Mr Michael Owusu, Chief Operating Officer of KGL Group, a wholly-owned Ghanaian group of companies in tech-based related services, has said Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are key components Africa needs to foster economic and social development.
He commended the steps Africa had taken in various fields including Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology, towards achieving economic targets.
Mr Owusu said despite the achievements, most African countries still faced challenges, including poverty, disease and environmental deprivation.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Owusu said the potential for STI to play a critical role in addressing the issues and promoting Africa’s development were immense.
He said, “STI can improve agricultural productivity, increase food security, and reduce poverty, where agricultural innovation, including the use of new technologies and improved practices, can lead to increased crop yields, reduced production costs, and higher incomes for farmers.
“This in turn, can drive economic growth, create new jobs, and reduce poverty,” he stressed.
Mr Owusu added that STI could improve access to healthcare, reduce the burden of disease, and increase life expectancy leading to increased productivity and economic growth.
He said one of the challenges impeding the growth of STI was the protection and commercialisation of innovations.
“Africa must address the subject of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which are crucial for protecting and commercialising innovations, where a strong IPR system is essential for attracting investment in STI and ensuring that the benefits of innovation are shared equitably.
“However, the current IPR system in many African countries is weak, and this poses a significant barrier to the commercialisation of new technologies, where international companies are reluctant to make investments because of issues related to IPR.” he noted.
Mr Owusu said STI had the potential to transform the continent’s economy and improve the lives of its people through improving agriculture and healthcare and creating new industries and jobs.