Ghana develops Science, Technology and Innovations policy framework
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The government of Ghana says it has developed a science, technology and Innovation policy framework that rest on seven pillars to accelerate national development.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, who announced this at a National Conference on Bridging the Technology Gap in the Eastern Region, revealed that through the newly developed policy framework, the government will be using science, technology and innovation to drive the implementation of its sectoral policies, programmes and strategies at all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
As part of the policy framework the President by a Notice of Instrument has established a Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (PACSTI) as an advisory body situated at the presidency to ensure the smooth implementation of the policy.
Composed of eminent Ghanaian scientists drawn from diverse fields, the Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (PACSTI) will be responsible for advising the President not only on matters relating to STI, but also to keep him fully informed about current advances in STI, and their relevant applications towards national development.
Aside from the second pillar which is the co-ordination of all sectoral activities involving Science Technology and Innovation through an Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Council on Science Technology and Innovation, there will be the establishment of the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialization Centre (GIRC-Centre) that will serve as the bridge between the Government, Public Research Institutions, Academia on one hand, and Industry on the other.
As the third pillar the Centre is also expected to provide incubation centres with basic facilities our innovators will need, and add a further perspective to the work being undertaken by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan.
He mentioned funding for Research and Development (R&D) on Science Technology and Innovation as the fourth pillar, and describing the fifth pillar as “a most crucial one”, President Akufo-Addo stated that his Government attaches extreme importance to the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels of the nation’s educational system.
The sixth pillar affirms that the framework for the STI programme must be backed by legislation to give it teeth, and ensure continuity in its implementation.
The seventh pillar has a strong focus on the development of strategic technology areas such as agriculture & food processing; environment, waste management and circular economy; oil & gas sector; bio-fuels, green energy & energy storage systems; health & pharmaceuticals; information and communications technology (ICT), with emphasis on 3-d printing, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, micro-controllers & processors and software engineering; financial technology (Fintech); mining & minerals processing; and manufacturing, based on precision machining & digital manufacturing.