A delegation led by the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, visited the Republic of Ghana from 7th – 10th January 2019. The main aim of the visit was to seek guidance of the Honorable Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (President of Ghana and incumbent Chairperson of COMSATS) for COMSATS’ programmes in his capacity as Co-chair of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates.
The delegation led by Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, also comprised Prof. Dr. Ashraf Shaalan, Advisor to the President of National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt, and Chairperson of COMSATS Coordinating Council; Prof. Dr. Orkun Hasekioglu, Executive Vice President, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), Turkey; Ambassador (R) Shahid Kamal, Advisor, COMSATS Secretariat; and Mr. Nisar Ahmad, Deputy Director (Systems), COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad.
The meeting with His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was held on 8th January 2019 at Jubilee House, Accra. Also present during the meeting were Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana; Consulate General for Pakistan in Ghana; and high-level officials from President’s office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration – Ghana, and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Ghana.
To acquaint the Chairperson with COMSATS’ recent activities, and projects and programmes, Dr. Zaidi made a presentation highlighting COMSATS’ on-going programmes and future aspirations having a bearing on the socio-economic uplift of the developing countries. Appreciating His Excellency’s vision for Ghana’s progress and development, Dr. Zaidi offered COMSATS’ platform for initiating specific projects in Ghana in accordance with country’s needs and priorities.
The President was briefed on COMSATS’ Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS), by Ambassador (R) Shahid Kamal. Mr. Kamal encouraged Ghana’s participation in the initiative which currently has the representation of nine member states of COMSATS. Further discussions during the meeting touched upon:
- Prospects of enhancing COMSATS’ membership especially to African countries;
- Possibility of setting-up COMSATS University, R&D centres and CCCS in Ghana; and
- Holding of fourth General Meeting of the Commission.
H.E. Akufo-Addo was appreciative of COMSATS’ undertakings and achievements and reiterated his commitment towards strengthening scientific cooperation among developing countries. Dr. Zaidi expressed gratitude to H.E. Akufo-Addo for his recommendations and continued support towards COMSATS’ mission.
Other important meetings during the delegates’ visit were with H.E. Prof. Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana; Dr. Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President of Ghana; Mr. Robert Kwame Nartey, Hon. Consulate General for Pakistan in Ghana; and Dr. Agyeman Victor, Director General of CSIR.
During the meeting with H.E. Prof. Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, discussions focused on Technology Bank established by TÜBİTAK and COMSATS’ recent collaborations with United Nations agencies. The Honourable Minister acknowledged COMSATS’ undertakings and pledged Ministry’s support towards COMSATS’ programmes.
The matters highlighted during the meeting with Dr. Eugene Owusu focused on interventions made by the Government of Ghana as well as COMSATS’ endeavours for the realization of United Nations 2030 Global Agenda, apart from discussions on COMSATS’ Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS).
COMSATS’ delegation also attended an interactive session at the Centre of Excellence in Ghana, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). During the session, a comprehensive presentation was made by Director General CSIR about the functions and activities of the Institute and its umbrella R&D organizations.
The session was followed by a meeting with Dr. Agyeman Victor, Director General CSIR, at his office where the two sides discussed the following matters: Nomination of COMSATS Focal Person at CSIR; CSIR’s participation in the forthcoming meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council; and prospects of future collaboration.
During the above-mentioned meetings, invitations were extended by Dr. Zaidi to the other side for visiting COMSATS Secretariat. The dignitaries were also presented with souvenirs and a set of COMSATS publications.