Renewed efforts at making Ghana an industrial hub will not yield the desired results if there is no policy to ensure that industries employ a certain percentage of local expertise and inputs, economist Kwame Pianim has said.
“With all the car assembling plants and others coming in, it means that they will bring all the parts here: but what we want is there should be an overarching policy that says ‘if you have a plant here, Ghanaian manufacturers should be able to produce some of the parts for you’.
“For example, if we are building car assembling plants and we do not ensure that some of the inputs are from Ghana, then it will just be an enclave development like gold mines,” he added.
Mr. Pianim was speaking at a conference held at Aburi in the Eastern Region, which focused on bridging the technology gap.
The conference was attended by President Nana Akufo-Addo and was on the theme ‘Bridging the Technology Gap toward Ghana Beyond Aid and Youth Employment’.
Mr. Pianim said more needs to be done to ensure the factories being established under the One District, One Factory policy are not only commercially viable but make use of local expertise and inputs.
This way, he said, the country’s development will be sustainable.
Gov’t outlines 7 pillars to drive science, technology agenda
President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that his administration, through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has developed a science and technology agenda that has seven pillars.
This policy agenda, he said, will help bridge the technology gap between Ghana and rest of the world.
President Akufo-Addo mentioned science, technology, and innovation as the first pillar that will receive the constant attention of government.
He mentioned a Presidential Advisory on Science Technology and Innovation (PASTI), an advisory body to advise the president on matters to do with science, technology and innovation.
The second, he noted, is a coordination of all sectorial activities involving science, technology and innovation through an inter-ministerial coordinating council on Science, Technology and Innovation.
The third pillar is recognition of the need for a strong partnership between government, public research institutions, the scientific academic community and industry.
To this end, he stated that there are plans to raise funding for research and development to 1 percent of GDP in the short- to medium-term and to 2.5% in the long-term.
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.
There is also a strong focus on the development of strategic technology areas, with critical areas of technology which are essential to the country’s development targetted.
The conference was organised by MasterCard Foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Institution of Engineers and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.