By Frank Amponsah
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Said that the time has come for Ghana to develop policies that would make her self-reliant, less dependent on foreign capital, technology and influence.
According to him, his vision is in line with that agenda and that Ghana’s developmental policies going forward can no longer depend on the support that the technologically advanced world can give to her.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the over-dependence foreign assistance has never worked and it will not work.
Addressing a conference on bridging the technology gap at the Peduase Valley Resort yesterday, under the theme: “Bridging the Technology Gap towards ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ and Youth Employment.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said “It is important to state that we can no longer continue to make policies for our country on the bases of whatever support the technologically advanced world can give us. It has not worked and it will not work.”
He noted that his vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid” is to build a strong, robust economy capable of generating a dignified, prosperous existence for its people, and banishing the sceptre of poverty, averring that his administration through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has developed a Science and Technology Framework that has seven (7) pillars.
This policy agenda, the President says, will help bridge the technology gap between Ghana and the rest of the world.
He explained that science, technology and innovation will receive the constant attention of government and that a Presidential Advisory on Science Technology and Innovation (PASTI) has been established as an advisory body to advise the President on matters to do with science, technology and innovation.
He also mentioned the coordination of all sectoral activities involving science, technology and innovation through an inter-ministerial coordinating council on Science, Technology and Innovation, with the recognition of the need for strong partnership between government, public research institutions, the scientific academic community and industry.
The President also indicated that raising funding for research and development to a significant level will be considered with a minimum of 1% of Ghana’s GDP be applied to research and development in the short to medium term and increased to 2.5% in the long term.
“The fifth pillar is to target a more literate society through education. The sixth pillar is that legislation for the science, technology and innovation programme of the country must be given statutory backing. To that end, a bill is being drafted to be laid before Parliament for approval. The last pillar has a strong focus on the development of strategic technology areas. Critical areas of technology which are essential to the country’s development will be targeted.”
On his part, President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Steve Amoaning-Yankson, observed in his welcome address that the Foreign expertise coming into the country to offer technological solutions that can be handled locally by Ghanaians must be halted if the country is serious about bridging the technology gap between her and the rest of the world.