Pres urges donor partners to support STI research

Professor. Naana. Opoku-Agyemang(second from right)and Mr. Ayariga(second from left)inspecting some of the exhibits at the stands (3)

Professor. Naana. Opoku-Agyemang(second from right) and Mr. Ayariga (second from left) inspecting some of the exhibits at the stands

President John Mahama has appealed to donor partners to support research and development programmes of Ghana, to accelerate the Country’s development.

“I will urge our development partners who are gathered here to take the opportunity in partnering with us to implement some of our sustainable Science, Technology and Innovation (STI),” he said.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Education, Professor  Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang at the Science and Technology Fair currently underway at  ISSER, University of Ghana.

The three-day programme being organised by the Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), is on the theme ‘Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development and Industrial Growth in Ghana’.

It is being attended by the various public universities in the country and exhibitors from the private sector,

The programme is meant to showcase the STI inventions from research institutes and Ghanaian industries as well as individual innovators in the country.

President Mahama said most donors were shying away from supporting research and development programmes, which were critical in strengthening the country’s competitiveness.

He observed that government alone could not fund research and innovation programmes and called for partnership between donors, the private sector and government to promote research and development as well as STI.

President Mahama said his government was committed to developing the human capital in the STI sector, because it offered great potentials to solving the developmental needs of the country and improve the lives of the citizens.

He stressed that “a vibrant STI knowledge-based economy provides opportunities for citizens to prosper and enjoy upward mobility.

He said the government had invested more than GH¢1 billion in education including technical and vocational education, and was keen on increasing the expenditure on research and development through the STI Fund which was being established.

The sector Minister, Mahama Ayariga, in his address, said the STI was started last year to showcase the potentials of the country.

He explained that the fair also provided a platform that brought together researchers, relevant stakeholders and students to interact for advancing and understanding the STI life cycle of research and development technology transfer financing and commercialisation.

Mr. Ayariga said “the fair comprises an exhibition, which involves more than 25 institutions, including research institutions, academia and industry, and a symposium to discuss thought – provoking topics in the STI and research and development sector.

“It is our hope that at the end of this fair, there will be a close relationship between research institutions and industries in Ghana.  We expect Memorandum of Understanding and contracts to be signed between the two bodies,” he said, adding that “the Ghanaian industry should be able to seek the help of our research institutions in solving their scientific and technological challenges and the research institutions should be able to understand the Ghanaian industry and carry out their research based on industry needs.”

Dignitaries who graced the opening of the three-day programme are Professor Howard Alper,  Former Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

Other dignitaries billed to moderate and speak at the symposium of the three-day fair are Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, Director General of the National Planning Development Commission, Dr Michael Agyekum, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)  of MIKADDO Holdings Limited, James Asare-Adjei, CEO of ASADTEK Group Limited, Dr. Tony Aubyn, CEO of the Minerals Commission,  Professor Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.

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