Accra, Nov. 21, GNA - Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Science and Environment has called on science, engineering and technology institutions in Africa to explore the means of making science and technology more relevant to solving basic needs of the continent. Addressing the closing ceremony of a three-day First African Regional Conference of Vice Chancellors, Provosts, and Dean of Science Engineering and Technology in Accra, she expressed the conviction that Ghana and African countries would commit realistic budgets for science and technology training.
The conference was jointly organised by the African Network Of Scientific And Technological Institute (ANSTI) on the theme: "State Of Science and Technology Training Institutions In Africa and Their Role In Socio-Economic Development".
Ms Churcher said it was when African governments realised the importance of science and technology as the pivot to socio-economic development that the continent would be counted among emerging global economies.
"The time has come for Africa to make a difference. We can do this by making science and technology the cornerstone of this continent," she said.
"Talent abounds in Africa but because we do not use it to the fullest, Africans are contributing to building other countries rather than Africa."
The Minister said the Tony Blair Commission for Africa Report established a solid basis for engaging the G8 countries in specific science and technology proposals by indicating that, three billion dollars should be provided over 10 years to develop centres of excellence in science and technology in Africa.
Ms Churcher said the European Union has contributed over 35 million euros for fostering capacity b uilding and regional integration in the field of higher education. Professor Andam, Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Chairman of ANSTI said the practice of keeping research findings and recommendation in the archives should be a thing of the past and therefore stressed the need for Ghana to build closer ties between industries and the academia. Deliberation at the conference identified problems such as limited government policy on science and technology, inadequate number of lecturers with right qualifications, inability to recruit and retrain qualified staff.