressed interest to upscale the research into High-Performance Computing, Green Computing, and Advanced Fire Information System/ Natural Grid Computing.CSIR- STEPRI, Ghana
TV White Space:
The project was just in line with what GTUC had already done with their South African counterparts but was more concerned with Socioeconomic and regulatory dimensions. Template for a business model was to ensure the project’s sustainability for upscale deployment of TV White Space.
Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS):
The detection and monitoring of wildfire system. It was already being run with a partnership with CSIR- Mereka but wasn’t captured under the bilateral partnership of MESTI. Thus, the need to capture that and look to incorporating it with the local environmental conditions as a way of fine-tuning the model.
High-Performance Computing (HPC) Infrastructure:
The institution looked to building an HPC centre to run many research projects from institutions.
Large Scale Optimization:
The presence of an algorithm to run to enhance computing speed and space.
Innovation Energy Solutions
Static Charges harnessing for power generation in Power Stations and Telecommunication Sector
CSIR- Meraka Institute
Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa also gave a short presentation on the structure, achievements and on-going projects at CSIR- Meraka. With the achievements, he noted how their partnership with GTUC from the earlier bilateral cooperation had yielded good results in the area of TV White Space technology. Some ongoing projects include;
Dynamic Spectrum Management, Software Defined Networking, Wireless Mesh- Networking, Cyber Infrastructure: HPC/ NRNet, High-Performance Computing/ National Research Networking
As such, Dr Ntlatlapa, urged the Ghanaian counterparts to consider how well they could partner CSIR- Meraka in this area for joint projects. However, he was hopeful that future discussions at the meeting will make the team arrive on agreed projects that will benefit both countries.
Agreed Joint Research Areas
• Wild Fire Detection and Prediction under the AFIS (UENR to coordinate with the other Ghanaian institutions especially GTUC)
• Utilization of the HPC research centre in South Africa by Ghanaian institutions under the Science and Technology cooperation in running research programmes. South Africa to also benefit from the high scale optimization from UENR. This infrastructure is to help process data and store data from the SKA project.
• Low-Cost Telecommunication Solution (Other alternative using TV White Space and other technologies to support smaller scale business), with low-cost energy solutions to support the telecommunication sector. UENR and UMAT were to be the lead institution for this project.
The Chair urged the institutions to coordinate and come out with a concept that will guide all in achieving the set goals within the three main research areas above. The institutions were to also make use of the resources from the Ghanaian Academic and Research Network (GARNET) and the Science and Technology Collaboration between the two countries. Deadline for submitting the concept was to be on the close of the day of 6th October 2016.