BY ERICA ARTHUR
A GHANAIAN-AMERICAN fibre optics inventor, Dr Thomas Mensah, is spearheading an effort to create the Silicon Valley of Ghana.
Dr Mensah, a Fellow of the American National Academy of Inventors and President of Georgia Aerospace (an Atlanta-based company), after his visit to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology laboratories decided to create the Silicon Valley of Ghana to bridge the technology gap in the country.
In an interview with the DAILY HERITAGE, he said “the Silicon Valley will link both the universities and research institutions in Ghana with industrial corporations, advance research centres such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other Tech giants.”
The Silicon Valley of Ghana will create business accelerators and incubators that can compete with tech-companies around the world, move Ghana into the 21st Century technological advancement and also support the high Speed Bullet Train that is being developed in Ghana, he said.
According to the inventor, each of the innovation centres would have a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) component to inspire children who have interests in these fields, creating the pipeline for the next generation scientists.
Dr Mensah explained that creation of these innovation centres with business accelerators will, however, create industries and job opportunities for graduates and encourage them to stay and work in Ghana to reduce the issue of human capital flight by helping them to retain the best and brightest individuals to stay home and help improve the economies.
He said “a strong component of the Silicon will be focused on STEM K-12 involving primary, elementary, secondary and the tertiary throughout Ghana where children will be inspired to learn technology.”
Dr Mensah, who created the Silicon Valley of the South in the USA, said he believes it is important for young students to be given an opportunity through STEM, which was what happened in his case growing up to become a world leading fiber optics innovator and inventor.
These innovation centres, according to Dr Mensah, would work hand in hand with Microsoft-based industries and leading universities as they collaborate to enhance the competitiveness of Ghana in the world of global technology and commerce.