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West Africa has worst record in university-industry linkages – Prof. Adei

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Prof. Stephen Adei
Prof. Stephen Adei

There is the need to enhance linkages between universities and industries in Africa towards national development.

Professor Stephen Adei, former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), who made the call, said West Africa had the worst record in university-industry linkages.

He said apart from the South Africa, which does better, very little has been achieved in Africa.

Professor Adei was speaking at the first Technical Session of the Sixth Annual International Applied Research Conference organized by the Koforidua Polytechnic in Koforidua.

He blamed the situation on lack of financial support for research by the state, inadequate research infrastructure, lack of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge among academic staff and lack of established networks with the productive sectors.

“In the case of Ghana, apart from the financial sector and mining, the other sectors are witnessing slow growth and in fact, manufacturing has been declining sharply as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Prof Adei said.

He noted that the financial, mining and the telecommunication sectors give limited employment opportunities to graduates and refuse to finance much academic research.

“It is manufacturers that usually support academic research and the sector in Ghana is highly challenged,” Prof Adei said.

He expressed worry that higher institutions in the country had become ‘’mainly teaching universities instead of research universities”.

Prof Adei said:   “Government must do more than paying single spine salaries by providing research support so that academic institutions can also do more on their own by using case studies and simulations to improve practical learning.

“Ghana’s development potential through industry and academic collaboration is an important part of any strategy to improve the chances of sustainable growth and generation of gainful employment for young graduates,” he said.

Prof Adei indicated that when that was done, the Ghanaian economy would experience accelerated development.

He, however,  said it “will require strong leadership from the state and collaboration between the government, employers and the educational institutions.”

Source: GNA

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