Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo

Pro Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has described the government’s allotted fund for research as a ‘joke’.

According to Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, calls for an increase of the one percent GDP allocated to support research and innovation have proved futile.

He says research and development is not much appreciated in many developing countries like Ghana, hence the decision for some lecturers to seek foreign support.

“For us in developing countries, research and development is an afterthought. Some of us have been championing a certain quantum of GDP to be dedicated to research.  The so-called book and research allowance for university teachers is a joke.

“You can’t do any serious research work with the amount of money that we are given. What this means is that as a university professor or someone purporting to profess, you need to look out there for the money to be able to sustain your research path and career,” he said.

Speaking on Luv FM’s Friday Personality Profile, Professor Owusu-Dabo indicated that there is a huge lacuna existing between policy and research.

Despite the remarkable research outputs churned out by many universities in Ghana, including the KNUST, the medical epidemiologist says they are yet to be translated into huge societal impacts.

He attributes this cause to a lack of political will and inadequate government funding.

“There is a lot of research out there, which perhaps hasn’t found its way into policy. Between finding and policy there is a gap of about 15 years. So, once you churn out research finding it is not just the fact that you have the finding and therefore immediately it has to be taken into policy.

“You have to have that stakeholder buy-in and that process with political drive and will can take up to 15 – 20 years. You can have brilliant ideas and the best research project result, but if the political will is not there and even the funding to disseminate and communicate to people to even know is not there, it is a problem,” he said.