The government would in July, this year, launch the Ghana Innovation Research Centre at the Institute of Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI), to serve as a centre for scientists to transition research findings into industrial outputs.
The Science, Technology and Innovation fund will help fund research activities of researchers and academic institutions.
The INSTI is under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation who announced this on Tuesday said the Government had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Programme for International Agriculture to establish the research institute to help the nation revolutionise its agricultural sector.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng was speaking at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra.
He said the move was part of the President’s vision of moving the Nation beyond Aid Agenda, which could well be boosted through the use of technology to resolve the poverty gaps in the country.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the Korean Agency would team up with the country’s research institutions to realise the vision, adding that, it was in tandem with the various government flagship programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, One-District, One-Factory, Free Senior High School and others.
He noted that the cooperation would enable the nation to have the technical-know-how to add value to the country’s natural resources, create jobs for the teeming youth and ultimately alleviate poverty among the populace while accelerating the socio-economic development of the nation.
‘The poverty gap is a technology gap and to bridge this gap you must adopt technology.
‘Ghana is well endowed with a lot of natural resources and these resources do not have natural owners so the owners of these resources are those who have the technology, skills and money to exploit them,’ he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the CSIR was leading that crusade to translate the various research findings into commercial products.
He added that the Ghana Atomic Energy’s nuclear programme would also utilise the country’s nuclear energy, solar and other energy sources to increase the country’s energy mix to support the country’s industrialisation agenda.
The Minister said the country had signed an agreement with a German Government to process the country’s electronic waste, noting that a golden centre would be established to facilitate that process.
He said the government had found a land at Teshie and Nungua where the e-waste would be kept and later auctioned to recycling companies for processing as a measure to deal with the menace of e-waste in the country.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the government had drafted a Zero Plastic Policy and that after all the necessary consultations had been done, the nation would have a plastic policy to manage the plastic waste phenomenon.
Regarding the call for the complete ban of plastic materials in the country, the Minister explained that initial consultation and study into that had proven it would not be feasible for the time being, and so government would wait until the policy was adopted to guide the way forward.
‘It will not be a whole-sale ban… I’m not going ahead of the policy, but I think that it would be prudent to start with the ban of carrier bags so that when you go to a shop, you can keep your things in a cotton bag,’ he said in response to an answer by journalists.
The Minister said as part of efforts to address the plastic waste menace, there were already some public-private sector initiatives where plastics were being used to manufacture pavement stones and plastic concretes for the building and road construction.
He urged Ghanaians to avoid the indiscriminate littering of the environment with plastic waste in view of the negative implication on the environment and marine life.