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Developing an Enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa: The Ghana Country Study

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dc.contributor.author Awuni, S.
dc.contributor.author Essegbey, G. O.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-10-13T15:44:17Z
dc.date.available 2021-10-13T15:44:17Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Awuni, S. & Essegbey, G. O.(2014). Developing an Enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa: The Ghana Country Study. Science and Technology Policy Research Institute—CSIR, Accra. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1951
dc.description.abstract The scientific endeavor in Africa and the developing world is saddled with challenges of which one of the most critical is infrastructure. A major concern within infrastructure is equipment. It is important to recognize that the equipment challenge is intimately associated with deficiency of policies and frameworks that facilitate and enable procurement, commissioning and decommissioning of science equipment, and management systems for maintenance, including the availability of trained manpower. The urgency of the task facing today’s scientists in Africa and across the developing world will require continuous support to enable them to contribute to securing affordable food, water and energy for the increasing population. Scientists need to have an enabling environment that will enable them to deliver on their mandates. All of this is dependent on the hardware conditions they work with. It is against this background that the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and African Academy of Sciences (AAS) initiated the project “Developing an enabling scientific equipment policy in Africa” to help develop effective policy to overcome the challenges in the sector. Although Ghana does not have a National Science Equipment Policy, it has a National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, adopted at cabinet ministerial level to provide the framework for STI development in the country. The specific objectives of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) include the development of the sector’s delivery capacities in human resources management, infrastructure and plant/equipment through appropriate policies and legislation. The goal of the STI policy is to harness the nation’s total science and technology capacity to achieve national objectives for poverty reduction, competitiveness of enterprises, sustainable environmental management and industrial growth (MESTI, 2010). The institutions working under MESTI are Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC). Other relevant institutions that work in collaboration with MESTI are the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI). Information obtained from the foregoing institutions was used in the preparation of this Scientific Equipment Policy Study of Ghana. The aspirations for basing the foundations for the development of Ghana through science and technology (S&T) were enunciated soon after independence in 1957. Since then, we note that these ambitions are still not fully realized, especially in relation to the application of S&T. Although some progress has been made in agriculture and micro and small-scale industry, there is yet to be a seriously transformative use of science, technology and innovation (STI) to drive socio-economic activities. The S&T policy of Ghana was developed and adopted as a national document in 2000. This policy defines the objectives and priorities for investment in STI. The policy was however not implemented for several years. This is due to, among others, the absence of political structure at the highest level of government to advise and champion the crusade for implementation of the strategic plan (Frempong, 2006). Notwithstanding this deficiency, some national development plans in recent years have been thinly laced with statements of utilising S&T to propel development. For instance, the Ghana Vision 2020 contained a statement on using S&T as a pedestal to enhance the socioeconomic development of the country (Ghana Government, 1996). The Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) I (2003-2005) emphasized the need for robust development of S&T to boost industrial production, employment, and natural resource production, food security, sustainability, self-sufficiency and environmental health (Ghana Government, 2003). However, in the case of GPRS II (2006-2009), no mention is succinctly made of S&T as tools to achieve the development targets in the document. Generally, the synergy between S&T and the political system had been weak in Ghana and other African countries (Frempong, 2006). Advancements in S&T with wide applications, such as innovations in ICT and Internet applications, as well as emerging trends in biotechnology and nanotechnology, made it imperative for Ghana to review the S&T Policy. A review was undertaken leading in 2010 to the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (MESTI, 2010). One notes the introduction of the concept of innovation into the new framework of actions, policies and programmes to apply S&T to achieve social and economic objectives. There are sectorspecific policies in Agriculture, Health, Education, Environment, Energy, Trade, Industry, Natural Resources, Human Settlements and Communications which shall be driven by sectorspecific S&T programmes. An implementation plan has been formulated to facilitate implementation of the STI Policy. The Ghana STI situation and the lack of coherent and well-articulated policies on scientific equipment is a frequently encountered feature of the African S&T experience. These observations motivated the IFS and AAS to initiate the scientific equipment policy study in Africa to help overcome the challenges in the sector. This study is a follow-up to the Scientific Equipment Project Inception Workshop held at AAS in Nairobi from 6-7 November 2013. The rationale for the study is to understand the prevailing situation of scientific equipment in Africa generally. Three countries have been identified for pilot studies, namely Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya. In Ghana, the study aimed at presenting the scientific equipment situation and formulating recommendations for amelioration. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Science and Technology Policy Research Institute-CSIR en_US
dc.title Developing an Enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa: The Ghana Country Study en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US

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