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Government urged to focus on building innovative unique ecosystems to achieve tech objective

Ghana’s goal to hinge its development through technology and innovation will be achieved if the government, academia and the private sector focus on building innovative unique ecosystems.

With the establishment of these unique ecosystems such as cybertech Ghana, Healtech Ghana, Agritech Ghana, Sportstech Ghana, Artificial Intelligent and Finetech Ghana, they would gradually move from addressing local challenges and make it to the global market.

These ecosystems when given the needed support, could contribute hugely to the economy through the service sector more than the country’s traditional foreign exchange earning commodities- gold, cocoa and recently oil.

These ideas were highlighted at the maiden Creativity and Innovation Workshop, held on Thursday in Accra to commemorate this year’s World Creativity and Innovation Day.

As part of the day’s event jointly organized by the Embassy of Israel, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) Ghana, Impact Hub Accra and Ghana Chamber of Technology, a tech workshop was also organized for start-ups.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of MESTI speaking at the event, said globally, Israel was credited with the advancement of technology including waste water recycling technology, water purification and the development of polio vaccine.

He assured that Ghana would partner Israel especially in the establishment of the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialization Centre (GIRC-Centre) that aims at linking researchers, inventors and industry.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng stated that Israel was one of the topmost countries at the forefront of the digital health revolution and that the sector was changing the delivery of healthcare internationally.

He said there were companies that had developed products including electronic medical records, population health and the ability for patients to have access to their health records.

Madam Shani Cooper, the Israel Ambassador to Ghana, said Israel was an industrialized country with most of its manufacturing based on intensive and sophisticated research & development and hi-tech processes, tools, and machinery.

She recounted that the dynamic, widely diversified industrial sector was developed from basic technologies established since the end of the 19th century to manufacture farm implements and process agricultural products.

Madam Cooper explained that the vast investment in aviation and armament industries created new technologies that became the base for Israel’s unique hi-tech industries, such as medical devices, electronics, computer software and hardware,telecommunications.

She stated that almost 80 per cent of hi-tech products were exported, while the more traditional, low-tech firms export only close to 40 percent of their product.

“Hi-tech exports quadrupled from $3 billion in 1991 to $12.3 billion in 2000 and to $29 billion in 2006 (plus another $5.9 billion of hi-tech services exported). In 2009, the product of information and communications technology, a major part of hi-tech industry amounted to $19 billion,” she added.

Mr Oren Simanian, an Israeli Tech Innovator and Entrepreneur at StarTau, Tel-Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre said Ghana could be the leading hub of tech in West Africa if the government worked with academia and the private sector devoid of politics.

He recommended that the government needed to invest in the sector especially establishing community start-ups to harness the raw talents and further support them flourish to reap the dividend.

Mr Simanian said already, the country had a language upper hand and needed to coordinate science and technology activities to succeed.

Source: GNA

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