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‘Conduct research to solve industrial problems’

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong
Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong

Researchers in the various universities have been advised not only to conduct research for promotion but to also engage in applied research to solve industrial and societal problems.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, who said this noted that many researchers in the nation’s institutions of higher learning were too busy researching for promotion to the highest ranks on works that may not feed into the agenda to develop society.

He was addressing the 10th biennial congress of the Alumni of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Cape Coast.

The four- day congress was on the theme “Teknokrats; The critical partners in restoring, accelerating and sustaining Ghana’s industrialisation.”

Dr Sarpong said while basic research sets theories right and expanded the frontiers of knowledge, applied research had stronger impact on industries and ultimately the livelihoods of people by solving specific societal problems.

Funding research

He commended the universities for collaborations so far made but added that if KNUST and other universities would restore and sustain industrialisation, such collaborations should be grounded in targeted research in order to access funding from industry for such work.

“Industries need sound academic research for innovation and improvement of products for consumption. Universities have to find their strong positions in cutting edge research that feeds into the needs of industry.

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Dr Sarpong said KNUST and other universities must lead research into adding value to our raw materials to help reduce the nation’s imports.
He urged the “teknokrats” to bring their expertise and knowledge to support the government to arrive at relevant and viable factories.

“We cannot continue to live in a ‘buy and sell’ economy where every space is occupied by a shop of some sort filled with imported goods. We cannot also export all our natural resources for a pittance.”

Entrepreneurial spirit

He further urged KNUST to inculcate entrepreneurial spirits in all its students to enable their graduates to find innovative ways of using acquired skills to start businesses.

The Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, advised the group to abide by their work ethics and ensure that their actions did not compromise the wellbeing of generations unborn.

The outgoing Global President of the association, Ms Eunice Akosua Ofosua Amaoko, said it was time for the “teknokrats” to live up to the mandate of KNUST by ensuring the accelerated industrialisation of Ghana.

She said the association would continuously marshal all “teknokrats” to bring socio-economic and moral development to the nation.

The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta, who chaired the function also urged the group to make meaningful contributions towards the country’s industrial growth.