Ghana needs dedicated scientists to spearhead development – Prof Frimpong-Boateng

By Isaac Arkoh, GNA 

Cape Coast, Aug. 17, GNA – Ghana needs more
skilled and dedicated scientists and technologists in sufficient numbers if it
hopes to break the cycle of poverty in the country.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister
for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), who made the call,
said the way was to create jobs through industrialisation to improve the
wellbeing of the citizenry.

He was speaking at the 31st Biennial
Conference of the Ghana Science Association (GSA) held in Cape Coast under the
theme: “promoting science, technology and innovation for sustainable
growth and development.”

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said countries that
have transitioned from underdevelopment thrived on the back of deliberate
policies that utilised the application of Science, Technology and Innovation
(STI) for development.

“Throughout history, major
transformative shifts in countries growth and development trajectories have
often been linked with the successful application of STI.

“The experience of successful developing
countries shows that STI policies that are well integrated into national
development strategies and combined institutional and organisational changes
can help raise productivity, improve firm competitiveness, support faster
growth and above all create jobs,” he said.

Buttressing his views on the need to train
more scientists, he said Africa is home to more than 15 per cent of the World’s
population, it produces less than 1.5 per cent of the World’s scientific
knowledge.

He acknowledged that poverty reduction,
environmental degradation, food and energy security, health, climate change,
wealth creation and sustainable development are all complex issues that demand
their own set of responses to address them efficiently.

As an integral part of the efforts to change
the narrative, he announced that Government has initiated sectoral policies,
programmes and strategies that are being implemented on the bases of the
overall national science, technology and innovation policy.

However, he stressed the urgent need for
prioritisation and greater commitment to ensure that adequate and stable
funding is provided for the implementation of the national science and
technology plan.

Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General,
Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), called on members of GSA to be radical,
responsive and relevant in the nation’s quest to accelerate development beyond
aid and freebies.

The reality of the situation, he said, is
that STI have not kept pace with population growth to create the needed jobs,
and noted that “the investments Ghana has made in STI have not
commensurate impact in terms of jobs, economic emancipation and national
development.”

He told Ghanaian scientists to be bold to
confront government and stand up to be counted by moving from their comfort
zone.

Ghanaian scientists and technologists must
also to take-up the challenge of using Ghanaian science, academic expertise,
raw materials, and professionals to build appropriate social infrastructural,
energy and services to propel economic growth.

GNA

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