The chemical engineer and innovator who is spearheading an effort to create the Silicon Valley of Ghana is 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 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, the Silicon Valley of Ghana will be created in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Tamale and all the major Universities in Ghana. 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 Valley of Ghana will be focused on STEM K-12 involving primary, elementary, secondary and the tertiary throughout Ghana where children will be inspired to learn and focus on 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 Ghana-based industries and leading universities as they collaborate to enhance the competitiveness of Ghana in the world of global technology and commerce.
Dr Thomas had his secondary and tertiary education in Ghana and managed to secure a scholarship to further his education abroad.
Dr Mensah’s works relate to the development of fibre optics and nanotechnology.
He has 14 patents, 7 of which were awarded within a period of six years, and he was inducted into the US National Academy of Inventors in 2015.
He served as Editor-in-Chief of the international textbook Nanotechnology Commercialization published by AIChE and John Wiley & Sons. The book is aimed at moving Nanotechnology from the laboratory environment to the global marketplace.
He currently has developed a smartwatch which he calls ‘Hug Watch.’ According to him, Hug Watch can change TV s channels by serving as a remote control, also makes and receives calls.
He is the author of textbook Nanotechnology Commercialization is used in the world: places like Tokyo, London, China, Paris, Germany, USA, etc.
He is the author of four books on innovation his first one is fibre optic engineering, it’s used all over the world, his latest book is called nanotechnology commercialization.
He delivered the R .P Baffuor Lectures and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, (D.Sc Honoraris Causa) at KNUST November 22 to 25, 2017.
Dr Mensah will receive the Nkrumah Genius Awards in Accra with Quincy Jones and others on December 16.