Research Scientists in Ghana and Nigeria are to form a stronger collaboration to identify solutions to West Africa’s energy challenges, Dr. Chuks Diji, Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Ibadan has hinted.
Dr. Diji gave the hint last Thursday at the opening of a three-day international hydropower energy conference jointly organised by the Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Ghana, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
The conference on the theme “Sustaining Hydropower Energy for Economic Growth and Development in West Africa”, was attended by about 50 participants from Ghana, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and South Africa.
It discussed among other objectives the challenges and the existing prospects of hydro-electric power generation in the West African sub-region.
It was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) and the UKaid through Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa (CIRCLE) Programme under the auspices of African Academy of Sciences.
The CIRCLE Programme is however being supported regarding assessment and quality control by the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, University College of London, UK and the Association of Commonwealth University.
Dr. Diji observed Africa could develop only with African-designed solutions and therefore urged the CIRCLE Scientists to expand the impact of their research to affect local, national and international communities.
He expressed optimism that the continuous joint research by UENR and the University of Ibadan concerning West Africa’s hydropower needs for the next three years, would identify solutions to the energy challenges of the sub-region.
Dr. Amos T. Kabo-bah, Lecturer, Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, UENR and (head of the conference planning committee) stated that generation of electricity to solve Ghana’s energy problems was a demanding challenge because
Dr. Kabo-bah said the national demand for electricity was very high while the national infrastructure to provide it (energy) was inadequate.
Hence, he added, the solution to the provision of the nation’s energy needs was the responsibility of all Ghanaians in diverse ways.