Science, Technology & Innovation Policy Review: Ghana

The Government of Ghana has ambitious plans for the country. On the back of strong economic growth throughoutthe past decade, it aims to graduate from low- to middle- income status in the next decade. To achieve this aim,economic growth will have to accelerate and productivity will need to rise. Achieving this ambitious goal willnecessarily involve, among other things, a more effective application of science, technology and innovation (STI)in the economy in order to drive productivity growth and diversification in production. To date, however, the roleplayed by STI in Ghana’s development has been limited.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Review of Ghana was prepared at the request of theGovernment of Ghana.

The Review is meant to offer an objective and critical look at the country’s STI capacitiesand assess how these capacities are being translated into innovations that help meet the country’s socioeconomicdevelopment objectives, including supporting economic growth and poverty reduction as well asstructural transformation of the economy. It sets out specific recommendations for practical actions and policyreforms to build STI capacity and to create a more dynamic economy that will move more quickly towardsmiddle-income levels. The Review argues that policy action to promote STI development is required if Ghana isto achieve faster, more sustainable growth and development.

The Review has two parts.

  • Part I is an overview of the full report that lays out the challenges that Ghana faces,and it summarizes the findings of the report. It is based on five background studies, which are presented in PartII of the Review. The two annexes provide a summary table of the recommendations of the Review and a briefsummary of the African policy environment for STI-based development.

  • Part II contains the five background studies that were prepared for the Review. The topics were selected by acommittee of Ghanaian stakeholders from science, academia, business and government at the outset of theSTIP review process, in line with national priorities.

The first study (chapter 2) profiles the organizations, institutions, policies and linkages that characterize Ghana’snational innovation system. The focus is on the overall strengths and weaknesses of the system and on thepolicy regime and institutional arrangements that Ghana needs in order to build a dynamic system of innovation.

The second study (chapter 3) looks at the performance of the research and development system, which hashistorically received the bulk of Ghana’s STI investments and is a critical component in the innovation system.

Two studies focus on the role played by STI in particular industries of the economy: food and agro-processing(chapter 4) and traditional and herbal medicine (chapter 5). Modernizing agriculture is key, both because themajority of the population lives off it and because such a process will open up opportunities to change therelationship between agriculture and industry. Traditional and herbal medicine is an industry that may offerpotential for economic gain, as well as contributing to improving the health of Ghanaians.

The fifth study (chapter 6) looks at the potential that information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer totransform education in Ghana. It focuses on providing access to education services and improving the qualityof these services, so that Ghana’s human capital can better contribute to achieving Ghana’s vision of a moderneconomy more heavily based on the successful application of science and technology to production.

21 Nov 2011