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African countries must invest more in research and development – Opoku Prempeh charges

Source The Ghana Report/Gloria KAFUI Ahiable

Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has charged African countries to invest more in research and development to aid economic growth.

According to him, only 0.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent on research and development in the sub-Saharan Africa with the global average being 1.7 per cent.

The Minister made these remarks at the 9th Innovation Africa Ministerial Summit in Accra.

“Now is the time for African countries to accelerate their socio-economic transformation by developing skilled professionals in applied sciences, engineering and technology, “He declared

This according to the sector Minister, “would enable millions of youth to integrate faster into an increasingly innovative and technological workforce and address the continent’s challenges through scientific and technical research and innovation.”

The sector Minister also used the opportunity to highlight government’s initiatives over the three year period.

These initiatives include curriculum reform, improving access to SHS through the Free SHS programme, supply of teaching and learning material, teacher education and professionalisation initiatives and school inspection and accountability through the National Inspectorate Board, among others.

He also explained the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) seeks to improve the quality of low performing basic education schools and strengthen education sector equity and accountability in Ghana.

“The project is targeting 10,000 most disadvantaged schools based on examination performance, ” the Minister indicated.

He mentioned that it would support the training of teachers, manage class sizes and improve systems for accountability, national assessments and teacher management.

Meanwhile, the African Union through the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and African Development Bank is operationalising the African Education Fund to facilitate the skills needed for Africa’s industrialisation.

Ghana has pledged UD$2 million to the Fund.

The summit, which attracted over 250 ministers, policy makers and private sector participants from Africa and beyond, was organised by AfricaBrains.

It seeks to explore the nexus between education and technology in a bid to improve learning outcomes through innovative means.

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