The Ghana Science Association (GSA) has organised a three-day programme to mark the 31st Biennial Conference and 60th Anniversary under the theme, “Promoting Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Growth and Development.”
Theme in line with National Agenda
In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, expressed gratitude to GSA for choosing UCC as the venue for the 2019 biennial conference. He described UCC as a higher educational institution that believed in holistic education in the learning process of the individual.
Prof. Ampiah added that the University also has the ultimate interest in finding solutions to issues and challenges of the nation. Acknowledging the theme for the conference, he commended the association for cleverly choosing the issue to be in line with the national agenda “Ghana Beyond Aid and STI Development Policy”.
Science and Technology are Indispensable Tools
The Vice-Chancellor noted, “As we all know, Science and Technology are indispensable tools that a nation cannot do without.” He explained that since the country was primarily an agricultural-based economy, it was expected that the country would tap into its enormous benefits that Technology brings in order to transform the sector. Prof. Ampiah added that in an attempt to revive the technological strategy, it would have trickling effects on other sectors such as health and other problem-needs. He stated, “Colleagues I encourage you to publicise and publish the research findings on the knowledge presented on this platform with the aim of communicating and improving Science and Technology as well as policies and practices within our nation”. The Vice-Chancellor called for the appropriate policy briefs to be given to policymakers and stakeholders.
STI for Sustainable Development in the Country
Giving his address, the National President of GSA, Prof. Moses Jojo Eghan, stated that the event was to deliberate on the theme, which involved the application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for sustainable development in the country. He noted that since the formation of the association, it had not only promoted the development of Science and Technology in the country but also highlighted the issues of national importance and interest regularly at its’ biennial conferences and workshops.
Prof. Eghan said, “It was gratifying to note that some of the recommendations made to the government at the end of our conferences and workshops have resulted in the formulation and implementation of vital policies and the establishment of important institutions that continue to contribute to national development.”
Stressing on the need for STI Policy, Prof. Eghan, who is also the Provost of College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences(CANS), indicated that it was worthy to note that, STI occupy high places in the socio-economic development of nations because advanced countries have applied it to their economies and they have developed in a sustainable manner. “So in Ghana, it is the expectation that the implementation of policies geared towards the application of STI will be integrated into national development strategies and aligned with the appropriate institutional and organisational framework to help raise productivity, improve firm competitiveness, support faster growth, create jobs and conserve the environment,” the GSA President noted.
STI Bedrock for Ghana’s Socio-economic Transformation
Mrs. Linda Yaa Kwabia, who represented the Regional Minister, Mr. Kwamena Duncan, stated that STI would be the bedrock for Ghana’s socio-economic transformation in the coming years if the new government’s policy initiatives and statements were to materialise. This, she said was because both public and private businesses have been able to create and leverage information resources to define competitive advantage and value creation. She hoped the conference would generate pertinent issues to produce fruitful discussions to assist in policy formulation and implementation.
Ghana Beyond Aid is Possible
Speaking on the use of knowledge to drive the national economies, the Director-General, Ghana Standard Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo, appealed to men and women in science in Ghana to be radical, responsive and relevant to help move the economy forward and create jobs. He added, “It is time to for us to tell the world that Ghana Beyond Aid is doable through Science, Technology, and Innovation – we need audacity, courage, passion and resolve.”
A representative from the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (METSI), Mr. Alexander Kwaning, also noted, “Ghana needs STI for socio-economic growth by intensifying creativity and innovation; strengthening market-driven research and development, sourcing and diffusing new technology; developing and attracting talent; deepening awareness on STI and strengthening collaborations and partnership.”
Present were the Minister of National Security, Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, former Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, UCC, Prof. Livingstone K. Sam-Amoah, former Vice-Chancellor, UEW, Prof. Jophus Anamuah-Mensah; Prof. Chris Elliot from Queen’s University, Belfast, UK; Acting Director, STI, METSI, Ms. Adelaide A. Asante,;Deputy UK Government Chemist, Mrs. Selvarani Elahi, and some former GSA executives.