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‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ requires radical changes — University don

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Prof. Joshua Owusu-Sekyere addressing the launch of the 10th Biennial Congress of the KNUST alumni association
Prof. Joshua Owusu-Sekyere addressing the launch of the 10th Biennial Congress of the KNUST alumni association

The Vice Chancellor of the Cape Coast Technical University, Professor Joshua Owusu-Sekyere, says a “Ghana beyond aid” requires radical changes and approaches to help break the quagmire of economic dependence the country is locked in.

He said to realise it, Ghana needed to move from “business as usual” to an approach that would transform production and manufacturing capacities and introduce more scientific and innovative approaches to propel the nation’s socio-economic advancement.  

Prof. Owusu-Sekyere was speaking at the media launch of the 10th Biennial Congress of the alumni association of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Cape Coast.

Post-harvest losses

It is estimated that the country’s post-harvest losses stand between 30 and 60 per cent of what the nation produces, costing the nation about $700,000 each year.

“We do not have adequate capacity to add value to what we produce and do not have adequate storage capacity to preserve what is produced,” he observed.

He said in envisioning a state beyond aid, “we do not have to hold out our begging bowls to our development partners”.

He said to realise a Ghana beyond aid would require that we did things radically and differently.

“We must be able to stand on our own feet, to produce enough food and fibre to feed our people and to provide such facilities and amenities as our people require,” he stated.

Making references to known economists, including Nathan Rosenberg and Abramovit, Prof. Owusu-Sekyere noted that empirical evidence worldwide pointed to a positive link between scientific innovation and economic performance.

“Today, there is a paradigm shift from resource-driven economies to knowledge-driven ones.

Knowledge-driven economies are those in which competitive advantage outweighs comparative advantage, and there is productive use of inputs.

At the heart of such an economy is continual innovation,” he emphasised.

Government programmes

Prof. Owusu-Sekyere noted that it was commendable that the government’s programmes, including the introduction of paperless systems, mobile interoperability, the one-district, one-factory and one-village, one-dam, were geared towards transforming the nation from an agrarian one to an industrial economy.

He called on particularly alumni of KNUST to live up to the mandate and to ensure they contributed their knowledge and expertise to support the industrial and socio-economic development of Ghana and Africa.

The Global KNUST Alumni President, Mrs Eunice Ofosua Amoako, said the alumni must work harder to impact the nation’s industrialisation agenda.

She said it was important to help revive the industries the country had lost, build new ones and sustain them through innovation to help accelerate the industrialisation drive.