The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has outlined some policies to be implemented by the Akufo-Addo government to help bring about significant improvement in the areas of technology, science and innovation.
These policies, according to the minister will help to bridge the poverty gap caused by the lack of technology and innovation, when fully implemented.
Speaking at the maiden edition of this year’s Africa Science Week held in Accra, Professor Frimpong-Boateng said the policies are also in line with the NPP’s ‘Ghana beyond aid’ agenda.
“President Akufo-Addo has decided to form an advisory council for science and technology and members of this council will be made up of scientists, technologists and industrialists with deep knowledge and experience. They are expected to provide timely and confidential evidence-based advice on STI policy issues to the President to advance the contributions of STI to Ghana’s economic development.
“The president has also promised to devote 1% of GDP to research and development expenditure. This will also be increased to 2.5% in the long term. Also, we plan to pursue strong strategic technologies that will enable us to build machine parts, machines and installations; to drive our manufacturing industry.
“These measures outlined will help us achieve the president’s vision of Ghana beyond aid. The policy initiatives will place science, technology and innovation at the centre of the country’s development agenda.”
He also stressed the need for Ghana to acquire the requisite human capital, technology and engineering skills needed to rule the world.
“There are countries in this world that have little or no natural resources but are far richer than those with abundant natural resources. It is for this reason that I believe the poverty gap is a technology and engineering gap and not natural resource gap. In actual fact, natural resources have no natural owners. Those who own the resources are those countries that have the human capital, technology and engineering skills to exploit them.”
According to him, the concentration will not only be in the urban areas as some awareness and training will be taken to some specific rural areas.
“The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). It is to make Africa a hub for science and technology and increase our contribution to research.
“Ghana is also proud to be joined by over 30 African countries to celebrate this year’s science week. We now have a unique opportunity to transform our economy and with a platform such as NEF, where meaningful conversations can be had with a clearer vision in mind.”
The five-day celebration which will be marked with some training, exhibition and awareness creation on the importance of mathematics and science was launched in the presence of the German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Christoph Retzlaff and other dignitaries.
Meanwhile. The next edition of the NEF Global Gathering will be held in Nairobi in March 2020 under the patronage of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya.