On Saturday 4th May 2019, scientists and well-meaning people all over the world are embarking on a global march for science to celebrate our passion for science and draw attention to the need for science based evidence in policy formulation. The march is an annual event being held in more than 600 cities across the world including Kampala and Washington DC.
In Ghana, scientists and science loving people in Tamale and its environs will be converging at the Old Market Square in Tamale at 7am for a 30 minute walk in support of science. Scientists from the University of Development Studies, Savannah Agricultural Research Institute and other science focused institutions, as well as students, farmers and well-meaning Ghanaians will be converging for the event. The GHANA MARCH FOR SCIENCE 2019 is under the theme; "Science - Our past, our present and our future." The theme emphasizes the importance of science in national development.
The focus of our march this year is on the role that science can play in helping Ghana meet Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2 and 3. These three goals aim at ending poverty in all its forms, improving nutrition and food security, as well as pushing for urgent steps to combat climate change and its impact.
In summary, the objective of the march is to draw attention to how science can be used to fix the problem of poverty and environmental destruction in several parts of Ghana.
Our country has made substantial progress in dealing with food insecurity and poverty. But research shows up to 10% Ghanaians are still living in extreme poverty and in Northern Ghana, up to 30% of children under five are stunted or chronically malnourished.
We as scientists are convinced if these challenges can be dealt with effectively, science has a crucial role to play. Specifically, we are asking that government increases investments in science and technology to at least 5% of GDP from the current 0.5%. The African Union recommends a 1% target and the United Nations recommend 3.5% but we think that is not far reaching enough. 5% at least is the way to accelerate national development.
We are also calling on government to do more to end environmental destruction. We are particularly worried that despite the ban on illegal harvesting of rosewood species since 2014, the practice has continued in the savannah enclave. We will be glad if government sets up a task force similar to the illegal mining or ‘galamsey’ taskforce to protect the forests and particularly stop the continuous illegal logging of rosewood.
To all the residents in Tamale and its environs, kindly join us for this all important march. Signed
Reuben Quainoo – 0240763318
(Executive Member, Alliance for Science Ghana)