Chairman of Parliament’s Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, has observed that stakeholders in the science and technology space have not adequately showcased their contribution to Ghana’s economy.
He is particularly urging scientific research institutes to demonstrate their relevance to policy makers.
The Parliamentary Committee has been meeting with the Management of the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Kumasi.
Members of the Committee paid a visit to the CSIR-BRRI to inspect its activities.
It afforded them the opportunity to appreciate challenges and interact with the Management of the research institute.
Committee Chair, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo observed a communication gap between science and policy.
He advised the scientific research community to find strategic means to ensure effective communication with the political leadership.
“We need to bridge the communication gap between science and policy, so that information can flow effectively.
“So that we understand each other in making decisions which will ensure the mutual benefits of the political leadership and scientists,” he said.
The Management of CSIR has also been advised to conduct a critical assessment of their socio-economic impact regarding how their activities contribute to the GDP.
“In Ghana, when we consider GDP, we’re always looking at the contributions of an institution.
“Example, the contribution of logging by the Forestry Commission towards national economy.
“What about ecosystems services? Nobody has quantified that we haven’t put monetary value on it.
“And so that the basket that contains the issues that must inform the computation of GDP discounts all these contributions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director of BRRI, Ing. Daniel Asenso Gyambibi, exposed the Committee to some ongoing projects of the research institute.
“We’ve carried out some research using plastic waste to improve construction materials.
“We’re collaborating with UNICEF to use these materials to build sanitary facilities.
“We also carry out chemical analysis of water, cement, aggregate, and iron rods for various projects,” he said.
The BRRI has appealed to the Parliamentary Committee to help revive the institute’s factory at Gomoa which produces environmentally friendly Pozzolana cements, to create jobs.
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