In 2014, AuthorAID signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CSIR-INSTI to organize trainer of trainers’ workshop. This was accomplished in Accra in November 2014 at CSIR-INSTI. The Participants who attend this training programme were successful researchers with high-quality publications, capable and articulate teachers, and eager to build research communication skills among their colleagues and students on a continuous basis. In responds to the aforementioned, this three days training workshop was organized from 19th – 21st May 2015.

The goal of the training workshop was to equip research scientists and technologists of CSIR with the requisite skills and techniques of research communication thus, writing research papers for publication in their areas of specialization.

Dr. Albert N. M. Allotey (Research Scientist) was the main facilitator, assisted by Mrs. Lucy Dzandu (Senior Librarian). Besides, there were four (4) guest speakers (Plate 1) namely; Dr. Joel Sam (Director, CSIR-INSTI), Dr. Richard Kofie (Deputy Director, CSIR-INSTI), Dr. Mary Obodai (Deputy Director, CSIR-FRI) and Dr. Bernard Appiah (USA, AuthorAID Facilitator).

A total of 18 research scientists and technologists were drawn from three institutions namely; INSTI (10 participants), WRI (5 participants) and STEPRI (3 participants) participated. Technologists were included because the Council (CSIR) has directed that hence, journal publication is part of their promotion requirements.

The focus of the training was on research article/paper writing therefore, the topics covered were: Approaching a scientific writing, Preparing to write, Writing and style, Revision, Choosing a journal, Structure of research paper (IMRAD), Preparing abstract, tables & figures, Submission & Post submission, CSIR promotion requirement and Group work on research ethics and authors instruction from publishers.

We wish to thank AuthorAID/INASP for funding the training. Also acknowledge CSIR-INSTI, for providing the training facilities.

Contact person: Dr. Joel Sam (Director)


Tech Seminar: The Insight Mission - Instrument Deployment Robotic System

Human curiosity and quest to map the profression of the constellations, planets and stars and apply that knowledge to improve life on Earth has been a key measure of human progress since prehistoric times. From the cradle of humanity Africa, serveral tribes (Dogon, Timbuktu, Ghana Empire, Cushitic, Egypt) kingdoms amassed a wealth of astronomical observations resuting in three types of calendars in Africa: lunar, solar and stellar. In addition, Africa provides unique archaeo-astronomy sites across the continent from Nabta Playa that captures Orion constellation, Dogon worship artifacts that capture the rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, the spiral structure of the Milky Way, and Sirius start system and last but not least precise cardinal orientations of the Egyptian pyramids to two stars in the Plough/Big Dipper. Timbuktu manuscripts also documented the golden age oastronomical science in Africa including use of Julian Calendar, helio-centric view of our solar system, use of complex mathematics to describe and draw the orbusts of the planets and algorithms to accurately orient Timbuktu to Mecca. Timbuktu manuscripts also records the meteor shower of August 1583.

Archaeo-astroniy sites across Africa cleary demonstrates that ancient African cultures made signigicant discoveries in astronomy all from the confines of our home planet Earth, some of these discoveries are now being confirmed by satellite observations beyond the confines of Earth several tens of decades after ancient African cultures made these discoveries. Five decades of human activity in space have produced societal benefits that have produced societal benefits that have improved the quality of life on Earth. Space exploration has contributed to critical knowledge and capabilities that have provided diverse societal beneifits for everyday life, from solar panels, implantable heart monitors, cancer therapy, lightweight materials, water purification systems computing systems, global search-and-rescue, global positioning systems, telecommunications, etc.

Space exploration has also deepened and evolved the cultural and inspiration of humanity (individual and collective) to understand humanity's place in the Universe, a common desire that has no geographic boundaries. Space technology utilisation has brought the world economy a tep closer to a Post-scarcity economy. The UN Agreement on the Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) adopted in 2015, identifies international collaboration as a critical factor for improving the welfare of people, especially for developing countries and to protect our planet. SDG also identified space technology as a key enabler for improving agriculture, health, education, resource management, disaster management, etc. for developing countries. For sustainable development, developing countries have to bridge the space technology utilisation gap throught capacity building, policy and international co-operation.

In this talk, Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollenu presented his work at NASA-JPL for nearly two decades and discuss how developing nations can utilise space technology and disruptive new technologies to comprehensively reinvent their economies, and education a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. The current practive of transposing advanced economies' best practices or being passive recipients of technology do not work for all developing countries. Every country needs to prepare for disruptive new techologies as the world is on the cusp of exponential growth in new technologies that will result in significant societal benefits and private losses simultaneously. Developing countries need to reinvent new institutions or make new technologies in a manner that benefits its citizens and prevent social unrest. New technologies inevitably lead to automation and sigificant labor savings in low and medium skilled workers and requirs highly skilled workforce.

A Brief Biography of

Dr. Ashite Trebi-Ollenu, FIET, FRAeS, SMIEE, PMP, FGA, is the product of Delivery Manager, for the InSight Mars Mission Instrument Deployment System, Instrument Deployment System operations Team Chief and a technical group lead in the Robotic Manipulation & Sampling group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he has been since 1999. He was born in Accra, Ghana. He received his Ph.D in Control Systems from Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield Univeristy, United Kingdom in 1996 and B.Eng (Hons) from Queen Mary College, University of London, United Kingdom in 1991. He was a research scholar at Institute of Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon Univeristy fromm 1007 to 1999. Dr. Trebi-Ollenu received the 2008 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for his contributions to the Mars Exploration Rover mission, 2007 Outstanding Engineer Award from IEEE Region 6, 2007, Sir Monty Finniston Achievement Medal from Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK, 2010, Specialist Silver Award from the Royal Aeronautical Society, UK and the 21st Century Trailblazer Awards in Systems Engineering from the USA National Society of Black Engineers, at the 2012 NSBE Group Achievement Awards.