Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education, Barbara Asher Ayisi, on Wednesday, 16 May 2018, inaugurated Ghana’s Museum of Light and Light-based Technologies at the Museum of Science and Technology to mark the observation of International Day of Light.
The day is a global initiative by the UNESCO General Conference to be observed annually on 16 May.
It was marked as a day to recognise light and its contribution in various sectors, including in medicine, education and sustainable development, after a successful International Year of Light in 2015.
Mrs Asher Ayisi, in a speech, recounted the historical facts about the observation of International Day of Light and Ghana’s contribution.
She indicated that the need to observe an International Day of Light was Ghana’s initiative which was spearheaded by the late Prof. K. Allotey while he was the Chairman of the African Physical Society and President of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011.
The late Professor approached the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO to help draw the attention of the world on the need to promote the light sciences using UNESCO’s platform. The Commission, in support of this, drafted a proposal under the leadership of Prof. Paul Kinsley Buah-Bassuah of the Laser and Fibre Optics Centre of the University of Cape Coast, and it was greatly supported by International Physical Societies and Scientific organisations. The proposal to celebrate International Year of Light was then endorsed by the UNESCO Executive Board, following a proposal by Ghana, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and Mexico, and approved by the UNESCO General Conference by 27 countries.
The proclamation of the International Year of Light 2015 was to appreciate the central role that light and light-based technologies play in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, technology, culture, education, and sustainable development. Ghana led Africa to celebrate the International Year of Light, after which she came up with several activities that would be pursued to maximise her benefits from the celebration including the establishment of a Museum of Light and Light-based Technologies, which is a first in Ghana and second in Africa.
The Deputy Minister also expressed the Ministry’s appreciation to UNESCO for supporting Ghana to actualise the outcomes of Ghana’s celebration of International Year of Light by funding the establishment of a Museum of Light through its Participation Program Scheme.
She also acknowledged the efforts of the staff of the Secretariat of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO; the Laser and Fibre Optics Centre of the University of Cape Coast, particularly Prof. Paul K. Buah-Bassah; the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Physics Department of University of Ghana especially Amos Kudtcher; Department of Archeology and Heritage Studies of the University of Ghana, particularly Prof.Dr. Ing. Henry N.A. Wellinton for chairing the planning Committee.
Additionally, she acknowledged Ghana Museums and Monuments Board for being the host of the facility by providing space and staff for the museum and further paid a tribute to the late Prof Allotey, who ably led the project until his demise.