Mr Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in Ghana called on African governments to ‘take innovation seriously and work to track innovation performances in their countries’ at a DEGRP project conference in Accra. Mr Oppong Fosu also urged the Ghanaian government to ‘continue to track progress in innovation across the economic sectors and more importantly, analyse the constraint and issues that needed to be addressed to enhance innovation in the country’.
The Innovation and African Development Conference hosted by The Technology and Management Centre (TMCD - the University of Oxford) and the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI) took place in Accra on November 3rd. The conference brought together nearly 100 participants including policy-makers, academics, and practitioners from across the world to present research findings from the Diffusion of Innovation in Low Income Countries (DILIC) project. Mr Oppong Fosu hoped that ‘the research activities of the DILIC Project would be mainstreamed into national programmes after the three-year lifespan’.
Professor Xiaolan Fu, Founding Director of TMCD and lead researcher, stressed that innovation was a major driver for long-term economic growth. She said African countries underperformed most European countries in terms of innovation. She presented the DILIC Survey Report with the key findings from firms in a variety of sectors. Professor Fu said that ‘most firms in Ghana innovate to survive in business, and also to improve quality of goods and services as well as to increase range of services’.