Story from Isaac Akwetey Okunor
It took a second for Rev. Dr. Samuel Donkor, President and Founder of the All Nations University College (ANUC), a Koforidua-based private tertiary institution, to dream about establishing the aforementioned college, but many years to bring the dream into reality.
Despite the numerous challenges he encountered at the initial stages, Dr. Donkor gave birth to the university because he was bubbled, infatuated and impregnated with a vision that no storm could blow off.
The All Nation University College was first established by the All Nations Full Gospel Church (ANFGC), Toronto, Canada, through the All Nations International Development Agency (ANIDA).
The progenitor of the vision, Rev. Dr. Donkor, challenged the African diaspora in North America to support the development of Africa, by investing in its human resource development through quality higher education.
The mission was to develop a new breed of leaders for the continent with holistic education that emphasises on academic excellence, Christian values, discipline and ethical values in a Christ-centered environment.
This led to the birth of the college, which started with 37 pioneering students on November 4, 2002 for the Business and Computer Science undergraduate programmes, after being accredited by the National Accreditation Board.
The college can today boast of 12 accredited programmes, and has over 2,500 students’ degree programmes in the following disciplines Business, Engineering and Humanities.
The university, which is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and has developed academic linkages with leading universities such as the University of Western Ontario Ivey School of Business, Canada, and SRM University of Indian, has since become the beacon of hope to the numerous problems facing Ghana, and a challenge to other universities in the country.
Living by its mission to provide quality higher education that would promote development and raise leaders with Christian values and ethics for god governance to serve the people, the Koforidua-based private tertiary institution, since its establishment, has become the first to introduce very innovative programmes.
It was first to introduce oil and gas programmes among other innovative ones, while the institution has won several local and internal awards.
The latest to its numerous innovative programmes is the deployable CanSat, which was launched on Wednesday at the Main campus of the university.
In his welcome address, the President and Founder of the University said the goal of placing a man on the moon drove the need for smaller and lighter components leading to the microcomputer.
According to him, today’s world of the internet and personal computer would not have been possible without the exploration of space, adding that he was extremely pleased that his outfit had launched its first satellite.
This, he said, re-emphasised the commitment of the management of the university to pursue the goal of quality and innovative higher education for the advancement of the Ghanaian economy and Africa continent.
According to him, opponents of space research are of the school of thought that expenditure on space exploration could better be used to solve “earthly” problems, but he disagrees, since technology had shown that space science and satellite technology could, and had already helped address many challenges facing developing countries.
He cited changes in telecommunications, navigation, military operations and weather predictions as some of the changes that have been brought about as a result of the satellite.
The communication satellite, he said, for example, had linked the world through radio, telephone and television, adding that the satellite could provide voice and data broadband services to the high percentage of the population who are located in remote areas, and are least likely to access terrestrial communication infrastructure.
It is from this backdrop that Dr. Donkor mentioned that the ANUC decided to challenge themselves, and embarked on space research, which constitutes the overall educational goal, as well as the cornerstone of the college’s objective to work with industry partners.
He acknowledged that space technology, combined with information and communication technology, would assist in the surveillance of major threats today, and in the near-to-medium term future.
He also relished his outfit working with its partners, particularly the Ghana Space Agency, as the institution contributes its widow’s mite in the field.
According to him, the CanSat was a true testimony of what could be accomplished in space without a huge budget that was customarily associated with space programmes.
To him, the experience gained from the successful construction and launching of the CanSat would provide an ideal opportunity to engage in early technology development and mission conceptualisation with international researchers.
This collaboration, Dr. Donkor, stressed would serve to advance current activities which include the development of complete Nano-satellite and microsatellite missions, towards the goal of constructing and launching a 2-3 kilogramme Cube-Satellite in 2015.
Dr. Donkor added that despite the fact that space science and satellite technology alone cannot solve the many challenges facing the country, they would go a long way to improve on the physical conditions of Ghanaians, and the economies of the sub-Sahara Africa.
Giving a brief history of the mission and concept of the CanSat, the Director of Intelligent Space System Laboratory (ISSL-ANUC), Mr. Manfred Quarshie, said the mission of his office was to accomplish a process that would advance knowledge in space engineering, and attract and empower people in a rewarding and inspiring environment that fosters creation and innovation.
He intimated that the ISSL would research, design, develop, and construct high performance educational miniature satellites, as well as developing Nano-satellite with subsystems and payload for experiments, using state of the art technology.
The Director for ISSL continued that another objective was to generate methodology for monitoring the manufacturing of satellite subsystems, in order to strengthen the knowledge and development of improved techniques of integration, control quality and reliability.
The Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boateng, rectors of sister institutions, and heads of government and private institutions, including the Director of theGhana Space Center, Dr. Ashilevi Kofi, were there to grace the occasion.