Science and Technology crucial to nation building - Agambila
Accra, April 27, GNA - Dr Joseph O. Gogo, Chairman of Board of Trustees of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), said on Wednesday Ghana needed an advisor on Science and Technology at the Presidency to provide leadership and advocacy for the development of the sciences.
He said science and technology permeated all other sectors and called on the Government to take a second look at incorporating it in her nation building strategies.
Mr Dr Gogo was speaking at a day's workshop organized by the ATPS for its members to take stock of the past and plan for the future. The ATPS was founded in 1994 to integrate the functions of the policy network of the erstwhile defunct Eastern and African Technology Policy Network and the West African Technology Studies Network in their respective geographical regions.
Dr Gogo further called for a system of performance measurement to know how the human resource was being produced and how they were performing at their various sectors.
This, he said, would assist the Government to monitor the performance of its human resource base, so that those who could not measure up to the standard could be moved to other sectors where they could perform better.
Dr George O. Essegbey, National Co-coordinator of ATPS, called for capacity building to enable researchers and scientists to successfully access funds from development partners.
He said the provision of these funds played a key role in the conduct of research and development of this part of the world and constituted an inflow of direct investment in itself.
"We believe that an enhanced capacity proposal writing across the various categories of the scientific community will lead to an increased inflow of foreign funding to release Government funding for other programmes," he said.
Dr Essegbey, therefore, called on the Government to prioritise science and technology and ensure that it formed the bedrock of national development strategies.
Dr Gheysika A. Agambila, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science, said the Government was committed to ensuring that science and technology played a indispensable role in the nation-building efforts. He said the Government had also acknowledged the crucial roles that the various scientific and research institutions and associations were playing in developing the country.
Dr Agambila said every piece of technology had a certain optimal potential for application in a socio-economic context and stressed the need for Africa to begin to search for the optimal potential for the application of the technologies available to it under a given condition.
"The challenges faced by the world in its efforts to achieve the MDGs which target poverty, hunger, education, gender, child mortality, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and other diseases was enormous," he said. Dr Agambila, therefore, urged the members of ATPS to direct their energies to evolve policy proposals that could inform strategic decision-making on issues at stake.
"We must work hard to contribute to the achievement of the millennium development goals, which are in our best interest as a country striving to become a middle income status."