By – Francis Allotey
A renowned international mathematical physicist, Professor Francis Kofi Allotey, has called for the blending of creative entrepreneurial innovations into modern science and technology to enhance its potency to aid wealth creation and industrialization in Africa.
Prof. Allotey made this assertion while speaking at the 2nd international conference on applied science and technology (ICAST 2015) organized by the Kumasi Polytechnic, adding that though science and technology were crucial catalyst for economic development, the area needed to be boosted with 'creative imagination and value addition to knowledge' by African entrepreneurs to transform it into viable wealth creation entity, to benefit society.
Professor Allotey, who is the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) noted at the three-day conference in Kumasi under the theme 'technological innovation for accelerated national growth and development' that science and technology was now regarded as the international currency upon which fortunes of nation would rise and fall.
He opined that developing countries of today were slowly waking up to the realization that creation, mastery, utilization of modern science and technology was basically what distinguished the industrialised nations from the developing ones.
According to him, the widening gap in economics and influence between the nations of the South and the North is also essentially, a manifestation of science and technology gap.
Professor Allotey conceded that though, African leaders and the international community, now after recognizing that the continent's development hinged heavily on capital investments, made several declarations by way of addressing of the impeding challenges, 'but many of them did not walk the talk'.
The erudite professor underscored the urgent need for African leaders to provide the enabling atmosphere for entrepreneurs to assist the transition from science to business in order to take discoveries out of the laboratory into market and into the hands of those who would benefit from them.
He noted that Africa could not afford to miss the huge economic and social transformation being brought about by science and technology-led enterprise. African leaders, he stated should provide the right enabling environment to make things happen by providing adequate funding for science, technology, mathematics and innovation.
They should encourage young people to focus on finding scientific solutions to benefit society and take them forward through entrepreneurship. He also called on management of higher academic institutions like polytechnics, to develop mechanism to support young and budding entrepreneurs through scientific fora, incubation centres and entrepreneurship, coaching and training.