Accra, Ghana – October 23, 2023
The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), in collaboration with the Office of The Senior Presidential Advisor, has officially inaugurated the National Innovation Challenge (NIC) in Ghana.
The primary objective of the National Innovation Challenge is to inspire the country’s youth to channel their creativity and participate in innovation. It also seeks to foster an innovation-driven culture among both students and non-students, promote the commercial viability of innovations through competitive platforms, and increase public awareness regarding science, technology, and innovation.
Funded by the World Bank and executed by MESTI and the Office of The Senior Presidential Advisor, as part of the Public Sector Reform for Results Project, the NIC invites young Ghanaians to present innovative solutions and ventures across eight priority sectors, including renewable energy, agriculture, waste management, healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, and public sector improvement.
The challenge is committed to providing financial support and guidance to young entrepreneurs with winning concepts and solutions.
Inaugurating the challenge in Accra on Monday, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, heralded the NIC as a pivotal moment and a rallying call for Ghana’s brightest minds to address urgent issues such as climate change and healthcare through innovation. He stressed the government’s commitment to supporting innovation through investments, incentives, and the removal of bureaucratic obstacles.
Dr. Afriyie emphasized that the NIC encourages collaboration beyond competition, fostering partnerships between academia, research institutions, and industry to create an ecosystem conducive to innovation. He articulated his confidence that the NIC would drive Ghana’s progress, resulting in more sustainable, equitable, and promising futures driven by homegrown solutions.
Dr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Presidential Advisor, echoed this sentiment, characterizing the challenge as a significant stride toward harnessing Ghana’s potential through creativity and resourcefulness. He highlighted the NIC as a commitment to instilling a culture of innovation deeply rooted in society, bringing together a community of innovators to tackle pressing challenges.
Dr. Osafo-Maafo envisioned Ghana as a hub of everyday innovation and creativity, asserting that the NIC represents just the beginning of a transformative journey. He expressed unwavering confidence that the NIC would yield groundbreaking ideas to positively impact Ghana and extend its influence beyond its borders.