Director, Technology Programme at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Samuel Mensah Sackey has called on the Government to help establish Ghana’s maiden Technology Park at KNUST, to help transform the nation into major technology giant.
A Technology Park is an area where companies have offices and laboratories and do work involving science and technology.
Prof Sackey recounted that everywhere Technology Park had been implemented, it had contributed to the acceleration of industrial growth.
He said it was through innovation that one could produce new products, which implied that there would be creation of employment, thereby helping to drive Ghana’s economic development agenda.
Prof Sackey made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, on the sidelines of the fourth National Development Forum, organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
The forum, which registered stakeholders in Technology Development, was on the theme “Mastering Technology for Innovation and Transformation of Ghana’s Future”.
Prof Sackey noted that in any technology park, there were three key players; the Government, a leading university having its researchers; and private sector firms.
He said the role of the Government was to provide the funding to develop the required infrastructure; being the buildings, roads, machinery and the research equipment.
Prof Sackey told GNA that once the lecturers come together to work collaboratively with the private sector firms, they were able to come up with innovations which were later implemented by the private sector firms.
He said one of the major issues regarding technology development in Africa, was the fact that Africa had not been able to master technology, adding “we import technology, we use it, and when it runs down we are not able repair or sustain it”.
He said until Africa was able to master technology and replicate it; it would lag behind and this was a challenge to the development of technology.
He reiterated that in establishing a Technology Park, Government should come out with funding to help set up the physical park, which also includes spaces for startups (incubation space).
Prof Sackey said in any technology park one would find rapid prototyping facilities as well other facilities for scaling up production.
He said in advanced countries technology parks had proven to play a key role in economic development, and there were few countries in Africa that had as many as six technology parks; unfortunately, Ghana did not have its first technology park yet.
Dr Thomas Mensah, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley of Ghana, who delivered the keynote address, said in order to accelerate Ghana’s socioeconomic development there was the need to expand infrastructure and industry.
He said Ghana at this stage of her development needed high-speed train systems, aircraft maintenance facility and underground drainage systems to solve the problem of annual flooding in the cities.