Minister advocates local production of car batteries

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has advocated the local production of car batteries.

He said following the discovery of Lithium (a material used in car battery production) in the country, entrepreneurs should consider going into the production of lithium car batteries locally to help boost the nation’s socioeconomic development.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng made the appeal on Wednesday during a panel discussion at the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) Conference on Bridging the Technology Gap Media Engagement in Accra.

Other panel members included Mr Kwesi Pratt Jr, the Managing Editor, The Insight Newspaper; Dr Kwame A. Boakye, GhIE past President; Dr Lucy Agyepong, Technical Manager for Design and Built, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry UK; and Dr Joseph Odartey Cruickshank, a retired Mechanical Engineer, General Electric Company.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the auto industry used Lithium batteries, however, as developed countries like China were gradually shifting into the production of electric cars, which does not need Lithium batteries, Ghana could use its Lithium raw material for the production of car batteries locally.

The Minister noted that the poverty gap was a technology gap, and that no country could develop without technological growth.

He said Ghana needed to learn from the experiences of Asian Tigers such as Malaysia and Singapore; adding that “it is important for us to mobilize our human capital for the country’s technological advancement”.

Mr Alex Ayeh, GhIE President, recounted that from January 21 -25, the Institution had its Conference on Bridging the Technology Gap Towards “Ghana Beyond Aid” and Youth Employment at Peduase in the Eastern Region.

Mr Ayeh quoted Aristotle as having said that “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determine your destiny”.

He said this statement of Aristotle challenged the Ghanaian engineer not to see excellence as foreign but as a sine quo non (an absolute necessity), which must be relevant to the President’s desire to see “Ghana Beyond Aid”.

Dr Boakye in his submission noted that the Peduase Conference recognized that an enabling environment was critical for the mastery and deployment of technology and its application for employment generation in the country.

“We, therefore, call for the creation of an environment that promotes engineering design and manufacturing, and rewards a culture of innovation and application of technology in Ghana,” he stated.

Mr Pratt, on his part, called for more media engagement on Ghana’s technological drive.

He, therefore, appealed to the media and the GhIE to have more of such engagements to increase technological discourse in the country.

He also said that there could not be any solution for anything without engineering; declaring “We cannot survive without science, engineering and innovation”.

On her part, Dr Agyepong made a call for a strong collaboration between academia and research/technological centres as part of efforts to address the technological gap in the country.

Dr Cruickshank said Ghana needed to be innovative in finding out new ways to do things.

He said there was never an end to innovation; adding that “we need to be always championing new ways of doing things in this country”.

Source: GNA

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