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Photonics Ghana promotes photonics all across Africa

For almost a decade now, Ghanaian students enrolled in the Department of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and its Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics have demonstrated excellent performance and initiative in promoting the field of photonics in their home country, Ghana. As part of the 10-year jubilee of the Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics, Photonics Ghana was launched on 19 November 2020 to bring together Ghanaian experts and students in photonics to promote science and photonics in Ghana.

“We are proud to witness the manifestation of the excellent Finnish education system in equipping Ghanaian scientists and professionals in developing photonics not only in Ghana but in the wider African region,” says Professor Jyrki Saarinen, Head of the Physics and Mathematics Department at UEF. Ghanaian alumni of the Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics have indeed succeeded well in their careers in photonics and are working on ground-breaking research all over the world. Read more about their achievements.

Dr Prince Bawuah, the very first Ghanaian and African to enrol in the Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics at UEF, is President of Photonics Ghana and expresses his delight in the launch of Photonics Ghana, saying: “As a group, we will contribute our quota to rekindle the interest of young Ghanaians in photonics and physics through practical teaching and learning.”

Photonics Ghana aims to establish a photonics educational laboratory that will work to provide photonics-based solutions in addressing everyday challenges in Ghana and the rest of Africa. Photonics Ghana also aims to encourage Ghanaian universities such as the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology, the University of the Cape Coast, the University of Education Winneba, Sunyani Technical University, and Ghana Communication Technology University, to introduce computational photonics in their educational curricula. Photonics has wide potential to address global challenges such as sustainable water management and curbing water pollution from heavy metals and chemicals that occurs as a result of illegal mining.

Efforts towards developing photonics education and research in Ghana have already been made, for instance the University of Cape Coast in Ghana has established a Laser and Fibre Optics Centre. “Significant photonics-based research is ongoing and cuts across the agricultural sector, air pollution, adulteration of food and medicinal items and early detection of diseases, especially malaria,” says Professor Moses Jojo Eghan, Provost of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences of the University of Cape Coast.

Photonics Ghana and the Department of Physics and Mathematics at UEF aim to collaborate further in promoting photonics and in developing photonics and physics education in Africa. The excellent connection between UEF and its alumni in Ghanaian photonics provides a strong, science-based foundation with profound potential to help meet the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, and to boost economy. Future collaboration will focus on joint research and education projects, joint research seminars, as well as support and mentoring of young Ghanaian physics and photonics scholars.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Jyrki Saarinen, Head of Department of Physics and Mathematics University of Eastern Finland +358 5954348 Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics

Dr Prince Bawuah, President Photonics Ghana Terahertz Application Group Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology University of Cambridge, UK +447383682607

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