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12.03.2007 General News

Nkrumah Chair

Anglogold Ashanti has decided to set up an academic chair to promote the ideals of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and honour those who excel in their respective disciplines as part of our Golden Jubilee celebration.

Itis encouraging that the company is setting up the academic chair which will give recognition to research.

It is a matter of great regret that as a nation we have not placed as much premium on research as we should.

Indeed, as if by sheer coincidence, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Mr J. H. Mensah, recently expressed concern about the scant attention paid to planning and research.

Records show that countries which have made it never toyed with research. Indeed, those countries still do that so that they will always be abreast of development.

Canada is one of the countries which place premium on research. Every year it sets aside money for research.

Recently, the government earmarked about $5 million for research in public universities and that singular gesture won the admiration of Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba.

As we begin the journey towards the next 50 years, it is important that we constantly remind ourselves about those things which we failed to do well and find ways and means of rectifying the anomaly.

Our progress in the period should not be left to chance; it must be well planned and executed with surgical precision.

The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) researched and came out with a high-yielding type of cocoa with a short maturity period and that achievement is an eloquent testimony to what research can do to help our people.

There are many more areas where diligent research will enable the researchers to come out with wonderful results which will be for the general good.

Our peasant farmers have, over the years, been farming through drudgery methods which sap their energy. Yes, they have struggled through those methods and if they could be provided with new technology which will ease their burden, it would reduce their plight and they might even live longer.

Besides, post-harvest losses have not helped us as a country and any attempt which will focus on how best the losses could be reduced to the barest minimum will be a worthwhile venture.

Apart from agriculture, there are many areas where research will help to enable people to do things better than they are doing now.

Those areas must be researched into and the good things which come out made available to the public for their use.

We appreciate the gesture of Anglogold Ashanti and dare say that it is worthy of emulation.

It is our sincere hope that other firms would come on board and set up similar chairs to encourage our researchers and intellectuals in diverse areas to quicken the pace of development.