Industry-based economy will create jobs – Dr Afriyie
The Minister of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, has re-emphasized the urgency for Ghana to establish an industry-based economy as a means to create decent jobs for the people.
He said the President’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid could only be realised if implementation efforts were driven by Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) that had been placed at the centre of the country’s industrialisation agenda, and had become the fulcrum around which national development revolves.
“His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has articulated his vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid” as “a prosperous and self-confident nation that is in charge of her economic destiny; a transformed Ghana that is prosperous enough to be beyond needing aid, and a nation that engages competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment,” he added.
Dr Afriyie said these in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a two-day learning on the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It was attended by 120 Science Granting Councils from 18 African countries.
They are from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Côte d’ Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa.
Dr Afriyie said the ministry had declared the period from 2022 to 2032 as the Decade of Innovation, and indicated that it was the national strategy to achieve Ghana beyond Aid.
“The goal of the Decade of Innovation is to anchor the growth of Ghana’s economy on the strategic application of Science, Technology and Innovation, in order to transform the ethos of the country into a Nation of Innovation that is why MESTI believes that the character of the nation, the mindset of our people and the engine of Ghana’s economy must all be driven by innovation,” he added.
The Minister said within the next decade, innovation should account for the largest part of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and urged participants to work together to propagate the good stories around them.
Ms Mamusu Harry-Seshie of the United Kingdom (UK)’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, said scientific research was a catalyst for innovation to discover emerging technologies to help identify promising life changing technologies to scale up or brought to market.
“That is why we support demand driven, locally led, rigorous scientific research that responds to your contextualised needs, strengthen research and innovation ecosystem to create an enabling environment so that STI can flourish and deliver impact for you,” she added.
The Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies, Professor Tom Ogada, commended the council for adopting programmes to support data development in their various countries.
“We need the track record of success in advancing knowledge and promoting innovation to solve some pressing challenges; agriculture, food, climate resilient economies, gender, youth and inclusive development,” he added.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFAAKPALU