By Bernice Bessey
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Patricia Appiagye, says a National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Fund will be established to support the development of the National STI system in the country.
According to the Deputy Minister, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa, part of the fund will be used to establish an autonomous body with oversight from the Ministry.
Mrs. Apiagye, delivering a keynote address to mark the 60 years anniversary of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Water Research Institute (CSIR-WRI) in Accra, charged the institute to take stock of its work over the period, with a view to fashioning out the way forward into the future.
Speaking on the theme for the celebration: “Quality research on Ghana’s water resources for posterity,” she urged the CSIR-WRI to reposition itself in order to generate appropriate technologies suitable to enhance the sustainable development of the country.
She said the country needs to find better and more sustainable ways to manage its water resources for the future, adding: “We owe it as a duty to take good care of our water resources for future generations. I will, therefore, ask you to reflect carefully on the theme and develop more sustainable strategies that will help manage the country’s water resources.”
She said her Ministry had recognised the need to form partnerships between research institutions, the scientific academic community, and industry, by prioritising technology commercialisation for the microeconomic development of the country.
In the light of this, the Deputy Minister indicated that the CSIR will serve the bridge between government, public research institutions and academia, to grow research and socio-economic development.
She also charged the CSIR-WRI to take inventory of all quality water bodies, surface and groundwater, as well as polluted ones, and published them.
To Ghana’s water resources, she said the CSIR-WRI should develop technologies for water pollution control, invasive water species prevention and control, and preventive and control measures for water borne and other infectious diseases.
The Director-General of the CSIR, Victor K. Agyeman, also added the Council has 16 institutes in all, and six are directly agriculture-related, three manufacturing/industry-related, two natural resources-related, while the remaining two are knowledge-based.
HE said the CSIR-WRI adopts programmes to ensure that it is more visible by improving on the inter-personal and organisational relationships with the private sector and other stakeholders.
Though it seems like the Council is not doing much to improve science and technology in the country, he said, the institute has contributed immensely to the growth of the natural resources sector in particular, and the socio-economic development of Ghana.
He, however, said: “The days when technologies generated by the research institutions were left on shelves to gather dust are over. The general public, government, organisation and all and sundry should rest assured that CSIR-WRI has the capacity to support the rapid transformation of the agricultural sector, as proposed by the government.”