Engineering stakeholders want gov’t to commit more resources to research


Government has been urged to commit more toward research to enable industry and academia to produce top-class data in the area of engineering and sciences, as part of efforts to solve the numerous problems facing the country.

The Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS), University of Ghana, Professor Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, made this call and noted that it is important government contributes its quota to research and development, to help the engineering sector come up with technologies suitable for the country.

He added that government must ensure it acts in accordance with the European Union (EU) policy for African countries to have one percent of gross domestic products (GDP) committed to research.

“As we all know, we don’t have a national research fund – and this is something that we need to push for. All the technologies that are coming out did not just happen by chance; it’s as a result of research. We don’t have to wait for technology to develop then we catch up, we have to be part of it,” he said during an annual conference organised by the School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana, with support from Reroy Cables.

Professor Robin Clark from the Warwick Manufacturing Group of the University of Warwick, in his address noted that Ghana can emulate best practices such as the United Kingdom’s – where sound policy frameworks are backed by research, and where same are incentivised to produce best outcomes.

“It is time to reflect and think about what we want our communities and countries to look like in future. What we are trying to achieve in the UK is that we want a conversation between the universities and industries to know what we want for ourselves. If you look at most economies, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises make up the biggest part of the economy; and we have to factor them in the policy framework,” he said.

The conference was held under the theme ‘Sustainable innovative technologies for development’.

Touching on the conference’s essence, Dean-School of Engineering Sciences, Professor Elsie Effah Kaufmann, said the idea to have an engineering conference was mooted more than 10 years ago because of urgent need to confront the challenges in Ghana.

“It’s a dream come true, because we wanted a platform to showcase what we have achieved so far. Coming up with new ideas and a new order is what we need. We want government to show more commitment with some of the problems we have identified,” she noted.

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