UENR Organizes Symposium on Smart Evolution, Digitized Ghana

The School of Sciences under the University Energy and Natural Resources UENR has held a one day symposium under the theme Smart Evolution, digitized Ghana. The programme discussed issues concerning various areas of development such as digitized cities, energy and forest in Ghana, which would help meet the pace of modernization in terms of technology.

Mr. Owusu Nyarko Boateng, a PhD candidate under the school of sciences at UENR, made a presentation on the role of evolving technologies in building smart cities. He said a survey of smart cities in the last three years has seen exponential growth in ICT due to advancement of computing system. He said this was because anyone who uses smart technologies such as smart phones, smart computers, among others were automatically adapting to smart cities. He added that the characteristics of smart cities could be seen at education, energy, health and communication sectors and explained that the government’s introduction of paper less system at the ports of Ghana was a clear example of smart governance in Ghana.

Mr. Boateng added that the components of digitizing cities in Ghana which includes digital address system, smart national identification, weather system, online payment system, e-scanners were very significant in society. He mentioned some technologies needed to build smart cities such as sensors, internet, and big data among others.

A Senior Manager of MTN, Mr. Sakyi Opoku in the second presentation titled: ‘Connected World’ said everyone deserves to be connected to the modern world regardless of one’s location. He took participants through how a smart community looks like. Mr. Sakyi also explained how various facilities namely transport, security, education, health in communities can be connected to the modern world with the use of 3G or 4G WIFI. He advised participants especially students who want to venture into digital business to consider assets tracking or online traffic which he said can be a lucrative business.

The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, Mrs. Lucy Ntim took turn to present on the role of evolving technologies in achieving smart forest. She admitted that gathering forestry information has been time consuming and inefficient in the past years.  She revealed that the Ghana Forestry Commission now makes use of digital means in administering its duties.

Citing examples, Mrs. Ntim said Forestry commission has adopted a paperless based approach in tracking wood, log transportation and inspection which were manually operated. She expressed delight that the adoption of technology in the forestry sector had helped to reduce illegal smuggling and felling of trees.

The Dean of Students, Dr Samuel Gyamfi touching on smart energy said the high consumption of fossil energy has resulted in the emission of 56.6% of fossil fuel. He cautioned that if the burning of fossil fuel was not checked globally, the emission of carbon dioxide would increase exponentially. Dr Gyamfi added that renewable energy on the other hand is contributing 2% of energy needed in Ghana as at 2015 and it was expected to increase to 10% in 2020.

He also revealed that the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UENR has installed a digital gadget to read and give alerts on the consumption of electricity at some vantage places on UENR campus. However, he said there had been technological and political challenges on the integration of new technology into existing energy network facilities in Ghana. Dr Gyamfi stressed on the need have a look at the energy storage system in Ghana to prevent wastage of excess energy that would be produced.

The Pro Vice- Chancellor  of UENR Professor Emmanuel Opuni Frimpong who was the chairman for the symposium, said the vision and mission of UENR can be achieved when people with  knowledge in energy and technology helps in making such goals realistic. He appealed to lecturers, stakeholders and students to bring on board their knowledge to support the University’s good course.