Foreign dependency won’t work – Akufo-Addo


President Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s developmental policies going forward can no longer depend on the support that the technologically advanced world can give to her, insisting that the over-dependence foreign assistance has not worked and it will not work.

Addressing a conference on bridging the technology gap at the Peduase Valley Resort on 21st January, 2019, under the theme: “Bridging the Technology Gap Towards ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ and Youth Employment,” President Akufo Addo said the time has come for Ghana to develop policies that would make her self reliant, less dependant on foreign capital, technology and influence. This status, the President said, is the vision of his administration.

“It is important to state that we can no longer continue to make policies for our country on the bases of whatever support the technologically advanced world can give us. It has not worked and it will not work,” President Akufo Addo said.

In advancing the model the President sees as workable, he noted that his vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid” is to build a strong, robust economy capable of generating a dignified, prosperous existence for its people, and banishing the sceptre of poverty. President Akufo Addo indicated that his administration through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has developed a Science and Technology Framework that has seven (7) pillars. This policy agenda, the President says, will help bridge the technology gap between Ghana and the rest of the world.

Pillars for Bridging the Technological Gap

The first is that science, technology and innovation will receive the constant attention of government. As a result, by a notice of instruction, the President has established a Presidential Advisory on Science Technology and Innovation (PASTI) as an advisory body to advise the President on matters to do with science, technology and innovation. The second is a coordination of all sectoral activities involving science, technology and innovation through an inter-ministerial coordinating council on Science, Technology and Innovation.

The third pillar, according to the President, is the recognition of the need for strong partnership between government, public research institutions, the scientific academic community and industry. The fourth pillar is aimed at raising funding for research and development to a significant level. Thus, a minimum of 1% of Ghana’s GDP will be applied to research and development in the short to medium term and increased to 2.5% in the long term.

The fifth pillar is to target a more literate society through education. The sixth pillar is that legislation for the science, technology and innovation programme of the country must be given statutory backing. To that end, a bill is being drafted to be laid before Parliament for approval. The last pillar has a strong focus on the development of strategic technology areas. Critical areas of technology which are essential to the country’s development will be targeted.

President of GIE

President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Steve Amoaning-Yankson, observed in his welcome address that the Foreign expertise coming into the country to offer technological solutions that can be handled locally by Ghanaians must be halted if the country is serious about bridging the technology gap between her and the rest of the world.

Conference Organizers

The MasterCard Foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Institution of Engineers and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation are behind the initiative. The experts and conference participants will engage in three separate sessions namely; keynote presentations, panel presentations and open discussions. The keynote presentations will focus on Ghana’s industrial development history and the impact of the technology gap as well as the environmental requirements to sustain technology development, implementation and application.

Panel/Keynote Presentations

Four facilitators, Ing. Kofi Asare-Yeboah, Mr. Tony Oteng-Gyasi, Ing. Seth A. Adjei and Dr. Elsie Kaufmann will take turns to look at topics such as Bridging the Technology Gap in Ghana: Insights from the Civil Engineering Experience; Challenges and Opportunities in Bridging the Technology Gap in Ghana: The Manufacturing Sector; Challenges and Opportunities in Bridging the Technology Gap in Ghana: The Valco Experience and Challenges and Opportunities in Bridging the Technology Gap in Ghana: Priming the Pump at the SHS Level. Another panel will take a look at Building Engineering and Science Talent – Reflections on Effective Approaches and Programs; Engineering and Technology Training and Bridging the Technology Gap in the U.K.; Engineering and Technology Training and Bridging the Technology Gap in Japan; Engineering and Technology Training and Bridging the Technology Gap in Germany. The session will be facilitated by Dr. Victor Atiemo-Obeng, Dr. Lucy Agyepong, Prof. Boateng Onwona-Agyeman and Obiri-Yeboah Mensah.

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