- One is fascinated by the indigenous but swift technological response to combating this virus, especially the simple but innovative technologies developed so far by the engineering and technology community. Several technologies have been developed across the globe to combat the virus.
Written By Theowise Kofi Kumah - Necessity, they say is the mother of inventions. Indeed, the recent and sudden emergence of inventions of all kinds in the wake of the novel corona virus outbreak lends credence to the afore-mentioned maxim. Though Ghana has been blessed with pockets of witty inventors, who have impacted both the Ghanaian and the international community, the pandemic has unearthed more of such great creative minds in the country.
One is fascinated by the indigenous but swift technological response to combating this virus, especially the simple but innovative technologies developed so far by the engineering and technology community. Several technologies have been developed across the globe to combat the virus.
Inventions in point are:
– Solar powered hand-washing sink produced by a young graduate. His invention has been duly recognized by the President, the Ghana Standards Authority and the international community.
– The taxi driver who invented the automated hand sanitizer.
– The Ghana Institute of Surveyors computer app to trace suspected COVID-19 cases on location,
– Our very celebrated Veronica Buckets
– Local productiob of Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, face masks, sanitizers, etc
– The prototype automated ventilator manufactured by the KNUST College of Engineering
– The recent diagnostic COVID-19 test kits by the KNUST amongst others. Other robotic groups and some Senior High School students also took up the challenge to come out with several solution-based inventions to help tackle the corona virus crisis.
Honestly, these are no mere inventions that could be shrugged off, considering the fact that some of the inventions went through standard tests by the Ghana Standard Authority, GSA, and are practically serving their purposes.
Congratulations to the inventors for hoisting the flag of our dear nation Ghana once again high. Ghanaian products like handicrafts have flooded international markets. These inventions by our people have the propensity to compete keenly on the international markets. As a country which has weaned herself from colonial rule about sixty-three years ago, it is vital to believe in our own technologies and patronize them. This is what will trigger the collective acceptance of what is manufactured in Ghana, and evoke the scientific and technological acumen in our scientists and engineers.
Many people were excited about the president’s decision to contract some Ghanaian companies to produce Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs for the health and research institutions who are at the forefront of battling the virus. This is a step in the right direction. COVID-19 could be another reminder for us as a people to drum home the importance of industrial revolution.
Government must stop paying lip service and build the confidence of Ghanaian industries to compete globally. Since government believed in our textile and garment factories to have the capacity to produce PPEs, government should support SMEs by providing infrastructure and capacity building for them to become the production hub of anything textile and garment consumed in the country.
Somewhere last year, a Ghanaian ceramic company known as Tamakloe Ceramics produced a ceramic filter for water filtration. This product, according to the Water Research Institute and the Microbiology Department of the University of Ghana Medical School, is able to remove all kinds of microbes from samples of contaminated water from some villages for testing. Again, according to the Water Research Institute, the home made water filter completely removed every pathogen in the sample water collected and rendered it safe for drinking. Such a research is worth investing into for mass productions.
Government and industry players must build unwavering synergy and pool resources together to make Ghana an oasis of witty inventions. The Kantaka automobile plant could be supported by government to become an automobile giant in Africa instead of establishing assembling plants for vehicles produce elsewhere.
COVID-19 has given us the opportunity as a country to redefine our independence and self-reliance, especially in industry. This is the time to turn all raw materials into finished products. This is the time to invest in our Ghanaian SMEs and stop the excessive taste on foreign products. This is the time to take research more seriously. This is the time to export more finished products than we import. And this is the time to actualize the vision of Ghana beyond aid.
BY THEOWISE KOFI KUMAH, INTEGRATED SCIENCE TUTOR, DASEIN PRACTICAL SCHOOL, ACCRA.
NEWS COMMENTARY ON COVID-19: ANOTHER REFLECTION OF GHANA’S URGENT NEED TO SUPPORT LOCAL INVENTIONS AND MANUFACTURING COMPANIES