The government has hinted that a bill to improve its expenditure on research and development (R&D) to a percentage of GDP nears parliament’s approval.
Earlier, President Akufo-Addo promised to increase funding for R&D to 2.5% of GDP in the long term to boost all research programs in both private and public institutions in the country.
Shedding more light on this commitment in an interview with JoyBusiness, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said, “The CSIR has achieved some degree of success in terms of coming out with industrial research and many others but the point is that they are not getting the resources that they need to do the work and it all boils down to the amount of money that we devote to research and development in this country and because it’s not enough and this government has seen it, that is why for two years now the President is saying that he wants to raise funds available for research to about 1% of GDP.”
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng spoke to JoyBusiness at the MESTI-CSIR Scientific and Lifetime Recognition Awards organized in Accra.
Currently, the government’s budget allocation to research stands at 0.45% of the country’s GDP.
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, challenged the CSIR to work hard to place science as the base for the country’s development. For instance, he urged the research institute to create a relationship with the private sector and industries to enhance its products.
“If you take the Universities in Germany, each one of them, there is a direct relationship between the Universities’ research departments and industry…by going that way, the country benefits from the results of research directly. So I think CSIR should create a relationship with the private sector, with industry and with all those who are trying to go into production because production must be influenced by research so that your products are not always the latest but the best,” he said.
Mr Osafo-Maafo also admonished the CSIR to help in measuring the sugar-content for products on the market.
On his part, Director-General of the CSIR Ghana, Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman, stressed on the need to acknowledge scientists and researchers for their immense contribution to the socio-economic development of the country. He has therefore disclosed plans to set aside a day to mark the celebration of scientists in the country.
The CSIR in collaboration with MESTI recognized and awarded some Ghanaian scientists, researchers, directors and their deputies both past and present, for their contribution to the institute and the country.
As regards Scientific Recognition, the awards were as follows;
Dr Leticia Eva Obeng – Water and Environment Lifetime Award
Prof. Francis Kofi Ampenyi Allotey – Physics and Mathematics Lifetime Award
Prof. Aba Bentil Andam – Physical Sciences Lifetime Award
Prof. Felix I.D. Konotey Ahulu – Medical Research Life Time Award
Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng - Medicine Lifetime Award
Champions of science, research
This category comprises Past Council Chairmen including Past Directors and their Deputies and they include;
Abe Incoom, Prof. E. Amanoo Neizer, Prof. E.S. Ayensu.
Also, Prof. Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah, Prof. Walter S. Alhassan, Dr Abdulai Baba Salifu, Prof. Rose Emma Mensah, Prof. Alfred Oteng Yeboah, Prof. Akwesi Ayensu and Dr Kwame Boa-Amponsem, among some other award categories.
The MESTI-CSIR Scientific and Lifetime Recognition Awards was themed, “CSIR – 60 Years of Research with Impact for Sustainable Development.”