Replace obsolete equipment at research centres – Minister

Ms.Matilda Dzomeku(right) briefing on how to research on  mushroom to Prof. Frimpong Boateng(middle).Whiles  officials looks on.Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

Ms.Matilda Dzomeku(right) briefing on how to research on mushroom to Prof. Frimpong Boateng(middle).Whiles officials looks on.Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation minister, Professor Frimpong Boateng, has expressed concern about the obsolete condition of equipment at state established research centres.

He, therefore, asked for the replacement of such machines if the centres were to work efficiently and contribute to national development.

Prof. Boateng, who raised this concern when he paid a working visit to the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra on Friday, expressed worry that no single equipment, installed at the IIR in the 1960s, was working.

He noted that research constitutes the bedrock of industrial transformation, saying Ghana should consider substantial investment in research.

Prof. Boateng said because of the under utilisation and little investment in research, Ghana’s innovation was being exploited by the most advanced countries and resold to Ghanaians.

He said government would ensure massive retooling of all research centres, to better revamp the industrial sector.

Prof. Boateng said government was committed to ensuring that science, technology, engineering and mathematics was linked to industry, to enhance productivity.

He said he was enthused about the assurance to increase the research fund to about one per cent of the national budget.

Responding to a question on how the current administration would ensure that machines and equipment were produced in Ghana, Prof. Boateng said that government would initiate measures to cut the importation of equipment that can be produced in Ghana.

He emphasised the need to develop the capacity of technicians and engineers, to be able to manufacture equipment and machines, to increase energy generation, improve agriculture and education.

At the Food Research Institute of the CSIR, the sector minister commended the staff for effective running of the centre.

Prof. Boateng noted that the management of the centre had put into good use, resources accrued from its internally generated fund.

The Director General of CSIR, Dr. Victor Agyeman, asked government to increase funding for research, and appealed for more staff recruitment and training, adding that “about 50 per cent of our staff would go on pension in 10 years.”

By Malik Sullemana    

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