Technology must drive Ghana’s development: Akufo-Addo rallies scientists Featured

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says more effort must be put into advancing science and technology to drive the development of the African continent.

Speaking yesterday at the annual meeting of African science academies at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences auditorium, he urged members of African science academies “to focus your efforts on the fact that Africa’s development will be successful if we ensure that science, technology and innovation drive all sectors of our economies.

“We have to achieve this result for our progress and prosperity, and thereby also honour past generations of members of African science academies.”

More to be done

The President said it is important to recognise that apart from Ghana, other African countries have a great deal of unfinished business, particularly the challenge of providing the continent’s people with dignified standards of living and moving African countries on to the path of sustained progress and prosperity.

“Most nations on the continent gained independence very much at the same time as our counterparts in Asia. Whilst they have succeeded in applying the benefits of technology to develop their countries, and thus moving into the ranks of first-world economies, we have not done well in this regard,” he declared.

“As a result, our economies are still, substantially, agrarian ones, dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials, supported by the charity of so-called donors.”

The theme for the conference was “Science, Technology and Innovation for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation in Africa – The Role of Academies”.

Local solutions

President Akufo-Addo said it was unfortunate that most African countries continue to import equipment, machinery and even the human capital to operate them.

“Consequently, the manufacturing base that is needed to create the thousands and thousands of jobs needed for our youth, and to help raise the living standards of our people, is weak.
“We have not developed well enough our abilities to find domestic solutions to our problems, and we continue to live on the habit of seeking solutions from external sources, most of the time with products made from the exploitation of our own natural resources,” he said.

The President argued that African countries cannot continue to make policy based on whatever support the technologically advanced world can give them. “It has not worked, and it will not work,” he said.

Disseminate

President Akufo-Addo commended the Academy of Arts and Sciences for the role it has played in advancing and growing Ghana.

“It has stayed true to its mission of encouraging the acquisition, creation, dissemination and utilisation of knowledge in all branches of sciences, arts and the humanities,” he said.

He further congratulated members of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on its 60th anniversary, and wished them fruitful deliberations.

The President said he was optimistic that the proposals which will be raised at the conference will improve the lives of the long-suffering African masses.




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