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Government urged to increase research funding to 1% of GDP

March 13, 2017, 12:55 p.m.

The former Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) wants the government to increase research funding to stimulate economic growth.

Currently, the government spends about 0.38 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on research, a figure Professor Stephen Adei describes as woefully inadequate.

He wants the figure to be increased, at least, to one percent.

“We must increase the quantum of the research and the quality of research should not be research to get a degree as an end in itself, but as a development instrument,” he said.

Professor Adei is also advocating for a national policy to ensure research from graduate education addresses specific economic challenges.

He spoke to LUV Biz at a public lecture in Kumasi to launch the week-long celebration of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana.

“Ideally, as a middle-income country, we should be putting at least 1 percent of our GDP into research and development then there must be a policy [to enable the research] to become relevant to our national development,” the former GIMPA Rector stated.

The Lecture where Prof Adei spoke was held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), under the theme, ‘Harmonising Research and Entrepreneurship for National Development: the Role of the Graduate Student’.

It was part of the week-long celebration of the Graduate Student Association’s annual event.

President of KNUST chapter of GRASSAG, Kusi Boakye, believes such forums hold the potential to challenge students to start their own businesses than looking up to white colour jobs.

In a related development, Associate Professor at the University of Ghana Medical School, Professor Alex Duodu, has reiterated the need for researchers to contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth through research.

“The world is moving fast. We must really contribute to GDP growth and the time to start is now,” he said.

According to him, the universities must research into challenges that hold back the country’s progress.

“Government must ask the radical question to change the way universities are funded [in such a way that] funding goes to areas of importance and not blanket research and book allowance because sometimes certain incentives tend to be counterproductive,” Prof Duodo adds.

Professor Duodu, therefore, wants discussion among institutions of higher education, industry and other stakeholders to start immediately.

In the 21st century, according to the Professor, no country should rely on other countries to solve their problems for them.

He is, therefore, charging those in higher education to bring scientifically sound and credible solutions to national issues.

“Leave all the philosophy to the church and mosque but I believe that higher education should bring scientifically sound and credible solutions to national issues,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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