Stakeholders at the end of a two-day dialogue on funding research to facilitate sustainable national development commended the Government for drafting the Ghana National Research Fund Bill, which is before Parliament.
When passed, the Act would ensure that at least one percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) is set aside for Research and Development (R&D) activities.
In a communique’ signed by Mrs Maria Gwira, Director of Public Affairs, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), after the two-day virtual event, the stakeholders, therefore, called for engagement with all the relevant actors, including research and academic institutions in all processes leading to the passage of the Bill and the implementation of the Law.
The dialogue was on the theme, “The rhetoric to fund research by Africa’s Governments must stop: Raising a new voice for improving the continent’s health challenges over the next generation”.
It was organised by UHAS, Ho, with support from the Health Systems Global (HSG) and patronised by institutions and individuals.
The stakeholders urged the Government to prioritise research in its plans as a key driver of development from 2020-2025 and beyond.
It should also deliver on its commitments and promises to fund R&D by creating a sustainable framework for a national Research and Development agenda and develop a tracking system with timelines for its implementation.
There should also be transparency and equity in the allocation and disbursement of resources and partnerships with the relevant bodies, including the media, to tell the success stories that highlight the impact of research to national development.
The Government, they said, should also learn from the successes of other African countries that had made substantial investments in R&D and adopt and adapt their models that had worked best.
They urged stakeholders in academia and research institutions to also commit to accountability.
“We, the conveners at UHAS, resolve to broaden the scope of this public discourse in order to build synergies with other research and academic institutions that will lead to consensus in support of our position stated above,” the communiqué said.
The participants were from UHAS, WHO-AFRO, Swedish Development Cooperation Agency, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana; Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health; National Development Planning Commission, Ghana News Agency, CitiTV, JoyNews and Volta Star Radio.