By Lydia Asamoah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 15, GNA- President John Dramani Mahama has urged development partners to work with Ghana in implementing some of her sustainable Science Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes for sustainable development and industrial growth.
“It is only through leveraging these partnerships that we will achieve our goals in an effective manner. Some of these partnerships could be in the form of knowledge sharing, capacity building and implementing joint research and development (R&D) programmes,” President Mahama said at the opening of the Science, Technology and Innovation Fair 2016, underway in Accra.
He said STI is important because of the potential it offers to solve Ghana’s developmental problems and improve the lives of the citizens.
The President, whose speech was read on her behalf, commended the World Bank for its constant support to the government in the various sectors of the economy, particularly in the area of STI.
“In fact most donors shy away from supporting R&D programmes of developing countries as this is the key developmental area, which strengthens the competitiveness of a country and so I am grateful to the World Bank for funding this initiative of the government”, President Mahama said.
The three-day Fair is being hosted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Council for Technical Vocational Education Training-Project Support Unit who together, are implementing the World Bank funded “Ghana Skills and Technology Development Project.
It is on the theme: “Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development and Industrial Growth in Ghana”.
President Mahama said while government remains committed to develop human capital in STI, investment into the programmes should not be the sole responsibility of government but also the private sector.
He said though government had so far invested more than one billion Ghana Cedis in education, including Technical Vocational Education Training, the challenge is providing adequate funding for basic and applied research especially in areas in which the private sector does not have the economic incentives to invest.
He said technology transfer is also a main issue, while the development of indigenous technology capacity was critical for cost-effective solutions.
The President said when the National STI fund is established after the Bill is passed by Parliament more funds would be allocated to increasing the expenditure of R&D.
He said a lot more needed to be done in promoting STI and these include the establishment of special technology zones, eco-systems, for venture capital, business and technology incubators, as well as more support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We need to also address the issue of intellectual property rights and provide more incentives to companies to undertake research and development and to commercialise R&D results,” President Mahama noted.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the first ever technology and innovation fair aims at exhibiting a diverse array of scientific technological interventions for research institutions and Ghanaian industries as well as individual innovators across the country.
It also provides a platform that brings together researchers, relevant stakeholders and students to interact for advancing and understanding the scientific technological innovation transfer, financing and commercialisation.
He said with advancement in technology, there is the need to encourage and empower the people, especially the youth and students to take a multi-disciplinary approach towards knowledge creation, and to pursue the many exciting new possibilities that could emerge as technologies converge.