Stakeholder in Science Technology and Innovation (STI) on Wednesday gathered in Accra to a develop strategy for cooperation and partnership between government, STI advocacy professional organisation.
The day’s exercise also seeks to discuss the initiatives being undertaken by organisations regarding the national STI agenda, sensitise them on national STI policy and build a strong alliance to promote STI.
Mrs Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) speaking at the opening said government had placed STI at the heart of its strategic developmental agenda.
“Indeed, the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, that seek to transform the economy by promoting the effective application of science, technology and innovation.
“The establishment of the Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation this month is a clear indication of his commitment to ensuring that STI is mainstreamed in decision-making at the Executive level of Government.”
She reiterated government’s commitment to establishing the National Research and Innovation fund, which would be a sustainable national fund for STI and all research.
By doing that, she said, the government would be meeting the recommendations of the African Union (AU) to commit one per cent of its GDP to funding science and research.
As part of other measures to push the STI agenda, she said in 2017 reviewed the National STI policy and Cabinet approved the new policy.
She stated that the implementation of the policy with an objective to promote a science and technology culture was to be done through concerted efforts by all especially STI advocacy professional organization.
To achieve the set targets of the policy, Mrs Appiagyei noted that there were a number of strategies outlined in the policy that would require the support of STI stakeholders in areas including; leadership.
She noted that there was a hug gap between STI advocacy professional organisation and government in the area of policy formulation, Direction and implementation and called for the need to bridge the gap and strengthen the platform for continuous engagement.
Science, technology and innovation, she mentioned, were essential ingredients in the industrialisation and sustainable development of a nation.
The acting Director of the STI at the MESTI, Ms Adelaide Asante, said the country had heavily relied on donor partners, as government funding for STI was insufficient.
“In 2015, we had our donor partners supporting us with over GH¢300million as against government’s allocation of GH¢ 89 million. This means that our survival was heavily dependent on foreign contributions,” she said.
Other challenges, Ms Asante added, were the inadequate implementation of STI policies and programmes, inadequate infrastructure and inadequate human capacity, among others.