Mr Johnson Opoku-Boateng, Director of Business Development Services, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), says developing countries, including Ghana are struggling to fully harness opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution.
He explained that the lack of investment in innovative technologies especially in agriculture, processing and digitization were some of the major causes.
Mr Opoku-Boateng who said this at the maiden edition of a poster and exhibition conference organized by the Faculty of Applied Sciences of Accra Technical University (ATU), called for dedicated funding for technology development and strong partnership between technical/vocational education and industry.
The two-day exhibition, which was on the theme, “Innovation Technologies in Applied Sciences,” showcased improved agriculture technologies, 3D printing and gadgets such as close circuit devices and drones.
“We may be late but once time cannot be redeemed, the best thing to do is to start now and most importantly build on the early starters, leveraging on the strengths of what they have achieved to advance further while at the same time veering off the mistakes they made.” Mr Opoku-Boateng said.
Mr Opoku-Boateng commended ATU for initiating the exhibition conference, noting that it would bridge the academia and industry gap.
He urged corporate institutions to support universities to carry out research in technologies, establish business incubators and enhance research labs to spur teaching, learning and practicing of science, technology and mathematical studies.
Professor Samuel Nii Odai, Vice-Chancellor of ATU, in a speech delivered on his behalf, said the world was technologically driven hence the need for Ghanaian universities to invest more in science and research.
Such a move, he explained, would enable universities to join in and benefit from the emerging trends in the areas of technological advancement through creativity and innovation.
Prof. Odai stated that the development of mobile applications, including Facebook and Whatsapp, had enhanced and made medium of communication easy and seamless despite its challenges.
He urged faculties to organize more exhibitions to scale up creativity and innovations in the areas of technology and sciences to address basic challenges.
Prof Alice Constance Mensah, the Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, challenged the youth to be technologically savvy and tap into the opportunities in the sector.
The ATU management, she said, had initiated projects such as instituting an Information Communication Technology (ICT) laboratories and related programmes to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be relevant both locally and globally.