The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the first national science and technology institution in Ghana. The current form of the Council was established on 10th October, 1968 by NLC Decree 293. It was re-established by the CSIR Act 521 of 26th November, 1996.
However, the Council emanated from the erstwhile National Research Council (NRC), established by the Research Act 21 of August, 1958, which was mandated to organize and co-ordinate scientific research in Ghana and provide the necessary platform for Ghana’s accelerated development. This Council began its work on 14th February, 1959. It had a Governing Council, chaired by the President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, with Mr. F.E.V. Smith as its Executive Secretary and Mr. S.T. Quansah as Deputy Executive Secretary.
In 1963, the National Research Council was merged with the Ghana Academy of Learning, which had been established in 1958 and renamed the Ghana Academy of Sciences, under the Ghana Academy of Sciences Instrument E.I.5 of 1963. The Academy, therefore, combined the dual roles of a statutory learned society and the organization of national research.
The assets and responsibilities of the two organizations were vested in the new Academy. The Academy had responsibility over eleven research institutes and four units and projects with Prof. J. Yanney-Ewusi as its General Secretary.
In 1968, following the recommendations of the Cockroft Committee, which was appointed by the Government of the National Liberation Council (NLC) in December 1966 “to advise on the future of the Ghana Academy of Sciences”, the Ghana Academy of Sciences was reconstituted and the Learned Society was separated from the research Division of the Academy.
The reconstitution of the Ghana Academy of Sciences into two separate bodies became law by NLCD 291 (1968), which established the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and NLCD 293 (1968), which established the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 10th October 1968 with Mr. Modzaben Dowuona as the first Executive Chairman of the CSIR. As a national body, therefore, the CSIR has had an unbroken history, which extends back to the creation of the National Research Council in 1958.
CSIR and patterning institutions
The CSIR is mandated to carry out scientific and technological research for national development. CSIR’s research programmes cover a wide range of activities in the following areas: Industry, Agriculture, Agro-processing, Fisheries, Forestry, Water Resources, Human Settlement Infrastructure, Environment, Health, Natural and Social Sciences. Currently, CSIR has 13 institutes, namely,
o Food Research Institute
o Industrial Research Institute
o Institute for Scientific & Technological Information
o Science & Technology Policy Research Institute
o Water Research Institute
o Animal Research Institute
o Oil Palm Research Institute
o Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute
o Building & Road Research Institute
o Crops Research Institute
o Forestry Research Institute
o Soil Research Institute
o Savannah Agricultural Research Institute