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General News of Thursday, 10 September 2009

Source: GNA

African governments urged to independently fund science & technology

Accra, Sept. 10, GNA - Professor Walter Sandow Alhassan, a former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), on Wednesday called on African governments to independently fund science and technology development. He said even though forming alliances with the developed world were crucial, African governments should be more assertive and invest their own resources on a continuing basis into science and technology development.

According to him, this would help address the continuing marginalization of the continent and make it a force to reckon with when it came to innovation of products for development. Professor Alhassan made the call when he delivered an annual lecture, which formed part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra. His topic was "Technology for Development in Resource-Poor Countries".

He said developing countries should strive to embrace technology and apply it in their everyday activities to enable them move faster and up on the development ladder.

Professor Alhassan said given the opportunities that technology offered it would never be handed down to the developing economies unless they made the efforts themselves by allocating resources to develop it. He mentioned Japan and China, who he said, undertook major reforms leading to industrial revolution by developing programmes that aided the development of their technology sectors. He called for collaboration between industry and research institutions as well as adoption of strategies to promote local scientific innovations. He also called for measures to compel foreign entities in the country to hire local people to ensure technology transfer. Professor Reginald Amoonoo, President of GAAS supported proposals by the National Development Planning Committee for the appointment of a scientific adviser to the president of the republic. Professor Amoonoo said this would help give attention to scientific issues and put science and technology development at the national level of governance.

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