Accra, July 4, GNA – Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, has said a Presidential Advisory Council on Science and technology would soon be established.
He said the Council would inform government on strategic priorities and policies to adopt to strengthen, sustain, attract and retain, leveraging science and technology and mainstreaming research for development as panacea for rapid growth
Prof Boateng said this at the opening of a three-day workshop and Annual Grantees Meeting Programme under the Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS AFRICA) programme.
It was organised by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) under the auspices of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) of the University of Ghana.
He said a Science and Technology Innovation (STI) fund would also be established to notch the needed finances support for research and development for accelerated growth.
The Minister said the government was re-modifying the existing science policy to meet the exigencies of the times, going forward.
Prof Boateng said the government was resolved to meeting the recommendations of the African Union to commit one percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to funding science and research, with efforts to this mandate hovering currently around 0.025 percent.
He called for attitudinal change, minimising corruption, getting rid of filth and developing the capacity for inventions in machinery as the game changer.
“We need to believe in ourselves that we are eagles and can fly higher and detest being eaten as chicken” Prof Boateng added.
Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, Deputy Minister of Health commended AAS, AESA, DELTAS Africa and partners for their collaboration to mobilise funding for research and development (R&D) for sustainable health outcomes in Africa.
He pledged government’s efforts to creating more ecosystems to support R&D stating African health researchers should lead in the fight for Health for all.
Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana said WACCBIP and other related programmes had the potential to reverse the brain-drain syndrome by shifting the centre of gravity for science and technology to thrive.
Prof Thomas Kariuki, interim Executive Director of AAS and Director of AESA, said their corporate effort is to deliver a world-class research ecosystems, foster innovation and promote scientific leadership on the continent.
He expressed optimism that the DELTAS Africa programme would lead innovation into research through the science-led and knowledge-based transformation for health outcomes.
A total of 175 delegates from the 11 DELTAS Africa programme zones, which has a target of training 1,288 researchers over five years period (2015-2020), are participating in the technology workshop, aimed at producing world-class scientific researchers to address African health and quality research priorities and excellence.
The $ 16 Million programme is funded by WELLCOME Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates and UK Department for International Development (DFID).