Ghanaian researchers must collaborate to reverse brain drain – Prof Quaynor
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, Chairman of National Information Technology Agency (NITA), on Tuesday called on Ghanaian researchers and institutions of higher learning to collaborate to reverse brain drain.
He also called for establishment of a National Network of Researchers and other professionals stressing that it was critical if Ghana was to harness the opportunities of technology to leapfrog the country into a high socio-economic development gear.
Prof Quaynor was speaking at the on-going two-day Second Ghana Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) conference jointly organised in Accra by Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC) and the Centre for Communication, Media and Information (CMI) technologies at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The conference, which is expected to explore ways in which technologies were effectively and efficiently used and assessed in fields of education, health care, governance, businesses, social networks, banking and other financial institutions, was on the theme: “Harnessing ICT for Development in Education, Health and Governance.”
Prof Quaynor described as worrying the trend where some Ghanaian technocrats and other professionals travelled abroad to help build the developed economies whiles their native country’s financial system wobbled.
He called on Ghanaian institutions of higher learning to trade educational materials among themselves instead of outsourcing teaching and learning materials to foreign institutions to the detriment of the country.
Dr Osei Darkwa, President of GTUC noted that India, China, Estonia and the Philippines had moved to a level of economic success because they had transformed their educational, health care and governance systems through the use of ICT and had rewarded innovation, encouraged collaboration, research and development.
“However, it is sad to note that the story in our part of the world has not followed the same trend as these pace setters. We continue to be poor and suffer from all the social, economic and political pathologies that so often accompany poverty,” he said.
Dr Darkwa said he was convinced that the new technologies offered African countries tremendous opportunities to leapfrog in the development process to develop and pursue new and more dynamic models for development.
“Brick and mortar concepts of building a nation will not support our continuous inclusion in the Global village…we need to embark on an aggressive journey to build a solid foundation by strengthening the use of ICT in our development.”
Prof Knud-Erik Skouby, Director of CMI, told journalists at the end of the opening session of the conference that the participants, including education experts, political leaders, technology experts and researchers, were expected to discuss how African countries could employ ICT to accelerate development in education, health and governance.
He said Ghana was yet to harness ICT to create wealth, dignity, income, economic growth and improved living standards of the citizenry.