Regional News of Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Source: Graphic Online
Forty years after its establishment, the Museum of Science and Technology (MST), which was the brainchild of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, is yet to be completed due to the failure of successive governments to release funds towards the project.
To overcome the challenge of funding, a stakeholders’ consultative forum on the MST has been held in Accra to deliberate on possible ways of raising funds to complete the project, which started in 1973.
The event, organised by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), was on the theme, “Promoting the Education and Acculturation of Science, Technology and Innovation –The Role of the Museum of Science and Technology”.
The MST, when completed, will be used to maintain, keep and exhibit items of science and technology and ensure that scientific skills and appropriate technology are effectively demonstrated and transferred to the public through exhibitions and publications.
It will also evoke scientific consciousness and creativity in the youth through science fairs.
The facility will also be used to organise public exhibitions to enable the GMMB to generate revenue to supplement the subvention provided by government.
Participants at yesterday’s forum agreed that there was the urgent need to make the project more attractive to the private sector, since subsequent governments had not been able to complete the project due to budgetary constraints.
Delivering a paper on the topic, “The Museum of Science and Technology: Its Role, Current State and Prospects”, the Executive Director of the GMMB, Dr Zagba Narh Oyortey, said encroachment was one of the major challenges facing the facility.
He said the GMMB was considering fencing the area to help check the menace of encroachment on the project site as a short-term measure.
According to him, the GMMB had earlier estimated $10 million to help develop a science park around the museum and collect artifacts, among other things, to help keep the museum running.
For his part, a former Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, Professor George Hagan, said “it is a national disgrace that it has taken 40 years to set up a science museum in Ghana’’.
He suggested that the Ghana Museum of Sciences should be made part of a network of Museums in Africa through information, communication and technology (ICT).
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ms Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, who opened the forum, pledged his ministry’s support for the project.
“We are grateful to the scientific community, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board for taking the bold step to reactivate such a crucial project which has stalled for over 40 years,” she said.