Government urged to develop strong policy framework to advance science and technology

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Nana Osei Bonsu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of, the Private Enterprise Federation, has encouraged the government to develop a robust policy framework to advance the adoption of science and technology into sectors of the economy to achieve national development.

He said such a policy would also ensure the effective utilization of research findings by the industry to increase production. He made the call at the 6th Industry-Academia Interaction Series (IAIS) Symposium and 3rd Biennial Science and Development Conference by the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, University of Ghana, in Accra, on Friday.

The conference, held on the theme: “Leveraging Science and Technology for Development: The role of Industry and Society,” aimed at providing an opportunity to showcase research work.

Again, it sought to provide a platform to engage stakeholders, including academia, industry and society for national development.

Mr Bonsu said science and technology was the driver of development in every facet of the global economy, including agriculture, telecommunication, pharmaceutical industry, and the construction sector, adding that its adoption was critical to the development of every country.

He, therefore, bemoaned the failure of the government and industry to adopt and implement research findings by academia to spur development.

He said: “Research is not cheap, and research is not free. It costs. So, if we don’t design a strong policy framework that enable the adoption of science and technology as a critical enabler, then we haven’t done too much for ourselves.”

He, therefore, indicated that the policy, when developed would ensure that resources went to the sectors that needed the research funding.

“It is very critical, and the research also depends on the demand of industry to drive production, because industry want to move forward.”

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Mr. Bonsu also proposed a tax waiver for the private sector to enable them to fund research in universities for national development, explaining that the sector’s inability to fund such research was due to a large amount of taxes they had to deal with, leaving them with little or nothing at all for research purposes.

“If the private sector is allowed to create research funding outside of their profit margins, that are not taxable, then, that will encourage the accumulation and mobilization of funding to get private sector to come to the university, to come to research institution and say, look! this is what I’m looking for. Can you guys do that for me?” he said.

He added that the government must take steps to strengthen the country’s legal framework on intellectual property to protect innovators and their innovations.

Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, CEO, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, emphasized the importance of collaboration between industry, academia, and society, stressing that a well-defined framework and road map be developed to guide the three.

He added that academia would have to “shirk off its conservatism and be a lot more market-oriented, industry should also stop playing the waiting game for invitation and just focus on current challenges.”

“Society led by government and civil society should also play their part for this framework to be formed and practicalities.”

He also bemoaned the government’s failure to use research findings over the years. “Take the example of Pozolanna cement and its superior qualities, especially for our context. Why has it not been nationally adopted when it holds a lot of promise to reduce the high cost of building. The cement inflation in 2022 has been humongous, but pozolanna has still not moved. Society should be at the table,” he said.

Dr. Mercy Gardiner Tenkorang, the CEO, DevApps Limited, said, for Ghana to be able to contest and participate well in the current information age, it must reassess progress made in bridging the gap between academia and industry.

“Yes, we’ve made some progress, but we need to reassess ourselves and see, as academia, as industry where we stand,” she emphasised.

Prof David Dodoo-Arhin, Director, the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, said the potential of science and technology to drive economic growth and social progress was immense, saying “it is our responsibility to ensure that we leverage these advances to benefit society.”

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