Develop Local Technology--Gov't Told
A retired mechanical engineer of US-based General Electric Company, Dr Joseph Odartey Cruickshank, has urged policymakers to embark on industrialisation agenda with the aim of growing the technological know-how of local engineers.
He noted that the post independence history of Ghana's industrial technology had shown that almost all the factories built under the Import Substitution model had local policymakers and foreign advisors who extensively focused on the economic aspects of industrialisation, while neglecting the technological aspect of the model.
He said the situation had led to lack of appreciation for research, design and manufacturing among Ghanaians where much emphasis was laid on mass production as against developing the local technology to sustain the local industries.
Dr Cruickshank was speaking at a media engagement to discuss declarations of the “Bridging the Technology Gap” conference which was held on January 25, 2019, at Peduase in the Eastern Region.
The programme which took place in Accra on April 3, 2019, was chaired by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Frimpong Kwabena Boateng.
Highlights of the declarations included creating an enabling environment for technology promotion, deploying world-class talent and skills, establishing Technology Design and Manufacturing Centres (TDMC), together with Innovation Commercialisation Hub.
Other declarations included the need for education and training, financing technology development and innovation, as well as the procurement and use of technologies to improve the efficiency of manufacturing industry.
Former President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GHIE) Dr Kwame Boakye suggested the need for a technology venture capital support and a technology ecosystem whereby innovators and technologists could commercialise their products.
Dr Boakye, who is the chairman of the conference planning committee, also said a working group has been constituted to work out the modalities for the establishment of TDMC which would have a board of trustees and a chief executive officer.
When the centre is established, it would coordinate research and also support industry players, research institutions and universities with technology, training and mentoring which are geared towards the smooth transition from idea generation to productive industry practice.
The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, urged the media to put more pressure on decision-makers to create an enabling environment for technology research in the country.
To stay relevant on the global scene, he suggested the need for government to put engineering solutions at heart to bridge the technology gap.