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Gov’t To Commit 1% GDP To Innovation
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Government has announced that it’s committing 1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to research and development in science, technology and innovation.

Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a two-day Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) exhibition and awards, which started yesterday in Accra.

“IPA 2017 is an important opportunity for Ghanaian innovators, enablers, entrepreneurs to forge new partnerships with regional innovation leaders to expand our nation’s innovation footprint.

“MESTI is implementing cabinet’s directive to establish a presidential advisory council on science and innovation; a national science, technology and innovation policy, and an STI Fund to finance research and development.”

He said the President has science, technology and innovation at the heart of his administration’s socio-economic development agenda, adding that in an attempt to build a solid science and technology infrastructure, his outfit had established technical committees to work towards the establishment of various machine tool centers to assist innovators to transition their ideas from prototypes into industrial products.

“My ministry has established an innovation centre at CSRI to provide facilities that technology innovators need to scale up and power their innovations in the areas such as energy production, transportation, agriculture, road construction, waste management, security for both domestic and industrial purposes and cyber security.”

Yofi Grant, CEO of GIPC, in a remark, noted that Ghanaian innovations often go unregistered and unseen.

“In the global innovations index by the world’s intellectual property organisation, the three best ranked African countries are South Africa at number 57; Mauritius at number 64 and Kenya at number 80.

South Africa only registered 314 international patents, Kenya filed 11. In the same period, China filed 48,168. USA filed 56,595 and Germany filed 18,315.

“So we still have a lot of work to do to absorbing the innovation on the continent into the global world. So we can actually get them to register other than that they will miss out on a big pool of resources that the world offers.”

Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the Africa Innovation Fund (AIF), thanked government for supporting the event and also for its commitment to innovation.

“Six years ago, AIF initiated the IPA to support African innovators by unlocking their potential and catalyzing the African innovation spirit, promoting home-grown solutions for Africa’s prosperity.

“IPA is a leading platform on the African innovation landscape; it has a network of 6000+ African innovators spanning 50 countries; 45 of the continent’s top innovators and 35+ innovation enablers.”

This year’s awards, which take place today, will see 10 nominees, who contending for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), in Accra.

Innovators from nine African countries, including Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, have been shortlisted for the prestigious prize.

Top innovators will win a grand share prize of US$150 000 plus attractive entrepreneurial opportunities for nominees and other qualifying participants.

IPA 2017 is hosted by AIF in collaboration with government, represented by MESTI, GIPC and Ghana 60 Years on Planning Committee.
Source: Daily Guide

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