Dr. Victor Agyemang, Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has criticized the poor budgetary support for Science, Research and Technology Education in Africa, and said this would have to change if the contract has to win the war against poverty
He said the situation where the continent produced only two per cent of the world’s knowledge and less than 0.1 per cent of inventions, should be a source of worry to all.
The picture even becomes darker, considering the fact that the number of researchers in sub-Saharan Africa, is currently estimated to be just about one-fifteenth of the world’s average.
He was addressing an International Conference on Engineering, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
Dr. Agyemang said the situation had been the cause of Africa’s slow socio-economic progress.
In spite of its abundant natural resources, human capital and development potentials, Africa is ranked the least industrialized, accounting for less than one per cent of the global manufacturing index.
Dr. Agyemang said the situation was badly affecting the overall contribution of Higher Education, Science and Technology, to the gross national income of most of the countries, warning that, the trend could result in perpetual poverty and under-development.
The two-day programme was under the theme: “Promoting Creativity and Innovation for Development,” and was structured to allow the participants to brainstorm on a wide-range of issues to stimulate socio-economic growth.
These include agriculture and food security, water, environment and human health, energy, electronic and communication technology, entrepreneurship and the built environment.
The conference brought together experts in the fields of engineering, entrepreneurship, science and technology, to generate innovative ideas and how they could be developed into commercial products.
Dr. Agyemang said scientific studies were the answer to Africa’s development challenges, and urged political leaders to prioritize investment in research and higher education. -GNA