Business News of Friday, 21 July 2017
One of the four inventors of Fiber Optics and an infrastructure expert, Dr. Thomas Mensah is pushing for the development of a High-Speed Rail System for Ghana.
He said while China engages Ghana in the $19b bauxite development deal which includes a smelting facility, the country must employ China to include the High-Speed Rail System as part of the package.
Dr. Thomas Mensah has served on the US High-Speed Rail Board.
He said, “a recent article in Moody’s disparaging the bauxite deal as excessive debt will not hold water if Ghana has the High-Speed Rail System that can modernise the transportation infrastructure in the country as part of the deal.”
“The proposal is also in line with the current government’s one district, one factory plan” said Dr. Mensah who felt his proposed HRS corridor from the south to north of the country can actually exceed this goal by having the potential to “creating four factories per district along the rail route to supply to the construction and operation of the HRS.
“I see factories set up to build among other things plastic, and composites for the interior of the high-speed trains as well as possibly aluminium parts for the train itself” he explained.
“This proposal has the potential to create a major Technology Transfer to Ghana, with all its Universities participating by supplying engineering, science and other graduates for the future operation and maintenance of the HRS System“, according to Dr. Mensah.
Ghana will be the third country in Africa after Ethiopia and Morocco to have HRS if Dr. Mensah’s proposal materialises and is implemented in the country. It will transform Ghana to a well-developed country with value-added export capabilities.
High-Speed Rail System coupled with High-Speed Internet
As part of his presentation, Dr. Mensah also proposed the installation of fibre optic cable along the HRS line so passengers can connect to WiFi in the train while it travels long distances at speeds between 200-300 MPH.
He said, “I want a two-year-old in a village in Ghana to be able to learn from the tablet just like a two-year-old in the US, Europe, and the developed world”, he said followed by great applause from the conference participants.
“I believe this HSR proposal could also help solve the huge infrastructure deficit in Ghana” that has impeded huge foreign investments, in the country, he added.
Several prominent engineers and scientist according to Dr. Mensah who were trained in the US have returned to their respective countries to help develop the technology infrastructure base and today some of these countries like China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and India are exporting Cars, Satellites, Smartphones, Ships, High-Speed Trains, and Aircraft products.
“I Am not interested in complaining about the inconveniences of the system in Ghana, I rather want to become part of the return to Ghana movement to assist with fast-tracking its development”, said Dr. Mensah
High-Speed Rail could be ‘significant legacy’
A significant legacy of transportation infrastructure development can be realised for Ghana through the HRS as the nation prepares to enter the 21st Century. Dr. Mensah said, he will be “happy to see Members of Ghana’s Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, Vice President Bawumia, and His Excellency President Nana Akufo Addo and their grandchildren get on this High-Speed Rail System.”
The HSR proposal will address unemployment in Ghana especially for the youth and graduates of Universities in Ghana and bring a major Economic development to the Nation.
Dr. Thomas Mensah has authored four books on innovation – Fiber Optics Engineering (1987), Superconductor Engineering (1992), his 2013 autobiography ‘The Right Stuff Comes in Black Too’, and ‘Nanotechnology Commercialization, an International Text Book’ (2017), is a holder of seven US Patents awards in a space of six years.
He is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.