19.07.2012 Elections


19.07.2012 LISTEN
By Charles Sam

In re-inventing itself into a 21st century nation, Ghana must strategically, competitively and progressively position within the global-spirited world. Global stakes of the 21st century is all about competitiveness and the criteria for competitiveness is technological advancement. Having basked in democratic, largely peaceful and macro-economic stability for over a decade, Ghana must move to the next level heading into the future. The new agenda for Ghana therefore, is to play the big socio-economic transformation game through innovation, intensification, diversification and expansion. This game will be a fruitless endeavour if it not infused with scientific technology. A high growth economy is the engine to be driven by new generation energies and Ghana has no choice but to embark on this ambitious enterprise to become a proactive global player.

1. We must sharpen our focus on developing science and technology as a catalyst for our entire socio-economic development is the name of the success game

2. The governments' attitude to science and technology and the governance structure it puts in place for it is crucial

3. There must be an intentional determined effort to inculcate science and technology in our economic and social development

4. The role of educational institutions cannot be over-emphasised

- We cannot achieve our goal without developing the requisite human resource which depends critically on education at all levels, especially higher education

5. Ghana is faced with a broad array of challenges that require the application of up-to-date scientific knowledge of technology. We need access to credible , independent science and technology research capacity that would help to develop informed policies and take effective action

6. Ghana cannot develop agriculture, ensure food security, and produce a surplus for export without a massive and sustained infusion of human and material resources from science and technology into agricultural production

7. Advances in science and technology allow society to mobilize new sources of energy and materials, fight disease, improve and diversify agriculture, mobilise and disseminate information, function as a player in the global oil industry, develop global a competitive service industry, transport people and goods with greater speed and safety, limit family size as desired and much more

8. However, these technologies will not come through wishful thinking

9. They are fruits of enormous investments in education science discovery, targeted technological projects and interventions to get specific results

10. Incentives such as priority scholarships programmes, patenting, tax holidays, exposure of research work to investor, packaging for exposure, science and innovation awards, marketing and more are a part of targeted intervention

11. It is applied science and technology that attracts investment, not paper

12. The State has a responsibility to link intellectual property to industry but industry must also forge closer collaborative partnerships with academia, inventors, youth innovation, students project work and energy generation

13. We need a manpower development strategy to have the right manpower mix (artisans, technicians and engineers)

14. The innovation (knowledge) economy is dependent on technology

15. There is the need also for specific projects that use maths and science to real life problems (nothing abstract).This will serve as a motivation link between theory and practice for the young

16. We need to build a self-sustaining and pepertual science and technology engine to drive the various phases of our transformation process

The Academy of Sciences was established as a dynamic body to assume full responsibility for the co-ordination of all aspects of research and the promotion of scientific pursuits and learning, a combination of an academy of learning and applied scientific research vital for our national development. The academy was to let us grow strength and power to push us faster in development of sciences, and not a passive one where mere collection and compilation of data from our universities as well as research stations were done. Competing interests in the 2012 poll should put before the electorate a clear, workable vision, and a strategic implementation plan to modernise, fund and bring to the national fore-burner agenda, the 21st century national technology development and infusion agenda of the Academy of Sciences with all the research institutes under it.

There is also an urgent need to popularise science to make the youth science conscious. They must be given a lively interest in science and scientific pursuits from the earliest stages in education, and taught to realise that science is not just something which works in a laboratory, but is all around us in nature, and in the things we see in our daily lives. Research collaboration with local and international industrial players should be vigorously pursued. Leveraging the intellectual and networking power of diasporan Ghanaians should be a major part of the implementation of this agenda.

Our focus as a nation should initially be here on earth, where so much needs to be done to make it a place fit for human effort, endeavour, happiness and directed towards fighting disease, economic transformation and raising the living standards of our people. Yes we can!!

By Charles Sam, Golden Future Promotions, Accra-Ghana Tel : +233 244 685689 Email: [email protected]

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