The STEPI and MESTI plan to implement the K-Innovation Program for Ghana from 2021 to 2023 under the title “Establishment and Operation of Ghana Innovation & Research Commercialization (GIRC) Centre.” During the first phase of the project in 2021, the project team has analyzed the Technological Innovation Support Programs (TISPs) as the boundary conditions affecting the establishment and operation of the GIRC Centre, and identified insightful Korean experience-based implications for the government of Ghana.
For the purpose of achieving the aforementioned objectives of the project, the project team dealt with TISPs in nine theme areas including i) tax & finance, ii) human resources, iii) technology development & information, iv) technology transfer & commercialization, v) startup & incubation, vi) intellectual property management, vii) purchase, viii) accreditation & certification), and ix) I-U-R collaboration. The Ghanian experts analyzed the current state of Ghana’s TISPs based on which the Korean experts presented important Korean experience-based implications for the government of Ghana.
Considering the numerous implications identified in nine theme areas, the successful implementation of the “Ghana Beyond Aid” Initiative, currently being rigorously implemented by the government of Ghana, requires the government of Ghana to focus on the following three factors; i) a vision and strong political will for the realization of ‘STI-led Economic Growth’, ii) all-out efforts to expand government R&D investment and attract R&D investment from the private sector, and iii) instating and disseminating a culture or attitude among government officials promoting “immediate actions once plans are mapped out.”
The entire process of the project was carried out virtually due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the preparatory meeting between STEPI experts and their Ghanian counterparts in March 2021, the project’s kick-off meeting was held and the field interview were conducted in April. Then, an interim report was written by the Korean and Ghanian experts from May to August. The Capacity Development Workshop was held in September to share their analyses on the current state of the Ghanian TISPs and Korean experiences. The final report was prepared in October and November and the outcomes of the project was shared and disseminated through the Dissemination Workshop in December.
The project team would like to offer a special thanks to Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of MESTI, who has provided his trust and support for the team throughout the entire process of the project. Our appreciation also goes to Mr. Oliver Boachie, special advisor to the Minister of MESTI, who has worked in the capacity of the PM, and experts from Heritors People who have supported the project as local consultants. We sincerely hope that this project serves as momentum for promoting STI diplomacy between Korea and Ghana, as well as the bilateral cooperation between STEPI and MESTI.