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Ghana to launch National Science Policy

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Dr. Mustapha Ahmed

Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology says the National Science Policy, which had received Presidential assent would be launched when the prerequisite formalities are completed.

He said the national blueprint would fast-track the development, application and integration of science, technology and innovation (STI) into the national development strategy for accelerated growth.

Dr Ahmed was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on the sideline of the African Forum on STI for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth, in Nairobi, Kenya.

He said the principal thrust of the policy is to ensure that STI drive all sectors of the economy with the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and other stakeholders provide oversight advice.

Dr Ahmed said whilst the policy was in incubation, government found it prudent to implement portions of it, which had manifested in the holding of the first National Science Conference, last year, in Accra, and other cross-cutting activities.

The Minister said under the Better Ghana Information, Communication Technology (ICT) agenda strategy 60,000 laptops and 5,000 scholarships have been distributed to students.

He said a placement for procurement and supply of additional 100,000 computers over the next five years has been approved and tended to bridge the ICT gap.

Dr Ahmed indicated that government would take stock of funding inadequacy by boosting public expenditure on STI, forge stronger collaboration with the private sector and accelerate the allocation of a minimum of one per cent of gross domestic product to support innovation in the sector.

The Minister said to bolster action, government would soon launch the research for development innovation fund, establish the Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre and host the African Institute of Mathematics campus.

He said government is considering exploiting financing avenues from the extractive industry like oil and gas and mining commodities to support skills and vocational/technical training to provide the buffer for a giant scientific take-off.

“The Ministry is embarking on bilateral agreements with South Africa and Kenya with memoranda of understanding expected to be signed between the parties to share experiences and forge collaborations in STI,” Dr Ahmed said.

Dr Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and Technology told the GNA that “it would be suicidal in the 21st Century for member countries of Africa Union to see the development of STI as a pastime”.

He said, “In fact, STI holds the key for the rapid socio-economic development of the continent and any country that does not have a science policy is way-off target.”

She said the continent would succeed in earning accolades as the “African Lion” as is the case of the “Asian Tigers” only when STI was harnessed to champion the development aspirations of the continent towards achieving the objectives for poverty reduction, food security and sustainable environmental management.

Source: GNA

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