Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has a very important role to play in the realisation of the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda.

“Our President is talking about Ghana beyond aid. In other words we are positioning ourselves to run our nation and our economy without aid, and so it is a big task for us to champion this revolution,” Prof Frimpong-Boateng said when he inaugurated the 21-member Board, known as the Governing Council of the CSIR, on Tuesday.

The Governing Council, chaired by Professor Robert Kingsford Adaboh, a renowned Scientist, is to help the CSIR to surmount its challenges and play a critical role in President Akufo-Addo’s “Ghana beyond Aid” agenda.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said that would also mean increasing the research fund from the 0.25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product to enable scientists to do more research and come out with innovations to aid Ghana’s development.

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The members of the Board, who swore the Oaths of Office and Secrecy, are Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director General of CSIR, Mr Wilson Atta Krofah of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Prof Harrison Dapaah, representing the Head of Universities in Ghana, Prof Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, Provost of the College of Science, KNUST, and Ms Salimata Abdul-Salam, Chief Director of MESTI.

Others are: Mr Benjamin Kofi Gyasi, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Benjamin Kwadwo Heh of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Reginald Nii Otoo Odai of the Ministry of Health, Dr Isaac Frimpong Mensa-Bonsu of the National Development Planning Commission, Prof Mohammed Salifu, of the National Council for Tertiary Education, Dr George Owusu Essegbey, Director of CSIR, Dr Edward Yeboah, Senior Staff of the Council, Mr Sampson Kwaku Agodzo of the Ghana Institute of Engineers, and Alhaji Dr Mohammed Bin Ibrahim representing the Private Sector in Health.

The rest are: Mr Delali Kofi Nutsukpo, Representative of the Private Sector in Agriculture, Mr Ahmed Dasana Natogmah, Rep of Private Sector of Chamber of Mines, Dr Michael Agyekum Addo and Mr Andrews Adjei-Yeboah, both reps of Association of Ghana Industries, Professor Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, and Dr Ibok Nsa Oduro, eminent Scientists.

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The new Board is expected to adequately advice and direct the CSIR, the biggest of the six agencies that falls under the sector Ministry, to achieve the Mission of the Council to become the force for accelerated social and economic development.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng said in order to promote science, there must be political will, availability of funds and capacity building adding that was why President Akufo-Addo was determined to increase the allocation of funds for research in the short, medium and long term.

He said the National Science and Technology (STI) Policy had been updated, as well as a new STI Bill to serve as a vehicle to drive scientific initiatives.

The Minister said the Presidential Advisory Council on STI was going to be set up as an apex body to move STI in the country.

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He said the MESTI was setting up an innovation centre called Institute of Science and Technological Information at the CSIR to house the first ever super computer to offer lots of applications for universities and scientists to access.

The Innovation Centre is expected to be ready by the end of August.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng charged the Board to work to ensure that all the lands of CSIR that had been encroached on were retrieved for the Council.

Prof Adaboh, the Board Chairman, assured the Minister of the readiness of the members to work to ensure that “CSIR wakes up from its slumber and fulfill its responsibility in accelerating STI in the country.”

He said science and technology must be promoted to improve the living standards of the people through the forging of local and international partnerships.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh