Ghana may not be on the list of countries with great scientific inventions but her children consistently become stalwarts in the fields of physics, math, space, and medicine.
Here are some of the greatest achievements from Ghanaians around the world, and the people who made it possible. If these geniuses and their achievements don’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
1. Francis Kofi Ampenyi Allotey
Dr. Kofi Allotey is a respected mathematical physicist. He became a world authority and an instant fame with his work on Soft X-Ray Spectroscopy which established the principle widely known as the “Allotey Formalism” for which he received the Prince Philip Gold Medal Award in 1973. He was the first to introduce computer education into Ghana.
2. Ave K. P. Kludze, Jr.
Ave Kludze became if not the first African, the first Ghanaian to ever command and control a Spacecraft in Orbit (controlling ERBS and TRMM Spacecraft, etc. for NASA from the ground). In 2004, Kludze and a group of NASA engineers developed the Extravehicular Activity Infrared (EVA IR) camera for spacewalking astronauts.
3. Nat Quansah
An ethnobotanist, Nat Quansah reintroduced the use of native plants as medicine to thousands of Malagasy people in an Ambodisakoana clinic he opened, educating the community about the need for forest conservation. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2000, for his works on healthcare, cultural tradition and forest conservation, based in Ambodisakoana, Madagascar.
4. Nii Narku Quaynor
Nii Narku Quaynor is a scientist and engineer who has played an important role in the introduction and development of the Internet throughout Africa. That has allowed companies like Surfline to flourish and provide data services to Ghanaians. On June 26, 2013, he was selected for induction into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.
5. Menes Atipin Oheneba Owusu-Afriyie
Dr Owusu-Afriyie was a Principal Investigator for FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) phase 11 trials in the USA and a Reviewer for the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. He was a world-renowned research scientist, an academician and a teacher specializing in brain, breast, and parathyroid imaging and has written extensively on these subjects in various international journals and periodicals.
6. Joseph Quansah (left), Benjamin Bonsu (middle), Ernest Matey (right)
On July 7, 2017, Ghana became the first Sub-Saharan African country to send a satellite into orbit around the earth. Ghanasat1 was a 2-year project lead by three graduates of the All Nations University College (ANUC), Benjamin Bonsu, a PhD student in Applied Science for System Engineering, Joseph Quansah and Ernest Teye Matey, with support from the Kyutech Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan.
7. Bright Simmons
He invented a system to tackle the problem of counterfeit medicine. Fake pills and pharmaceuticals are a massive problem in the developing world. His organisation, mPedigree, now works with 20 telecoms companies and is in discussions with two dozen more. Its system has appeared on 6.5m packs of medicine and been adopted as the national standard in three different countries.
8. Herman Chinery-Hesse
Known by many as Africa’s “father of technology,” software pioneer Herman Chinery-Hesse has been spawning innovations for two decades, helping to breakdown tech barriers between the continent and the rest of the world. More recently, Chinery-Hesse who is often described as ‘”Africa’s Bill Gates,” embarked on a mission to spark an entrepreneurial revolution in Africa by bringing e-commerce to the most remote corners of the continent. Some of his innovations include; Shop Africa 53, Keba-Ekong,Quickie, and Akatua.
9. Thomas Mensah
Dr. Thomas Mensah is a Ghanaian-born chemical engineer and inventor. His works are in fields relating to the developments in Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology. He was awarded 7 USA and worldwide patents in Fiber Optics within a period of six years. His one of his popular books, “The Right Stuff Comes In Black, Too” is a widely acclaimed book loved by many people.
10. Felix Konotey-Ahulu
He is one of the world’s foremost experts on sickle-cell disease. The value of Professor Konotey-Ahulu’s work as a global authority on sickle-cell disease, including some discoveries in Clinical Medicine, has been widely recognized by medical practitioners and specialists around the world, leading to his inclusion in a survey of “The 100 Greatest Africans of All Time”.
He has produced more than 200 publications, a number of which have become the definitive studies in their field. Professor Konotey-Ahulu is the first person known to have traced hereditary disease in his forebears, generation by generation, with all names, right back to 1670 AD
11. Ebenezer Laing
Laing, together with his university classmate and faculty colleague, George C. Clerk, was one of the first Ghanaian academics to specialize in botany as a scientific discipline and contributed significantly to the growth of the field in Ghana.
12. George C. Clerk
Clerk, along with his academic contemporary Ebenezer Laing, is one of Ghana’s earliest practitioners of botany as a scientific discipline, in addition to being a pioneering plant pathologist in West Africa.