Loughborough University engages African delegation on ST&I


By Kizito CUDJOE, Loughborough – United Kingdom

Loughborough University, one of the renowned institutions in the United Kingdom with strong research and innovation commercialization, has engaged a delegation from three African countries including Ghana, to boost partnerships in science, technology, and innovation (ST&I).

The meeting, which comes on the back of the ‘Knowledge Transfer Visit’ organized by the British High Commission and the various country Ministries and departments, was to gain insights and learn from the University’s exemplary practices in ST&I and its commercialisation.

It also provided a platform for the participating countries to showcase their ST&I landscape, highlighting the key strategic positions, ongoing initiatives, and focus areas.

Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa leveraged this opportunity to underscore their commitment to advancing ST&I agendas, recognising them as pivotal drivers of economic growth, societal development, and global competitiveness.

The Deputy Director in charge of Science, Technology, and Innovation, at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Mr. Nashiru Salifu, outlined Ghana’s ST&I strategy, underscoring the government’s dedication to fostering an innovation-driven economy.

Key highlights included initiatives to enhance research and development (R&D) infrastructure, promote industry-academia collaborations, and nurture a vibrant startup ecosystem.

During collaboration, Ghana emphasized the UK-Ghana ST&I strategy, which prioritizes ICT & Frontier, Health and Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture and food processing, Education, and Manufacturing.

Despite progress, Ghana highlighted funding gaps in ST&I in the sub-region, emphasizing the need for increased investment.

Representatives from Kenya also shared their country’s ST&I roadmap, emphasizing initiatives aimed at harnessing technological innovations to address societal challenges and drive sustainable development.

Kenya highlighted its vibrant tech startup ecosystem and investments in STEM education and research.

However, similar to Ghana, funding constraints emerged as a significant impediment, necessitating concerted efforts to bridge existing gaps and unlock the full potential of Kenya’s ST&I ecosystem.

The delegation from South Africa presented their remarkable science, technology, and innovation (ST&I) landscape, which features state-of-the-art research facilities, thriving innovation hubs, and a strong emphasis on STEM education.

They emphasized their dedication to using ST&I to drive inclusive growth and socio-economic transformation.

It is understood that the three-country delegation – Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa – will collaborate to strengthen their science, technology, and innovation (ST&I) ecosystems by sharing best practices and insights from Loughborough University.

The aim is to address funding gaps and harness the transformative power of ST&I to drive sustainable development and prosperity in the participating nations.

The Director of Global Engagement of Loughborough University, Lily Rumsey said that partnering with the Department for Business and Trade, the Science and Innovation Network, and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office to host such a significant delegation from across the African continent created an invaluable opportunity for institutions in the Midlands.

Recognizing the diversity of the delegation consisting of Universities, Ministries, and Funding bodies for Research and Innovation, she noted that the platform created the avenue to learn about the Research and Innovation ecosystems across the African continent and to explore opportunities for mutual collaboration and future joint funding opportunities.

“The University of Loughborough extends our deepest gratitude to the Department for Business and Trade for providing the platform to showcase our globally impactful research in the region,” she stated.

The delegations were led by the Science and Innovation Network Officers of the three countries, Johnson Singir from the British High Commission, Accra, Loice Alusala from the British High Commission, Pretoria, and Caroline Nyanoti from the British High Commission, Nairobi.

In the case of Ghana, the visit, which was organized by the British High Commission in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, is deemed to be pivotal in the implementation of the UK-Ghana ST&I strategy.

This strategy was co-developed and launched in July 2023 and was recently followed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at the UK-Ghana Business Council in January this year

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