A 10-year master plan that will enable Science, Technology and Innovation contribute the largest part of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will soon be implemented by the government, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, has said.
The plan will also increase the number of technology and innovation-driven multinational companies registered and operating in Ghana, increase the number of well-paying jobs in the sector as well as increase the number of new Ghanaian-led businesses.
Dr Afriyie said this in a speech read on his behalf at the Ghana STIRS Commercialisation Partnership Roundtable (GSCPR) programme in Accra on Wednesday.
The programme was organised by MESTI in collaboration with the West and Central Africa Research and Education Network (WACREN) and Heritors Labs.
The master plan is a comprehensive plan of action for the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialisation (GIRC) Centre, a unit set up by MESTI to act as collaborators in the transformation of research output and innovations into industrial products and services.
Dr Afriyie said the country had fallen behind in the race to apply Science, Technology and Innovation for national development for which reason it had to strengthen her leverage on Science, Technology and Innovation, and to apply it rigorously in pursuit of our national goals.
“We must anchor the growth of Ghana’s economy on the strategic application of Science, Technology and Innovation, and to transform the ethos of the nation into ‘Ghana, a Nation of Innovation.’ The character of the nation, the mind set of our people and the engine of Ghana’s economy must all be driven by innovation,” he added.
As such, Dr Afriyie said the objectives of the plan would be achieved by strengthening the country’s innovation ecosystem and establishing robust and functioning innovation support programmes.
“We plan to develop nationwide infrastructure to support innovation, train our youth, and equip them with the tools for creating sustainable innovations,” he added.
THE Special Advisor to the Minister, Oliver Boachie, explained that the plan was derived from a collaboration between the government through the MESTI and the Korean government through its Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), a research and development organisation, as part of Korea’s K-Innovation Partnership Programme (a three-year programme from 2021-2023).
Mr Boachie said the aim of the collaboration was to support the country develop a robust and economically viable technological innovation system.
He indicated that Ghana and South Korea were very identical in terms of their economic standing and the standard of living of their people but for reasons, including disruptions in politics, the country’s plans for technology were derailed.
Mr Boachie said the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index must rise significantly from the current level of 95 out of 130 to be within the top five among the Lower Middle-Income Economies of the world.
An official of WACREN, Dr Boubakar Barry, said it was crucial for the government to facilitate access to infrastructure and make funding available to build a network of researchers.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR