Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, says the government would continue to provide the enabling atmosphere that can help nurture the innovative dreams of young people to propel the growth of the country.
“I believe that we have to work hard because the young people of this nation have dreams they can no longer afford to postpone. We know you have dreams and we are going to make sure you don’t postpone your dreams. Otherwise we will be in trouble”, the Minister gave the assurance to the young people of the nation.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said this on Tuesday, when two Ghanaian innovations, designed by two youth groups that emerged as winners on the list of the 2017 Global Top 40 World Summit Award (WSA), were out-doored at a press conference in Accra.
The two winning innovations, “Agrocenta” and “Qisimah,” made Ghana, the only African country with two winners on the list of 40 global winners in 2017.
Agrocenta, currently being deployed in the three northern regions, uses the latest digital technologies to support farmers in smart environmental practices, efficient access to markets and increasing farm profitability.
Qisimah, is a software tool that provides artists with a way of tracking which stations were playing their music and where it was being heard, and in that way, supports both better marketing as well as ensuring that all forms of copyright were respected.
The 2017 WSA winners would present their innovations and receive their awards at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna, Austria in March 2018, before an audience of high-level UN and Government representatives, businesses and innovators.
While commending the brains behind the two award winning innovations, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said he was very proud of them, and the many other young people doing many wonderful things in and around the country.
“This is a sterling achievement, Qisimah and Agrocenta. All nations on earth took part in the award and you won two of these
awards”, he noted.
He said ICT had made it possible for everybody to explore and come out with innovations that would help improve the lives of people, saying “on the computer screen, all nations are equal. It is very important for young people to know this”.
He said such innovations create jobs and touch the lives of people including farmers. “Pretty soon we will begin to see the effects of such innovations on our GDP. We will begin to see the effect on our job creations and above all, on wealth creation.
“Because that is sustainable development for me. When you are creating wealth and you are reducing unemployment and we are happy as a people, and our young people are happy then we can stand chest out and be proud of the nation, you are not playing second fiddle to any nation”, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said.
He said since research drives innovations, the government had charged the sector Ministry to put in place certain measures to propel such technologies.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had charged the Ministry to prepare a national Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, which had been completed now and awaiting to go through cabinet and Parliament approval so that it could guide the nation.
He said MESTI had also been charged to set up a Science, Technology and Innovation fund, while the President had promised to pay one per cent of GDP into that fund, which would be made available to all Ghanaian researchers, both private and public universities and research groups and innovators.
Mr Francis Obirikorang, Chief Executive Officer of Agrocenta, who made a presentation of the innovation said Agrocenta was an innovative online platform that empowers small holder farmers and farmer based organisations in rural farming communities to access a wider online market outside their immediate locality to trade fairly and equitably.
Farmers are also able to access market information that would aid them in pricing their produce fairly and access on-demand truck services just at the click of a button, real-time.
Mr Solomon Appier-Sign, Co-founder of Qisimah, said their innovation would help the music industry to make better decisions by understanding how their music was performing on the airwaves across the globe.
The WSA is a global initiative within the framework of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It is also the only ICT event worldwide, that reaches the mobile community in over 180 countries.