The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has held an awards ceremony to reward scientists and industry players who have contributed to Ghana’s scientific and industrial development over the past 60 years.
The awards, which formed parts of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the CSIR, was graced by Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, Senior Minister as the special guest of honour, and Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
The awards, dubbed: “MESTI/CSIR Scientific and Life Time Recognition Awards”, was categorised into the Scientific Excellence, Champions of Science and Research, Dedicated Service in Research and Development, Industry Pillars as well as Directors on Retirement.
The theme for the anniversary celebrations was “CSIR- 60 Years of Research with Impact for Sustainable Development”. The award categories included Scientific Excellence, Champions of Research, Industry Pillars of Science and Dedicated Service in Research and Development.
Among the awardees was the 94 year-old Dr Leticia Obeng, a Heroin scientist in Water and Environment, and the first Research staff to be recruited by the CSIR, who was also a Foundation Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology as well as the first Female President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Others included Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who received a citation for scientific excellence in Medicine, Dr William Agble, a renowned Plant Breeder/ Physical Sciences, and Professor Felix Konotey Ahulu, for Medical Science.
There were also Professor E.H Amonoo-Neizer and Mr Abe Incoom who were awarded as Champions of Science and Research; and Dr A. B. Salifu, Professor E. Owusu Bennoah, and Professor Rose Emma Entsua-Mensah, who were also awarded for dedicated Service in Research and Development.
Mr Marfo commended the scientists for their immense contributions towards the socio-economic development of the nation, especially, for producing improved seedlings, like oil palm, maize, and legumes, urging them to spread the distribution of their produce in all the country for easy accessibility by farmers and industry players.
He announced that in line with the government’s commitment towards science research, Cabinet had approved doubled the fund towards scientific research to one percent. The current budget was about 0.3 per cent.
He said “now that the fund for research has been doubled, we want to see accelerated scientific research and results that will be useful to industry and the socio-economic development of the country”.
He said for instance, aside research on crop yield and disease resistance, the scientists ought to look at other dimensions of research such as climate change, which called for a multi-dimensional approach in research efforts.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng on his part also acknowledged the distinguished scientists, stakeholders and former staff of CSIR for their significant contribution to the growth of the country over the past 60 years.
He said in the 21st century, it was undeniable that science had provided, and continued to provide, important answers to issues affecting our daily lives in a bid to make it better.
“If the President’s vision is to be realized, then, there is the need for a multi-sector approach to ensure that the various ministries were in tune with and complement each other.
“An economic transformational agenda will be stillborn without education, science, industry and agriculture being in tune with each other”, he said.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said there was an urgent need to coordinate and ensure that the relevant ministers were speaking to each other and complementing each other to ensure the delivery of the President’s vision of an industrialized nation and a country beyond aid.
Professor Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director-General of CSIR, emphasized the need for the country to acknowledge and support scientists for them to continue to research and come out with innovations that would provide developmental solutions.
He suggested that Ghana should have a “Science Day” to commemorate the work of all scientists in the Country