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General News of Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Source: GNA

Minister stresses importance of science and technology

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Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - The application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is the bedrock to the sustainable development African countries, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Deputy Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, said on Tuesday.

He said the absence of the application of STI in Africa had created a gap between the developed and the developing countries which had manifested in the grading of the recent Global Competitiveness Index Report for 2010/2011, which placed all African countries, with the exception of Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius and Tunisia, in Stage One. The Deputy Minister said this when he opened a three-day workshop on capacity building in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy formulation and implementation for sustainable development in West Africa.

The Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (STEPRI-CSIR) is organizing the workshop in collaboration with the Science Policy for Sustainable Development section of UNESCO. It is being attended by Ghana, Benin, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria. It is aimed at providing training for senior officials in STI policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and review.

Dr Oamne-Boamah expressed regret about African countries that were lumped under Stage One, saying it painted a disturbing picture of the level of competitiveness of our products and countries. He said to be more competitive, Ghana had revised its STI policy to guide all the institutions. Implementation strategies have been formulated and currently work is being done on the action plan. Dr Omane-Boamah called for a paradigm shift in the way and manner things were done "since we cannot expect a different result when we always continue to do things the same way".

Dr Abdulai Salifu, Director-General of the CSIR, said STI contributed significantly to sustainable development if the right policies were formulated and implemented holistically. He entreated the participants to consider the role of the private sector in sustainable development of the economy. Dr Adbul Rahman Lamin, Programme Specialist, Social and Human Sciences department of UNESCO, expressed his outfit's commitment in supporting African-led initiatives as part of their mid-term strategies. He called for more collaboration in a bid to build and strengthen capacities in STI policy making in the respective West African countries.

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