The minister-nominee for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, says Ghana’s development can be fast-tracked if it prioritizes the use of science and technology.
According to him, the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), must be reinforced in schools especially at the basic level to conscientize Ghanaians on the use of technology.
[contextly_sidebar id=”dGuB8mgKNvauyIRPIst15dqdpAVyDQOH”]Professor Frimpong-Boateng noted that, the science and technology infrastructure in the country is “very very weak” and there is the need to increase efforts to bring it to the fore of the country’s development.
He said, “We have to start from the schools with STEM, the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and let the children know why certain things are done. I think we need to create a critical mass of scientists because the science and technology infrastructure in Ghana is currently very very weak.”
We’ll create innovation centres
He said his administration will ensure the creation of innovation centres in all regions of the country to harness the potential of persons who have the talent to become scientists and great innovators.
“We have to find the money for it. I believe the finance people will understand it. Now we spend just about 0.25% of our GDP on research and development and we know that we have to push it up to at least 1% and at best 2.5%. So if we budget for it, we will get dividends,” he added.
“If we say we don’t have money for research and development, and technical things, then we will remain where we are. The difference between us and them [development countries] is technology. The poverty gap is a technology gap, so whatever we have to do to bridge that gap, we have to do it.”
According to Professor Frimpong-Boateng, having more scientists in the country will enable persons with innovative ideas actualize them.
He said production of the famed Kantanka brand of cars, by Apostle Kwadwo Safo in the country could be promoted if there are more scientists and innovators to manufacture various parts for the car.
On securing funding to boost local technology and innovation, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the government must as a matter of urgency ensure funding is available for science and technology development in the country.
‘About Prof. Frimpong Boateng’
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng is a trained physician and cardiothoracic surgeon who established the National Cardiothoracic Center and the Ghana Red Cross Society.
He is also the President of the Ghana Heart Foundation and was once the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. In March 2006, he announced his intention to contest the New Patriotic Party presidential primaries for the December 2008 National Presidential Elections.
He however lost in his attempt against now President-elect, Nana Akuffo-Addo, who had subsequently lost the 2008 elections to the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC), John Evans Atta-Mills. Prof. Frimpong-Boateng is married with five children, and he’s very passionate about science and technology, which remains pivotal to any country’s development.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana