A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

Vi Digital Library - Text Preview

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review: Ghana

Report by UNCTAD, 2011

Download original document (English)

The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Review of Ghana was prepared at the request of the Government of Ghana. The Review is meant to offer an objective and critical look at the country’s STI capacities and assess how these capacities are being translated into innovations that help meet the country’s socioeconomic development objectives, including supporting economic growth and poverty reduction as well as structural transformation of the economy. It sets out specific recommendations for practical actions and policy reforms to build STI capacity and to create a more dynamic economy that will move more quickly towards middle-income levels. The Review argues that policy action to promote STI development is required if Ghana is to achieve faster, more sustainable growth and development.

Ghana


Science, Technology &
Innovation Policy Review


U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T




Science, Technology &
Innovation Policy Review


Ghana


U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T


New York and Geneva, 2011




ii Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


UNCTAD/DTL/STICT/2009/8
Copyright © United Nations, 2011


All rights reserved. Printed in Switzerland


NOTE


Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters with figures. Mention of such a symbol
indicates a reference to a United Nations document.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any
country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but full acknowledgement is requested, together
with a reference to the document number. A copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint should be
sent to the UNCTAD secretariat at: Palais des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland.
The full text of this report is available on the Internet at www.unctad.org.




iiiFOREWORD


FOREWORD


It is a time of renewed promise in Ghana. Steady economic growth throughout the past decade and the recent
discovery of oil have raised hopes that Ghana is on track to join the ranks of the lower middle-income countries.
The country is also making progress towards meeting many of its Millennium Development Goals.
But continued growth cannot be taken for granted. Long-standing challenges in Ghana include diversifying
the economy beyond traditional exports such as gold, cocoa and timber. New sources of income from the
oil and gas industry are welcome, but intensified specialization in natural resources production could affect
the competitiveness of Ghana’s other industries. This could undermine progress towards building dynamic
competitive advantages in more knowledge- and technology-intensive activities. These risks make it very
important to have public policies in place that help raise productivity in non-oil industries, build productive
capacity, and promote economic diversification and structural change.
Ghana’s Government has therefore renewed its commitment to harnessing science, technology and innovation
(STI) to help meet its economic, social and environmental challenges and to promote inclusive and sustainable
growth and development. As part of this commitment, a new national STI Policy was launched in March 2010
under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology. The policy was prepared in a
consultative manner, with expertise from the country’s scientific, academic and business communities, and with
attention to the views of Ghanaian citizens. Lessons from Ghana’s past, and from the experiences of countries
around the world, have been taken on board. The policy envisions a promising future for Ghana that builds on
abundant modern advances in science, technology and innovation.
What matters now is how well this STI Policy is integrated into Ghana’s national development strategy and
translated into actions that will improve the quality of life for all Ghanaians in a sustained manner. Success would
be reflected in better healthcare for the people, innovations to make Ghana’s businesses more productive, the
modernization of farming and agribusiness, and an improved ability to address the challenges of climate change.
This report reviews Ghana’s STI policies and is part of the Government’s efforts to ensure that policy is supported
by practical programmes. Initiated at the request of the Government, and prepared by a team of Ghanaian and
international experts, the Review presents recommendations on measures to reform and strengthen Ghana’s
STI system.
The Review finds that many of the building blocks for fostering innovation and technological development –
including reputable universities, research institutes, and a growing private sector – are already in place in Ghana.
However, the STI system does not focus sharply enough on Ghana’s socio-economic needs. Existing STI support
programmes for the private sector do not appear to be encouraging technological upgrading or innovation.
Resources are spread thinly across the system, and as a result, many of the country’s important STI institutions
are unable to effectively carry out their mandates. Funding allocations for STI are determined by the Government
and donor programmes and often do not relate to the priorities of research institutes and universities, and much
less to those of the private sector, farmers and informal enterprises.
The recommendations presented in the Review are centred on four main themes: (a) improving the leadership,
coordination and management of STI; (b) developing programmes that encourage innovation and technology
adoption by the private sector; (c) growing the science, engineering and technical workforce; and (d) creating
incentives to align the public technology providers with the needs of the private sector. With the support of the
World Bank and UNCTAD, the Government will work towards implementing these recommendations.
Additional partners will be needed to ensure a sustainable and successful effort at STI development. As the
production of knowledge and technology becomes increasingly global and interconnected, Ghana must
build strong partnerships with governments and organizations around the world. Universities in Ghana need
to establish new connections with universities in countries such as Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea, and




iv Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Viet Nam, in addition to strengthening existing partnerships with the United States and European countries.
Entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers in Ghana must learn from – and share their own expertise with – their
counterparts across West Africa and the world.
The spirit of cooperation underpinning the STI policy review process represents a constructive way forward for
Ghana as it seeks to strengthen its development agenda by incorporating science, technology and innovation.
This is an important step towards building human capital in Ghana and preparing the country for economic
growth in the Africa of the twenty-first century. The Government of Ghana, the World Bank and UNCTAD are
committed to working together on implementation of Ghana’s STI Policy.


Hon. Sherry Ayittey
Minister of Environment,
Science and Technology
Ghana


Ritva Reinikka
Director, Africa Human Development
The World Bank


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General
of UNCTAD




v


PREFACE


The Government of Ghana has ambitious plans for the country. On the back of strong economic growth throughout
the past decade, it aims to graduate from low- to middle- income status in the next decade. To achieve this aim,
economic growth will have to accelerate and productivity will need to rise. Achieving this ambitious goal will
necessarily involve, among other things, a more effective application of science, technology and innovation (STI)
in the economy in order to drive productivity growth and diversification in production. To date, however, the role
played by STI in Ghana’s development has been limited.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Review of Ghana was prepared at the request of the
Government of Ghana. The Review is meant to offer an objective and critical look at the country’s STI capacities
and assess how these capacities are being translated into innovations that help meet the country’s socio-
economic development objectives, including supporting economic growth and poverty reduction as well as
structural transformation of the economy. It sets out specific recommendations for practical actions and policy
reforms to build STI capacity and to create a more dynamic economy that will move more quickly towards
middle-income levels. The Review argues that policy action to promote STI development is required if Ghana is
to achieve faster, more sustainable growth and development.
The Review has two parts. Part I is an overview of the full report that lays out the challenges that Ghana faces,
and it summarizes the findings of the report. It is based on five background studies, which are presented in Part
II of the Review. The two annexes provide a summary table of the recommendations of the Review and a brief
summary of the African policy environment for STI-based development.
Part II contains the five background studies that were prepared for the Review. The topics were selected by a
committee of Ghanaian stakeholders from science, academia, business and government at the outset of the
STIP review process, in line with national priorities.
The first study (chapter 2) profiles the organizations, institutions, policies and linkages that characterize Ghana’s
national innovation system. The focus is on the overall strengths and weaknesses of the system and on the
policy regime and institutional arrangements that Ghana needs in order to build a dynamic system of innovation.
The second study (chapter 3) looks at the performance of the research and development system, which has
historically received the bulk of Ghana’s STI investments and is a critical component in the innovation system.
Two studies focus on the role played by STI in particular industries of the economy: food and agro-processing
(chapter 4) and traditional and herbal medicine (chapter 5). Modernizing agriculture is key, both because the
majority of the population lives off it and because such a process will open up opportunities to change the
relationship between agriculture and industry. Traditional and herbal medicine is an industry that may offer
potential for economic gain, as well as contributing to improving the health of Ghanaians.
The fifth study (chapter 6) looks at the potential that information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer to
transform education in Ghana. It focuses on providing access to education services and improving the quality
of these services, so that Ghana’s human capital can better contribute to achieving Ghana’s vision of a modern
economy more heavily based on the successful application of science and technology to production.


PREFACE




vi Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


The STIP Review of Ghana was prepared jointly by UNCTAD and the World Bank in collaboration with the Science
and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of Ghana’s Council on Scientific and Industrial Research, at
the request of the Government of Ghana. The Review was prepared by a team including Michael Lim (UNCTAD),
Michael Ehst (World Bank) and George Essegbey (CSIR-STEPRI), with overall guidance on the project provided
by Mongi Hamdi (UNCTAD) and Alfred Watkins (World Bank). Officials at the Ministry of Environment, Science and
Technology (MEST) (formerly the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports) were the main counterparts within
the Government of Ghana. Contributions of background reports were provided by teams of experts including
John Mugabe (Ghana’s STI framework and national innovation system), Jo Lorentzen (Ghana’s research and
development system), Syed Rizvi, Michael Ehst, George Essegbey and Jonathan Agwe (science, technology
and innovation-based development of food and agro processing), Kathryn Stokes (innovation in traditional
herbal medicines) and Farouk Kamoun (ICTs in Ghana’s education system). The Review benefited greatly from
comments and suggestions provided by Kofi Agyen, Michael Crawford, Peter Darvas, Ishac Diwan, Mark Dutz,
Angel González Sanz, Kurt Larsen, Anne Miroux, Kofi Tsikata and Michel Welmond.
Many people in Ghana, including government officials, university and research institute staff, private-sector
representatives, development partner and civil society staff, and others gave generously of their time and
insights to the research teams preparing each of the background papers. All of these contributors are gratefully
acknowledged.
The STIP Review would not have been possible without collaboration at every stage by STEPRI. STEPRI’s
research team and support staff, and its director, Dr. George Essegbey, were all deeply committed to the project
and deserve special recognition.
The Review was edited by Daniel Sanderson and Lucy Deleze-Black. It was desktop published by Monica
Morrica and Philippe Terrigeol. The graphics and tables were prepared by Laurence Duchemin. The cover was
designed by Nadège Hadjemian.




viiCONTENTS


CONTENTS


Foreword ................................................................................................................................................................ iii
Preface .................................................................................................................................................................... v
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................................ vi
Contents ................................................................................................................................................................ vii
Abbreviations ......................................................................................................................................................... xi


PART 1: OVERVIEW
CHAPTER 1. OVERVIEW


III. Ghana’s science, technology and innovation challenge ........................................................................2
III. The state of Ghana’s STI system ............................................................................................................3
III. The way forward: Building the STI capacity needed to transform Ghana’s socio-economic
development ............................................................................................................................................9


PART 2: BACKGROUND STUDIES
CHAPTER 2. GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM .......................................................22


2.1 Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................22
2.2 Economic outlook and prospects ........................................................................................................23
2.3 Science and technology institutions ....................................................................................................24
2.4 Science, technology and innovation policy regimes ..........................................................................30
2.5 Assessment of the national system of innovation ................................................................................31
2.6 Recommendations ...............................................................................................................................37


CHAPTER 3. GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM ......................................44
3.1. Inputs, outputs and outcomes ............................................................................................................44
3.2 Staff upskilling and career progression ..............................................................................................52
3.3. Intellectual property rights in the research system .............................................................................54
3.4. Coordination failures and functionality ................................................................................................55
3.5. Governance and accountability ..........................................................................................................56
3.6. Negative examples ..............................................................................................................................58
3.7. Positive examples ................................................................................................................................59
3.8. Lessons from elsewhere ....................................................................................................................60
3.9. Recommendations ..............................................................................................................................63


CHAPTER 4. GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR..........................................70
4.1. Introduction .........................................................................................................................................70
4.2. Status and challenges of the food and agro-processing sector .......................................................72
4.3. Food and agro-processing institutions ...............................................................................................78




viii Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


4.4. Public policy regime for food and agro-processing innovation ..........................................................80
4.5. An innovation-based strategy for development of the food and agro-processing sector .................83
4.6. Recommendations ..............................................................................................................................88


CHAPTER 5. PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL
MEDICINES SECTOR .......................................................................................................96


5.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................................................96
5.2 The potential role of traditional herbal medicine .................................................................................96
5.3 Traditional herbal medicine: practice, products and knowledge .........................................................97
5.4 Institutional and policy framework ........................................................................................................98
5.5 STI activities and challenges ..............................................................................................................103
5.6 Recommendations .............................................................................................................................108


CHAPTER 6. ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM .............................................................116
6.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................116
6.2 ICT in Ghana: an overview .................................................................................................................116
6.3 ICT in education ................................................................................................................................119
6.4 Distance education ...........................................................................................................................123
6.5 Recommendations .............................................................................................................................128


BIBLIOGRAPHY .........................................................................................................................................132
ANNEXES ....................................................................................................................................................143


Annex 1. Summary of STIP Review recommendations ..............................................................................144
Annex 2. The African policy environment for STI-based development .....................................................148




ixCONTENTS


BOXES
1.1. Finding opportunities for technological catch-up .......................................................................................8
1.2. Using STI to develop Ghana’s food and agroprocessing sector ..............................................................11
1.3. Innovation in Ghana’s traditional and herbal medicines sector ................................................................12
1.4. Using ICTs to improve education and training ...........................................................................................13
1.5. Modernizing public research institutes: A model from Colombia .............................................................15
3.1. A Lack of Data and Documentation at Ghana’s Universities and Research Institutes
Represents Larger Costs to the Research System ...................................................................................45
4.1. The Ayensu Starch Company (ASCO) -- Positive and negative lessons
on providing government support for agribusiness ..................................................................................84
4.2. Recommendations of the Food and Agro Processing Stakeholders’ Meeting .........................................85
4.3. Stakeholders Input on Agribusiness Innovation Centers ..........................................................................87
4.4. Ghana’s Experience with Marketing Agencies ..........................................................................................91
4.4.1. Existing Marketing Organizations in Ghana...............................................................................................91
FIGURES
1.1.1. Republic of Korea vs. Ghana: Per capita income 1960–2000


Knowledge makes the difference between poverty and wealth ..................................................................8
3.1. Problems in the Ghanaian research system ..............................................................................................64
4.1. Contributions to GDP, by sector and agriculture subsectors .....................................................................70
4.2. Share of microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises in the food-processing sector ......72
4.3. Number of food processing firms in Ghana, by region and commodity group ........................................74
4.4. Food processing firms in Ghana, by region and product .........................................................................75
4.5. Value of horticultural export of Ghana .......................................................................................................76
4.6. Share of Processed Foods in Ghana’s Total Food Trade ..........................................................................76
4.7. Total cocoa export of Ghana (U.S. $Millions) – 2002-2006 .......................................................................76
4.8. Important Stages of the Value Chain .........................................................................................................85
4.9. Illustration of traditional and new food and agro-processing strategies ...................................................86
4.10. Schematic of contribution of SET-based enterprises to economic growth ...............................................88
4.11. Conceptual Framework for Agribusiness Innovation Center and Business Incubator ..............................89
5.1 Key elements of traditional herbal medicine ..............................................................................................97
5.2. Manufacture of traditional herbal medicine products in Ghana ................................................................98
5.3. Key Elements of the Institutional Framework for THM .............................................................................100
5.4. Traditional and Alternative Medicines Registered with the FDB, by year ................................................106
A.2.1 GDP per capita and technological capability over 2000–2004 ...............................................................149
A.2.2 The three phases of catch-up ..................................................................................................................150
A.2.3 Scientific and technological production ..................................................................................................151
TABLES
1.1. Agriculture value added per worker .............................................................................................................2
1.2. Competitiveness rankings of Ghana ..........................................................................................................3
1.3. Science and technology in Ghana’s total budget, 2008 ............................................................................4
1.4. Ghana’s universities: Basic indicators .........................................................................................................6




x Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


1.5. Selected indicators: Research institutes......................................................................................................7
2.1. Research staff at CSIR Institutes and CRIG, 2007 ....................................................................................25
2.2. Graduate Enrollment in S&T courses in KNUST – 2005/2006 ...................................................................26
2.3. Students’ enrollment in Science and Technology Courses at the University of Ghana,


by gender 1999-2006 .................................................................................................................................27
2.4. SWOT analysis of Ghana’s System of Innovation .....................................................................................36
3.1. Science and technology in Ghana’s total budget, 2008 ...........................................................................44
3.2. Source of funds, 2008 ................................................................................................................................46
3.3. Allocation of funds, Universities and Research Institutes ..........................................................................47
3.4. CSIR Service Funds, 2008 .........................................................................................................................48
3.5. CSIR Investment Funds .............................................................................................................................48
3.6. Ghana’s universities: Basic indicators .......................................................................................................50
3.7. Selected indicators: Research institutes....................................................................................................51
4.1. Value of Main Agricultural Non-Traditional Exports: (US $ thousands) .....................................................73
4.2. Retail food sales by value for 2006 ...........................................................................................................75
4.3. Key Constraints in the Food and Agro-Processing Sector .......................................................................76
4.4. Food processing firms in Ghana, by region and product .........................................................................75
4.5. Examples of commodity conversion into multiple product streams .........................................................86
4.4.1. Existing Marketing Organizations in Ghana...............................................................................................91
5.1. Public and private sector markets for pharmaceuticals in Ghana, 2004 ................................................106
6.1. Tertiary Education in ICT in Ghana ...........................................................................................................118
6.2. Structure of the Ghanaian education system ..........................................................................................120
6.3. ICTE Policy Thematic Areas and Objectives ...........................................................................................121
6.4. Strategic Actions to be supported by DE ...............................................................................................124
6.5. Public Universities offering Distance Education .....................................................................................126




xi


ABBREVIATIONS
AfDB African Development Bank
AGI Association of Ghana Industries
AIC agribusiness innovation center
AIT Accra Institute of Technology
AMCOST African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology
ARI Animal Research Institute
ARIPO African Regional Industrial Property Organization
ASCO Ayensu Starch Company
AU African Union
BDS Business development services
BOP Balance of Payments
BRRI Building, Road and Research Institute
CARGS Competitive Agricultural Research Grant Scheme
CAS Country Assistance Strategy (of the World Bank)
CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
CENDLOS Centre for National Distance Learning & Open Schooling
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CIDA Canadian International Development Agency
COCOBOD Ghana Cocoa Board
CRI Crop Research Institute
CRIG Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
CSIR Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
CSRPM Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine
DE Distance education
DFID Department for International Development (of the UK)
DL Distance learning
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
EDL Essential Drugs List
EML Essential Medicines List
EU European Union
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization
FARA Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FDB Food and Drugs Board
FDI Foreign Direct Investment
FORIG Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
FRI Food Research Institute
GAEC Ghana Atomic Energy Commission
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GEPC Ghana Export Promotion Council
GER Gross enrolment rate
GERD Gross expenditure on R&D
GES Ghana Education Service
GeSCI Global eSchools and Communities Initiative
GFZB Ghana Free Zones Board
GHC/ Ghanaian cedis (national currency)
GHS Ghana Health Service
GICTeD Ghana Information and Communications Technology Directorate
GIFTEL Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications
GIMPA Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration


ABBREVIATIONS




xii Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


GIPC Ghana Investment Promotion Center
GNDP Ghana National Drugs Programme
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GNI Gross National Income
GNP Gross National Product
GOG Government of Ghana
GPRS Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy
GRATIS Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service
GSB Ghana Standards Board
HDI Human Development Index
IAG Industry Advisory Group
ICMST International Centre for Material Science and Technology
ICT Information and Communication Technology
ICTE ICT in Education
ICT4AD ICT for Accelerated Development
IDRC International Development Research Centre
IEDE Institute for Educational Development (of UEW)
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFC International Financial Corporation
IIR Institute of Industrial Research
IMF International Monetary Fund
IP Intellectual property
IPR Intellectual Property Rights
ISSER Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research
ISI Thomson Reuters ISI database
ISO International Organization for Standardization
IT Information Technology
ITU International Telecommunication Union
KNUST Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MES Ministry of Environment and Science (former)
MEST Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology
MOES Ministry of Education & Sports
MOESS Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports (former)
MOFA Ministry of Food and Agriculture
MOH Ministry of Health
MOTI Ministry of Trade and Industry
MSMEs Micro, small and medium sized enterprises
NCA National Communications Authority
NCTE National Council for Tertiary Education
NDPC National Development Planning Commission of Ghana
NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NGO non-governmental organization
NIA National STI Implementation Agency
NIS National Innovation System
NMIMR Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
NNRI National Nuclear Research Institute
NRC National Research Council
NSI National System(s) of Innovation
ODL Open & Distance Learning
OPRI Oil Palm Research Institute
OTC Over the counter
PC Personal Computer




xiii


PGRC Plant Genetic Resource Centre
PGRRI Plant Genetic Resource Research Institute
PISM Participatory Integrated Pest Management
PRI Public research institute
PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
PSI Presidential Special Initiatives
PSI-DL The President’s Special Initiative on Distance Learning
R&D Research and Development
RTTCs Regional Technology Transfer Centres
SADC Southern Africa Development Community
SARI Savanna Agricultural Research Institute
SET Science, engineering, and technology
SME Small and medium-sized enterprise
SOE State-owned enterprise
S&T Science and technology
SRC Soil Research Centre
SRI Soil Research Institute
STI Science, technology and innovation
STIP Science, technology and innovation policy
STEPRI Science and Technology Policy Research Institute
STREFund Science, Technology and Research Endowment Fund
TAM Traditional and alternative medicine
TAMD Traditional and Alternative Medicines Directorate
THM traditional herbal medicine
TIA Technology Innovation Agency
TICCG Technology Innovation Center for Capital Goods
TM Traditional Medicine
TMPC Traditional Medicines Practice Council
TNC Transnational corporation
TRIMS Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures
TRIPS Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
TVET Technical & Vocational Education and Training
UCC University of Cape Coast
UDS University of Development Studies
UEW University of Education Winneba
UN United Nations
UNCTAD United Nations Conference for Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UOG University of Ghana at Legon
VCTF National Venture Capital Trust Fund
WRI Water Research Institute
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organization
WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization
WDI World Development Indicators
WSIS World Summit on the Information Society
WTO World Trade Organization






OVERVIEW


PART 1






Overview




2 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


I. GHANA’S SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION CHALLENGE
The Government of Ghana has ambitious plans for
the country. On the back of strong economic growth
throughout the last decade, it aims to graduate from
low- to middle-income status in the next decade.
To achieve this aim, growth will have to accelerate
and productivity will have to rise. In the terminology
of Ghanaian planners, the country is ready to move
from the economics of reconstruction and rehabilita-
tion to the economics of accelerated growth (National
Development Planning Commission, 2005). This im-
plies diversification away from the cocoa-gold-timber
structure and towards industrialization, technology
and higher productivity, all with a view to achieving
middle-income status by 2020.
Achieving these ambitious goals will necessarily in-
volve, among other things, a more effective applica-
tion of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the
economy in order to drive productivity growth and di-
versification in production. To date, however, the role
played by STI in Ghana’s development has been lim-
ited.
Analytical work on Ghana’s long-term growth con-
cluded that up until 2000 it was mostly based on
factor accumulation (Bogetic et al., 2007). Between
2000 and 2005, however, evidence of low productiv-
ity increases emerged, within which technological ad-
vances played at least a marginal role. This seems to
have especially been the case in agriculture – notably
in the cocoa sector and in fibre crops and cereals.
The physical environment, farmers’ socio-economic
conditions, and poor infrastructure have unfortunately
hampered faster productivity improvements, serving
as a reminder that technological progress is merely
one input to growth and is dependent on broader sys-
temic conditions. The World Bank’s Country Economic
Memorandum concludes that accelerated growth will
rely – among other things – on productivity improve-
ments (especially in agriculture) and innovation, which
“are possible…by widening the use of technology…”
(Bogetic et al., 2007: 48).
The productivity gap that Ghana must overcome if it
wishes to catch up with middle-income countries is
illustrated in table 1.1. Value added per agriculture
worker would have to increase by a factor of 3 to
match the Philippines, or by a factor of 10 to reach


Country
Agriculture value added


per worker 2008 or latest
(in constant 2000 US$)


Uganda 197
United Republic of Tanzania 326
Kenya 345
Ghana 401
Malaysia 611
Philippines 1,211
South Africa 3,839
Brazil 3,858
Costa Rica 5,457
New Zealand 25,712


Source: World Development Indicators 2010.


Table 1.1. Agriculture value added per worker


Brazil’s productivity level. These are just two examples
of countries with higher productivity that compete with
Ghana on a range of agricultural products.


The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness
Index also suggests that Ghana has limited capac-
ity for harnessing technology and innovation to raise
productivity and create industries with competitive
advantage in international markets. Out of 133 coun-
tries, Ghana ranks 112th on technological readiness,
115th on innovation, 98th on business sophistication,
and 108th on higher education and training (see table
1.2).1 These relative positions are not particularly out
of line for a country at Ghana’s stage of development.
Ghana is currently in the bottom tier of countries,
along with other “factor-driven” economies, mainly in
sub-Saharan Africa. These “factor-driven” economies
have minimal capacity to innovate, do not add much
value to the goods and services they produce, have
unsophisticated local enterprises with limited mana-
gerial and organizational capacity and minimal com-
mercial and technological links to the global economy,
and use low-wage, poorly educated, unskilled labour
to produce and export unprocessed raw materials. If
Ghana wishes to transform itself from what the World
Economic Forum calls a “factor-driven” economy into
an “efficiency-driven” or “innovation-driven” economy,
then it must begin to improve in these critical areas
related to productivity and competitiveness.
Recognizing the important role that knowledge and
innovation must play in transforming the economy




3CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


and reducing poverty, the Government of Ghana has
placed STI development high on its list of priorities.
This is reflected in various political and policy state-
ments of the Government, including Vision 2020, the
Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS II),
and the upcoming medium-term development plan.
For example, GPRS II argues that the absorption and
application of much more science and technology
than is presently deployed is a critical ingredient for
successful growth. The medium-term development
plan, prepared by the National Development Planning
Commission of Ghana, has a vision for Ghana in 2020
of a “modern economy based on the development of
science and technology”.
Hence, at the level of policy intentions, things are hap-
pening. To date, however, Ghana’s dialogue around
STI has often not been backed up by specific actions.
There is clear awareness in Ghana that STI policies
are essential in order to achieve accelerated growth
and join the global knowledge economy. But there has
not been practical planning and implementation of


STI policies and programmes to match the emphasis
given in the policy statements. Even when policies do
exist and are well conceived, there is dissatisfaction
with the progress made to date in terms of effective
planning and the active implementation of policies
and programmes.
This is where this STIP Review comes in. Requested
by the Government of Ghana, the Review is meant to
offer an objective and critical look at the country’s STI
capacities and how these capacities are being trans-
lated into modernization of the economy and innova-
tions that help meet the country’s socio-economic
development objectives. The Review sets out specific
recommendations for practical actions and policy
reforms to build STI capacity and create a more dy-
namic economy that will move more quickly towards
middle-income levels.
The key industries and thematic areas of the Review
were determined by a committee of Ghanaian stake-
holders at the outset of the STIP Review process,
to be in line with national priorities.2 This overview is
based on the resulting five background studies that
are included in Part II of this report. These background
studies provide a wealth of insight and practical policy
advice that cannot be fully captured in a report over-
view, and are they are meant to be read individually in
addition to this overview.


II. THE STATE OF GHANA’S STI SYSTEM
Ghana has in place many of the individual com-
ponents necessary for an efficient and effective STI
system. This is an important strength to build upon.
It has at least 16 research and development (R&D)
institutes, seven public universities, about 40 private
universities, 10 public polytechnics, many technical
institutes, several technology support and regulatory
agencies, and standardized intellectual property (IP)
legislation. It has a relatively strong education system,
generally stable macroeconomic political conditions,
and a growing private sector. It also has a newly up-
dated national policy framework on science, technol-
ogy and innovation (the National Science, Technology
and Innovation Policy), which in late 2010 was await-
ing Parliamentary approval. The National Develop-
ment Planning Commission has recently integrated
STI policy into its national development plan.


Pillars Rankings in 2008
(out of 134)


Rankings in 2009
(out of 133)


Basic requirements
1. Institutions 63 68
2. Infrastructure 82 87
3. Macro-economic


stability 121 129
4. Health and primary


education 115 115
Efficiency enhancers
5. Higher education


and training 111 108
6. Goods market


efficiency 97 91
7. Labour market ef-


ficiency 108 100
8. Financial market


sophistication 69 59
9. Technological readi-


ness 115 112
10. Market size 86 86
Innovation and sophistication factors
11. Business


sophistication 98 98
12. Innovation 114 115


Note: The top ranking is 1, which means more competitive.
Source: World Economic Forum. Global Competitiveness Report 2009–2010.


Table 1.2. Competitiveness rankings of Ghana




4 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


However, the capacity of the STI system overall is lim-
ited in comparison to those of middle-income coun-
tries such as India or South Africa, and the system
overall is not performing to a standard that will enable
the country to achieve its aspiration of becoming a
middle-income economy. Its policies and institutions
for science, technology and innovation have not been
modernized, nor have they been aligned to economic
growth and human development goals. A key feature
of Ghana’s institutional landscape is the weak links
and poor positive feedback between and among
institutions, including the higher education and re-
search institutes and the private sector. More impor-
tantly, there are no incentives to work together and few
mechanisms to encourage communication and col-
laboration. A number of studies have identified these
limitations and weaknesses in Ghana’s STI system.
The STI system is far too supply-driven, owing to its
overreliance on the public budget and on external
sources of funding including donor-sponsored pro-
jects based on donor agendas. Funding allocations
are determined by the Government and often do not
relate to the priorities of the providers of science and
technology services (i.e. the research institutes and
universities) and much less still to the end-users of
technology and research, such as the private sector,
farmers, and informal enterprises. The result is a sys-
tem not subject to competitive pressures to ensure
quality, and not adequately focused on Ghana’s own
economic and social objectives.
The private sector has not been responding to the ex-
isting incentives to adopt new technologies, innovate,
and raise productivity. The Government could improve
fiscal and legal incentives for local entrepreneurship
and promote innovation in private enterprises. Local
private-sector firms are not really attuned to procuring
and/or investing in innovations to improve their eco-
nomic productivity. The adoption and adaptation of
existing technology by firms should be encouraged,
as the most logical focus for Ghana’s technology and
innovation efforts. Previously, Ghana was focusing its
attention on promoting private-sector development
and attracting FDI. There is now a need to focus on
promoting technological innovation in and by the pri-
vate sector.
The STI system is stretched thin and overburdened in
relation to the level of resources available. This leaves
many of the country’s important STI institutions un-
able to effectively carry out their mandates. Current
resource allocations cannot sufficiently support the


range of activities that the country assigns to the STI
system. Ghana’s expenditure on R&D is about 0.3 per
cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), nearly all of
which comes from government outlays equivalent to
around $49 million or 1.1 per cent of the budget (see
table 1.3).
This does not compare well to South Africa, for
instance, which spends 0.87 per cent of its GDP on
formal R&D (OECD, 2007). Even with the establishment
of the (minimally endowed) Science and Technology


Research Endowment Fund (STREFund), there is no
indication that allocations for STI activities will increase.
Most of the funding that does exist goes on salaries
and some operational costs (over 90 per cent at both
the universities and the research institutes), with little
left for actual research. The level of overall expenditure
is not enough to support high-quality STI activities
across the existing system. This does not necessarily
mean that more resources are required, or indeed,
would fix the problems. Rather, the Government must
determine which areas and activities of the STI system
are necessary and important, and must properly
fund them to allow them to fulfil their mandates. Any
proposed new resources should be accompanied by
substantial improvements in efficiency and incentives
to turn new expenditures into development gains.
Institutions of education and training are not
producing enough graduates with the required skills
to spur technological innovation for economic growth.
This is a major barrier to improving the country’s
technological performance and to growing a national
system of innovation. This has been recognized by
the Government, and various reforms of the education
and training system are being introduced. Public
universities are under continuous strain to absorb


Table 1.3. Science and technology in Ghana’s total
budget, 2008


Budget line item* New Ghanaian
cedis**


Percentage


Total government expenditure 4,292,084,203 100
Basic research 201,500 0.005
R&D General public services 151,412 0.004
R&D Economic affairs 44,314,486 1.032
R&D Health 3,942,081 0.092
Total S&T 48,609,479 1.133


* Budget represents estimates, not actuals.
** New Ghanaian cedis and United States dollars were close to a 1:1 exchange rate during the 2008 budget year.
Source: Republic of Ghana (2008b).




5CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


growing student populations, and are therefore
devoting increasingly low or limited portions of their
annual budgets to R&D and technical innovation
activities.3 Measures aimed at improving tertiary
education should be part and parcel of overall national
efforts to fight poverty, grow the economy, promote
human development, and increase economic
competitiveness. Science and mathematics should
be emphasized at all levels of the education system.
Overall, Ghana’s educational system is not well
aligned to its economic and industrial development
aspirations.
The country does not have an adequate mechanism
to fund innovation, technological development and
research on a competitive basis. Ghana does not have
the equivalent of South Africa’s National Research
Foundation (NRF) and its Innovation Fund to oversee
the review and implementation of competitive research
and innovation funding programmes. Furthermore,
there is no horizontal coordination and no clear regime
for setting research priorities. The newly established
STREFund could potentially fill this void, but it has
not been funded beyond a symbolic level (currently
at $500,000). It is also unclear whether the STREFund
would be able to adequately attract private-sector
and university participation in its funding programmes
while being managed by the Council on Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR). Though it is designed to
have an independent board of directors, universities
and firms may hesitate to apply for funding from a
fund they see as under the influence of the research
council. In the long term, to stimulate innovation and
ensure a focused approach to strengthening the
country’s national system of innovation, Ghana should
establish a specialized agency to fund research and
technological development. In the short term, it should
shift its funding away from budgetary allocations and
towards competitive awards, through the STREFund
or other mechanisms.
Most individual science and technology institutions –
including, most prominently, the research universities
and the public research institutes – are performing
insufficiently to foster technological development
in the economy. Faculty at the public universities
publishes less than one article each per year in
peer-reviewed journals (see table 1.4). The growth of
enrolments and teaching load affects the universities
across the board with respect to research productivity.
Some positive developments are the dedication of
some internally generated funds to research grants


at the universities, and the establishment of an office
of research, innovation and development at the
University of Ghana.
The CSIR and other publicly supported research
institutes have pockets of excellence that produce
important innovations (e.g. the improved cement
from local materials commercialized by the Building
and Roads Research Institute, and the crop disease
control techniques pioneered by the Cocoa Research
Institute), but in general they are producing little relevant
output (see table 1.5). Low salaries, poor conditions,
and limitations on professional advancement hamper
the productivity of researchers. Poor research
management means that opportunities to secure
what funding is available for conducting research and
purchasing equipment are frequently missed. The
scientific and technical knowledge that is generated
by public R&D institutes is not turned into products
and services because of a lack of entrepreneurial
culture and few incentives to link with the private
sector. The picture that emerges of the CSIR is of a
top-heavy organization that employs its staff without
giving them the means to do what they are supposed
to be doing, namely engage in research. Although
the CSIR secretariat and the individual institutes
have commercialization officers, they do not have
dedicated positions for research project acquisition.
Since this is upstream from commercialization, it is
perhaps one reason why commercialization does not
really work.
Problems internal to the organizations that the report
analysed4 include a dearth of professional (research)
management, inadequate human resource develop-
ment and misaligned incentive systems, and an ab-
sence of regular performance assessments. These
are issues that the research institutes and universities
can and must address themselves. One result is that
the research system’s most important capital – peo-
ple – is shortchanged. It is no secret that university
faculty make higher salaries than their peers at the
CSIR, many of whom pursue additional income on
the side through work unrelated to their technical ex-
pertise. But while universities appear to be relatively
better off, they too count poor remuneration and poor
service conditions for staff, together with inadequate
funding and poor allocation of resources for academ-
ic programmes, and rundown infrastructure, among
their major weaknesses. Core/support staff ratios in
Ghana bear no comparison to those in similar organi-
zations internationally.




6 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


University of Ghana University of Cape Coast
Kwami Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology


Year established 1948 1962 1952


Enrolment


Total 29,754 16,806 23,866


Male/female ratio 1.5 2.1 2.5


Postgraduate 1,816 394 1,597


Undergraduate 26,154 16,140 22,269


Sub-degrees 1,784 272 ./.


Percentage of graduate enrolment 6.1 2.3 6.7


International students 1,142 ./. 736


Staff


Teaching and research 865 398 778


Academic staff with PhDs, percentage 46.8 ./. 39.9


Admin. and professional 3,909 3,032 2,580


Ratio academic/support staff 0.2 0.1 0.3


S&T teaching


Ratio of science students (percentage) 19.9 26.0 48.8


Ratio of S&T graduates, 2007 8.5 23.6 63.5


Ratio of S&T PhD graduates, 2007 0.16 0.0 0.08


Journal publications


Listed on university website (2007) 1 0 (2007) 12


Annual Report (2006) 230 (2006) 50 (2007) 165


Output per capita 0.27 0.13 0.21


ISI 2006 73 15 54


Ratio ISI/other journals 0.32 0.30 0.33
Sources: ISI, KNUST (2007a, 2007b); UCC (2007a, 2007b); UoG (2007a, 2007b); university websites.


Table 1.4. Ghana’s universities: Basic indicators




7CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


Table 1.5. Selected indicators: Research institutes5
ARI BRRI CRI FRI FORIG IIR ISTI OPRI PGRRI SARI SRI STEPRI WRI CSIR CSPRM CRIG


Staff 295 211 883 170 286 135 79 440 127 535 372 31 249 3813 180 147
of which:
research 27 27 83 34 38 18 13 23 9 35 26 9 56 398 22 35


with PhDs 9 0 24 12 14 4 1 2 2 8 0 3 20 99 6 17
Journal
publications
in 2005


2 0 7 0 4 0 3 2 0 0 10 0 3 31 10 8


per capita 0.07 0 0.08 0 0.11 0 0.23 0.09 0 0 0.38 0 0.05 0.08 0.45 0.17


ISI (2006) 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 2 2
Sources: CRIG (2002), CSIR (2006) for publications, CSIR website, CRIG website for staff complement, CSRPM (n.d.) and ISI. Plea-se see footnote 5 and table 3.3 (p. 47) for full names of organizations.


There are also problems that afflict the system
at large: coordination failures, a dysfunctional
intellectual property rights (IPR) system, and
hesitance to being reviewed. Neither universities nor
research institutes have central frameworks in place
that would regulate how intellectual property is to be
handled, how it is disseminated or transferred, who
would be responsible for the cost of servicing patents,
or how possible proceeds from its exploitation are to
be shared between the inventor and the assignee.
Agricultural research is no different. The Crop
Research Institute (CRI) does not register the new
seed varieties it develops; it merely records them in
in-house journals.
The STI system is not adequately linked to
international science and technology networks and
funding opportunities. International cooperation offers
a means to build Ghana’s STI capacity by attracting
talented entrepreneurs and innovators to work on
Ghana’s challenges and also to find resources
from international research funders. For example,
the European Union’s Framework Programme, the
United States’ National Institutes of Health, and
Canada’s Grand Challenges programme all earmark
funding for collaboration with African scientists. These
international links should be developed and exploited.
The country has entered into one international and
several bilateral agreements that deal with science
and technology cooperation, but the Government and
individual institutions could do much more to pursue


international research and technology development
collaborations.
Coordination across the entire STI system is
inadequate, resulting in gaps in support and
duplication of efforts. There is now a clear locus for
STI policymaking with the reestablishment of the
Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology
(MEST), but STI policy is still implemented by a myriad
of public agencies. For example, most agricultural
research is funded by the CSIR, which is under the
MEST, while agriculture extension services and food
safety issues are under the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture (MOFA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry
(MOTI) supports agriculture processing programmes,
and the Cocoa Board allocates funding for cocoa and
shea research. These arrangements are not unusual
in governments, and require coordination of efforts
rather than a concentration of power. Ghana may find
that a coordinating body for STI is necessary to avoid
gaps and overlaps in its STI policies and programmes.
Inadequacies in physical infrastructure (e.g.
unreliable and costly electricity) are a major barrier
to technological innovation in both public and private
enterprises. Poor physical infrastructure undermines
the growth and performance of Ghana’s system
of innovation. The Government of Ghana should
continue to invest more in infrastructure development
as part of its poverty reduction and national economic
development programmes.




8 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Box 1.1. Finding opportunities for technological catch-up
As a latecomer to the modernization process, Ghana has what has been called the “advantage of backwardness.”6 In
other words, in order to modernize, Ghana does not have to invent the technology for industry by carrying out research
and development (R&D), but can adopt foreign technology from technologically advanced countries with relatively low
risk and at relatively low cost. East Asian economies, including Japan and the four “tigers” (Hong Kong SAR, the Republic
of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan Province of China), as well as China after the transition starting in 1979, all tapped into
this advantage.7 These countries then went on to establish their own endogenous STI capacity.
Ghana is eager to emulate this successful East Asian performance at catching up with the advanced economies. The
Republic of Korea is a leading example of successful catching-up. In 1960, Ghana and the Republic of Korea had roughly
comparable per capita incomes. But by 2000, the Republic of Korea’s per capita income was more than 25 times higher
than that of Ghana (see box fig. 1.1.1).


The Republic of Korea’s economic progress has been extremely rapid, by any standard. One important reason is that for
more than 40 years, the Republic of Korea made a deliberate effort to invest heavily in science, technology, innovation and
education, so that it could adopt and adapt foreign technologies into its own industrial base. Nonetheless, following this
example is not easy. East Asian countries are highly diverse in terms of their natural resource base, cultural endowments
and political institutions, and in their national development strategies.8 On the surface, many of these countries bear little
resemblance to Ghana or to each other.
However, despite their differences, East Asian national development policies had several common features which would
be relevant for Ghana today. First and foremost was a series of pragmatically designed, thematically organized science
and technology policies that were tenaciously pursued and explicitly designed to ensure sustained economic growth
and social development. These policies included (a) a comprehensive focus on all levels of education and manpower
training, spanning the range from technical and vocational education to engineering to doctoral degrees in science;
(b) an emphasis on technology adoption and adaptation targeted at high-priority social and economic development
challenges; (c) policies to ensure that education and R&D programmes reflect the needs and challenges of private-sector
entrepreneurs and companies; and (d) private-sector development programmes that foster international competitiveness
by improving the business climate, reducing the cost of doing business, and promoting the emergence of higher-value-
added, knowledge-intensive export industries. Finally, these countries developed successful niches in product markets
and within global supply chains that built on their existing comparative advantages, ranging from manufacturing in China
to palm oil production in Indonesia. Ghana may have an opportunity to replicate these successes if it can find its own
market niches and build its capacity to successfully adopt and adapt the existing and new technologies necessary to
compete and to build a highly innovative and more dynamic economy.


Box figure 1.1.1. Republic of Korea vs. Ghana: Per capita income 1960–2000
Knowledge makes the difference between poverty and wealth…


0


2


4


6


8


10


12


14


Differenceattributed toknowledge


Differencedue to physicaland humancapital


1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000


Thousands of constant 1995 US dollars


Republic of Korea


Ghana


Source: World Bank Institute.




9CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


III. THE WAY FORWARD: BUILDING THE STI CAPACITY NEEDED TO TRANSFORM GHANA’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ghana will have to address four critical challenges if
it is to emerge over the next five to ten years with a
newly redesigned and more effective science, tech-
nology and innovation system – one that is capable of
addressing the twenty-first century agriculture, indus-
trial and human development challenges outlined in
its development plans.
Improving leadership, coordination, and manage-


ment of STI
Creating incentives and appropriate public support


mechanisms for private-sector innovation, technol-
ogy absorption, and industry-driven research


Growing the science, engineering and technical
workforce


Aligning the research and development (R&D) sys-
tem to socio-economic needs


A final critical task will be setting priorities to build
around and drafting and executing a viable STI im-
plementation plan that is integrated into its national
development strategy.


Improving leadership, coordination,and management of STI
High-level political commitment will be required to
establish a new political deal for STI. Ghana’s STI
system is currently trapped in a vicious circle. Funding
for science and technology is relatively low by
international standards, and is not sufficient to support
high-quality, economically relevant STI institutions
and the programmes that are needed to strengthen
Ghana’s productive sector. However, these low levels
of funding may, in turn, be justified by the relatively low
relevance and quality of the existing STI system. The
renewed commitment to STI for Ghana’s development
that is displayed by Ghana’s Government must be
accompanied by a willingness to commit to reform
of the existing system. This will require increasing
support to areas of the STI system in line with national
priorities and providing funding in the context of new
programmes and policies designed to enhance the


relevance and quality of the existing STI system. At
the same time, areas of the STI system that are not
performing should be forced to reform if they are to
continue to receive public funds.
Coordination and management across Ghana’s
entire STI system needs to be improved. STI touches
and influences almost every industry and sector of
Ghana’s economy and society. Multiple ministries,
departments and agencies have STI responsibilities,
including not just the MEST, but also the ministries
of trade and industry, health, energy, agriculture,
education, communications, and others. The solution
is not to centralize every STI asset under one ministry,
but to improve the coordination of individual MDA
decisions and ensure some general coherence to STI
policymaking and implementation. The development
of effective linkages between individual ministries,
departments and agencies should be promoted for all
STI activities that are multi-agency in nature.
The establishment of a coordinating body for STI (along
the lines argued in chapter 2) should be considered.
An STI coordinating body would work closely with all
stakeholders involved in STI policymaking. This would
include relevant line ministries, international agencies
seeking to establish STI cooperation programmes
with Ghana, public research institutes and research
universities, education and training institutions, private
sector representatives, standards bodies, and health
and safety agencies.
A sustainable scheme for financing STI must
be introduced. This should prominently feature
competitive and matching funding designed to reorient
the STI system to focus on the needs of research and
technology users – that is to say, the private sector,
farmers, and rural enterprises. Creating sustainable
financing may mean redirecting some of the existing
core funding of research institutes into competitive
funding that will enable the productive areas of the
STI system to thrive. This approach offers a promising
way to enable necessary reforms at the research
institutes within the existing funding envelope, without
the politically difficult and perhaps counterproductive
approach of eliminating research institutes. Additional
financing mechanisms for STI should be introduced,
such as industry funds, association-based financing,
tax incentives, and other measures.
International linkages should be fostered across
the STI system, especially at firms, universities
and research institutes. Universities and research




10 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


institutes should increase the number of applications
to international research tenders, as well as their
overall presence in international research networks.
This should be done in partnership with the private
sector when at all feasible. There is significant funding
from governments, foundations such as the Gates
Foundation, organizations such as the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research, and other
sources of innovation targeted for African countries
that goes unused each year and could provide new
funding for Ghana’s researchers and innovators.9
Universities should continue foreign exchange and
“sandwich” programmes for students.10 Finally,
programmes should target Ghana’s diaspora in order
to bring technology, technical knowledge, skills and
entrepreneurial expertise to the private sector.


Creating incentives and appropriate public support mechanisms for private-sector innovation, technology absorp-tion, and industry-driven research
The orientation of Ghana’s STI system should be
actively shifted towards a demand-driven orientation.
This means that the private sector (firms, farmers and
rural enterprises) should be the main focus and driver
of technological development, backed up by effective
government support. Public funding should provide
incentives to Ghana’s STI institutions, universities and
firms to concentrate on the concrete development
challenges of the private sector. Government
planners should set funding priorities and encourage
the users of technology – especially entrepreneurs
and firms – to define their own agendas within these
priorities to the extent that they are able to do so (with
support provided as needed). For example, farmers
should identify their technology needs, whether for
increasing crop production, improving harvesting
or post-harvesting, or adding value to commodities.
Government can provide support, especially for
smallholder farmers, in providing information and in the
identification of existing potentially useful technologies
(e.g. through effective extension services). Funding
could then be made available to these farmers to
work with universities, research centres and other
technology providers to help meet the needs that
they have identified. Funding programmes, incentive
schemes (e.g. R&D tax credits), other support for
STI development, intellectual property legislation,
university and research institute incentives at the
individual and institution level, and all other STI policies


should have a primary focus on meeting the real STI
needs of the firms, farmers and rural enterprises in
Ghana.
The Government should improve fiscal and legal
incentives for local entrepreneurship and the
promotion of innovation in private enterprises. Local
private-sector firms are not really attuned to procuring
or investing in innovations to improve their productivity.
There is a need to focus on promoting and supporting
technological innovation in and by the private sector.
High-performing enterprises – essentially innovators
– should receive special recognition and incentives
such as tax exemptions for expenditure on R&D,
technology procurement, and innovation in general.
Secondly, the Government should establish a national
funding scheme or instruments to promote R&D and
technological innovation in the private sector. This
could take the form of competitive grants to private
firms that twin or partner with public R&D institutes
to conduct economic-oriented research or the
development or adaptation of a particular technology.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is key to promoting
technological innovation and industrial development.
It should champion selected economic areas or
projects as part of the country’s efforts to raise
industrial productivity, increase exports, and help attain
middle-income economy status. The Government
of Ghana could invest in promoting the country as a
special location for a few selected foreign technology
businesses in a targeted manner in activities where
this could help to create local linkages and stimulate
local upgrading.
New incentives should be put in place for private-
sector innovation that supports the country’s
development priorities. Industries with high growth
and job-creation potential – including agriculture,
manufacturing, information and communications
technology (ICT), construction and tourism –
represent areas where incentives for innovation might
offer high potential returns. Creating incentives for
market-driven innovation and technology adoption,
backed up by effective public support measures,
should be a central focus of government policy,
as should improved leadership, coordination and
management of the country’s STI system. Taking
agriculture as an example, the Government should
create the incentives for farmers, farmer-based
organizations and agribusinesses to find and adopt
the irrigation, cultivation, harvesting, post-harvesting
and processing technologies that would benefit them




11CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


Box 1.2. Using STI to develop Ghana’s food and agroprocessing sector11
Science, engineering and technology (SET) institutions in many countries act as focal points for the translation of
scientific and technical knowledge into useful agricultural products, processes and services. Developing countries such
as Brazil, India and Malaysia that have made sustained commitments to investment in SET have had increasing success
in agroprocessing industries.
Aided by the latest innovations in science, technology and engineering, and utilizing a diversity of resources to ensure
the quality and safety of the products they produce, many established and emerging economies have created a unique
competitive edge in lucrative markets for their products. And they have done it not on the basis of lower labour costs,
but by capitalizing on state-of-the-art technologies, logistics, market intelligence and global alliances to manufacture and
deliver products in a timely, cost-effective way. Malaysia’s palm oil industry and Brazil’s ethanol industry are examples of
industries nurtured by successful SET institutions.
The food and agriculture processing industry offers similar opportunities for Ghana. Demand for food in sub-Saharan
Africa is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015, double its level of 2000.12 However, there are technological constraints
cutting across all the productive agriculture subsectors, including lack of technical and management skills in farm and
off-farm workers, limited access to technology and extension services, and poor facilities for new product development
and test marketing. Non-technological constraints exist too, including supply inconsistencies, poor infrastructure such
as roads, irrigation, and cold chains, limited access to finance, land tenure issues, weak linkages to markets, lack of
business development services, and trade barriers.
The background study on food and agro processing suggested the following strategies for developing the sector:
1. A public–private partnership should establish a network of two or three agribusiness innovation centres (AICs),


distributed among the three major agricultural zones in the country and located at the premises of existing institutions
of higher learning. The AICs would act as hubs for the economic clusters of the food and agro-processing industry.
The objective of the AICs would be to catalyse and support new innovative business activity by offering firms an
environment to experiment, test and pilot product innovations and business ideas.


2. The Government should encourage funding mechanisms for market-oriented research, development and innovation
performed by Ghana’s agribusinesses. Funding mechanisms could include commodity “check-off” fees to be
collected and invested by industry associations, national competitive matching grants, tax credits for innovation-
related activities, or the scaling-up of existing sources of funding including the national venture capital fund and the
research endowment fund.


3. An industry advisory group should be established to guide the food and agro processing industry’s development,
composed of government, university, research institute, and industry representatives.


through higher productivity and increased profitability.
The Government’s role would be to provide pragmatic
support measures needed to help farmers (particularly
smallholders) and firms to overcome market and
systemic failures.
Innovation should be recognized in government pro-
grammes to include “new-to-the-market” as well as
“new-to-the-world” innovations. The appropriate focus
for Ghana should, in general, be technology adoption
together with innovation, given that developing coun-
tries typically have more to gain in terms of growth


and improved standards of living from the diffusion,
adoption and assimilation of technology that already
exists in the world as a basis for local innovation than
from riskier and more costly invention and commer-
cialization per se. Therefore, technology adoption and
“new-to-the-market” innovation should be the priori-
tized targets of government incentives and support
programmes. R&D should focus mainly on assisting
enterprises to become more effective at adopting or
adapting technologies, and on providing solutions to
local problems.




12 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Growing the science, engineering and technical workforce
Emphasis must be placed on education and training
to meet the needs of a modernized economy. Sup-
port for science and engineering education should
be increased at the undergraduate and postgradu-
ate level. Innovative loan schemes, scholarships, and
other means should be used to meet Ghana’s stated
goal of a 60:40 ratio of science and technology to so-
cial science students in public universities. In 2007,
the share of S&T graduates in the total cohort ranged


from 8 per cent (UoG) to 63 per cent (KNUST). All
universities graduated fewer than 1 per cent of their
students with a PhD in S&T subjects, meaning that
they contributed barely a handful of highly trained jun-
ior scientists or engineers to the country in a given
year, including for the replenishment of their own fac-
ulty. Science and mathematics education should be
emphasized at all levels of the education system, from
primary to postgraduate. New technologies, including
ICTs, offer the opportunity to improve both access to
education services and the quality of these services.


Box 1.3. Innovation in Ghana’s traditional and herbal medicines sector13
Ghana has a long tradition of valuing and supporting the development of traditional medicine. Traditional medicine
practitioners and traditional herbal medicines remain key elements in the provision of healthcare to around 60 per cent
of the population, but still operate outside the public sector health system, despite long-held expectations that the two
could be integrated. Traditional herbal medicine (THM) is also perceived as having the potential to make a contribution
to the economy through the development of plant-based medicines for export.
However, despite over 40 years of efforts, long-held expectations about the role of traditional medicine in Ghana have not
yet been met. Government efforts at the policy level to promote and mainstream THM in Ghana have intensified in recent
years. Science, technology and innovation are seen as key factors in the development of THM, and have been given
prominence in current policy objectives.
If efforts to bring about the commercialization of safe and effective packaged herbal products – either as medicines or
food supplements – can be intensified, the country could set the standards for the integration of THM into both healthcare
and the wider economy. A “big push” along these lines might give Ghana a competitive edge in foreign markets that are
now, collectively, worth over $60 billion, as well as fulfilling the long-standing goals of the healthcare system.
The background study on traditional and herbal medicine suggests eight policy changes should take priority for the future
development of THM in Ghana:
1. A set of studies/meetings to evaluate, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the potential markets for THM should be


given the highest priority in plans to develop the THM industry.
2. Develop a clearly articulated strategy to support micro and small-scale THM enterprises.
3. Consideration should be given to the introduction of a more gradual and inclusive process of herbal medicine


registration, but with fixed phase-in schedules.
4. Strengthen the role of the Pharmacy Council to support regulatory compliance through pharmacists and chemical


sellers, and the capacity of the Food and Drugs Board to handle a large increase in applications for approval of
traditional herbal medicines.


5. Alleviate the potential distrust of regulatory science on the part of THM producers by means of standard letters of
contract produced and signed by scientific institutions that carry out regulatory testing.


6. Strengthen the capacity of the Research Committee at the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM)
to coordinate government-sponsored multi-disciplinary research programmes into traditional herbal medicine.


7. The Ministry of Health should establish a permanent mechanism for identifying, prioritizing, and funding public sector
R&D programmes that support the development of THM products of interest to the country.


8. Consider establishing a THM development fund with the cooperation and participation of MOFA, MOTI and the Ministry
of Health (MOH). A proportion of the fund should be ring-fenced for demand-driven R&D activities carried out by the
private sector.




13CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


Box 1.4. Using ICTs to improve education and training14
Since the early 1990s, Ghana has considered the use of ICT as a means to leverage the country’s development process.
The Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development Policy (ICT4AD), which was officially adopted in 2004, has an objective of
transforming Ghana into an information-rich, knowledge-based and technology-driven economy and society.
Several resulting initiatives aimed at deploying ICT in schools and communities have been launched in partnership with
the private sector and international organizations. These initiatives have created a momentum for the introduction of ICT
in education and were therefore at the origin of the development of an ICT in education (ICTE) policy and strategy that
embraces the ICT4AD vision for Ghana.
Ghana nevertheless faces major challenges in terms of slow growth of internet and PC penetration. In addition, despite
Ghana’s connection to an international fibre optic cable, broadband internet is still at an early stage of deployment within
the country. In contrast, Ghana has experienced rapid growth in mobile telephony access since 2003.
The background study on ICTs in the education system put forward the following four key recommendations:
1. The Ministry of Communications should design and implement an internet development policy to accelerate internet


deployment in order to reach a critical threshold permitting the country to take advantage of the full potential offered
by the network. Consideration could also be given to creating innovative measures to promote the wider use of mobile
telephones featuring e-mail and internet access, which are becoming increasingly functional.


2. The Ministry of Education should design plans of action that would ensure a clear linkage between the ICTE policy’s
thematic objectives and its implementation phases and specify clearly the role of the different actors and budget each
of the actions.


3. Evaluation of distance learning programmes should be carried out and the evaluation outcomes should be considered
carefully. The outcome of the evaluations of the distance learning programme for high schools and the Open Schooling
in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) component should be studied carefully before considering
their extension.


4. The universities involved with distance education with the support of MOE should consider combining their efforts and
establishing a joint distance education programme. The joint programme could aim to lead to the eventual creation of
an Open University. A major objective of this university would be to answer the unfulfilled need for university training,
since only 42 per cent of qualified applicants (16,628 out of a total of 40,062 qualified applicants) were accepted at
public universities to continue their studies in 2006, and the number of applicants will grow further in the future.


Opportunities for improving training outside of the
formal education system should also be encouraged.
This means that technical education, apprenticeships,
in-service training, and other means should be
supported to ensure the workforce is appropriately
skilled to master new technologies, and to meet the
demands of jobs in modern-day industry, agriculture
and services.
Priority should be given to attracting highly educated
and skilled Ghanaians in the diaspora to contribute
to Ghana’s development. As is the case with many
developing countries, a significant number of
Ghanaians have been educated overseas, where
they have stayed to become successful scientists,


engineers and business people. Attracting these
Ghanaians to return and contribute to Ghana’s
development will do much more for the country than
the remittances these émigrés might send home.
However, experience from other countries suggests
that it will take more than financial incentives to
attract skilled returnees. Professional recognition,
the opportunity to conduct high-quality research in
top facilities, and incentives to start businesses that
contribute to the country’s development are equally
important. Ghana can learn from countries such as
the Republic of Korea, China and India, which have
used a package of incentives to attract their diaspora
to return to their country of origin.




14 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Aligning the research and development (R&D) system to socio-economic needs
Ghana’s public R&D institutes and research universi-
ties need to be strengthened so that they have the
scientific capacity and equipment needed to conduct
first-class, economically relevant scientific research.
Much of the scientific knowledge generated by public
R&D institutes is not turned into useful products and
services because public R&D institutes lack the entre-
preneurial culture and incentives to work closely with
the private sector. Local private-sector firms do not
see the advantage of investing in R&D or working with
R&D institutes to improve their competitiveness and
productivity. Foreign companies operating in Ghana
also make little use of Ghana’s domestic R&D insti-
tutes. Ghana will not be able to develop globally com-
petitive agricultural and industrial enterprises without
mobilizing the scientific knowledge and technological
expertise in these R&D institutes.
R&D must become much more focused on Ghana’s
development challenges. Public research institutes
should view themselves as “technological service
providers” whose mission it is to support local
firms, farmers, and other economic actors for the
development of their local economies. Universities
must be more fully utilized for development, not only
by producing an educated workforce, but by working
more closely with the private sector, modernizing
agriculture and agribusiness, and undertaking
problem-oriented research to support community
needs. Accordingly, the next generation of faculty
must be trained to take over from the large number
of faculty nearing or having passed retirement age.
This faculty must be able to work in multi-disciplinary
teams and integrate research with teaching, whereas,
at present, research gets limited attention in the
activities of faculty.15
Existing areas (centres) of excellence in the research
system should be identified and nurtured. To make
this possible, the Government should abandon
its zero-sum game approach whereby successful
income-generation on the open market is penalized
by reductions in the government subvention. Good
performance should be rewarded at all levels, which
means that for budget purposes the idea of co-
funding should be introduced. If the Government
wants Ghana to become a knowledge economy, it
must realize that such a path will neither come cheap
nor be short. Knowledge workers need to be well
paid. They also need quality equipment and facilities.


The discrepancy in salary between scientists at the
institutes and academics at the universities is not
justified.
Likewise, at universities, an effort to attract top-notch
scientists and to reward them with working conditions
commensurate with their impact – a lighter teaching
load, fully sponsored postgraduate assistants,
acceptable lab facilities, and so on – would improve
the ability of the universities to increase their presence,
even if only selectively, in global knowledge networks.
In these selected centres of excellence, it is important
that rules and incentives facilitate a market for ideas,
seed funding, and project execution, so that the most
vibrant and relevant parts of the research infrastructure
can grow while those that do not produce what is
expected of them are allowed to close down.
The research system must become more efficient.
This concerns staffing levels at the research institutes,
in particular. Core/support staff ratios in Ghana bear
little comparison to those in similar organizations
elsewhere. Across the system, the management of
research, technology, people, and their ideas must
become more professional.
Research funding decisions should be shifted to an
independent body that manages grant applications
on a competitive basis, selected on an independent,
peer-review and technical-review basis. Public funding
for research should be increasingly shifted away from
government subvention and to competitive schemes
in order to ensure that the best ideas are getting
support.
The research system must substantially increase its
external income. This requires, first and foremost, a
motivated scientific and academic workforce. Hence,
powerful incentives must be put in place to encourage
people to win (especially) international research
tenders and to commercialize technological innovation.
Secondly, it requires a supportive and professionally
managed environment in which researchers can
rely on upstream (e.g. tender opportunity scanning)
and downstream (e.g. marketing, network-building,
commercialization, IP management) services whose
delivery is essential for the success of core activities.
Finally, the entire system should increase its self-
reflexivity. Annual reports should be taken more
seriously. Strategic plans that are not updated on
a regular basis have little use. Reviews should be
undertaken at regular intervals, including through
external panels, in order to monitor whether the system




15CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


Box 1.5. Modernizing public research institutes: A model from Colombia
The Colombian Plastic and Rubber Training and Research Institute (ICIPC)16 was founded as a non-profit organization. Its
mission is “turning knowledge into wealth” by contributing to technological innovation leading to increased productivity
and competitiveness from the rubber and plastics cluster in Colombia. The Institute started its activities in 1993, and is
now widely acknowledged as one of the most successful of the more than 30 technology development/transfer centres
currently operating in various Colombian industries.
The portfolio of ICIPC activities is made up of applied R&D activities funded by government and international grants, as
well as contracts with private firms (about 65 per cent), laboratory testing services (about 12 per cent), training activities
(about 10 per cent) and specialized consulting services. The staff consists of just 20 people, of whom 13 have MSc or PhD
degrees (mostly earned abroad). Employees must have multi-faceted skill profiles – for example researcher, professor
and consultant combined with management and marketing skills. Modern equipment and infrastructure resources
allow the staff to provide up-to-date technology-transfer, educational and consulting services to a large number of firms
producing and using rubber and plastic products in Colombia and some neighbouring countries.
Besides the highly qualified personnel and the modern infrastructure, the secret of ICIPC’s success is its active
networking programmes with local as well as foreign academic, R&D and industrial organizations. For example, in
addition to education and training collaboration with EAFIT University, ICIPC has working relationships with four other
Colombian universities, as well as the University of Wisconsin (United States) and the Universidad del País Vasco (Spain).
As a result, ICIPC is able to offer not only short-term seminars, workshops and customized training modules for plastic
industry enterprises, but also the formal “Programme of Specialization in Plastic and Rubber Conversion Processes”
and “Master’s in Engineering of Polymer Processing” programmes (both jointly with EAFIT University). A postgraduate
programme is likely to be offered in the near future.
Another secret of ICIPC’s success is its active work with existing international databases, including those of the United
States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Abstracts of Japan, Dialogue, STN, Science Direct, and others. Performing
extensive information searches prior to any R&D work has been a standard practice in ICIPC since 2003, and this service
has become quite popular with its clients (in 2003–2005 it was used by 73 enterprises).
Searching for existing foreign technologies and adapting them to the needs of local enterprises probably makes up the
bulk of ICIPC’s R&D activities. This is an appropriate model for any technology dissemination agency, but particularly
one in a small economy such as Colombia or Ghana where the absolute scale of national R&D will, by definition, be quite
small relative to global R&D output. In addition, ICIPC also produces some original R&D results, as evidenced by the
9 patents which it has already applied for or received. It intends to license these patents to its client enterprises.


is on track. Ghana’s research system is in general
very poorly documented. Poor documentation comes
at a cost to the system in terms of low (international)
visibility, consequently fewer chances to get involved
in global knowledge networks, and therefore foregone
opportunities to exploit S&T for local development.
Experiences from CSIR, South Africa, India and
Colombia (see box 1.5) show that CSIR’s sister
organizations have confronted – and adapted to –
change in their economic environment. This has often
entailed very considerable modifications to the way
they operate. Along the way, their performance has
improved. Hence, the way in which these systems
are run determines in no small way what and how
they deliver. Ghana can learn from these insights. For
example, over a period of under a decade (1999–


2005), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) went
from an exclusive focus on training highly skilled
people, to making use of their intellectual assets for
economic development while also generating revenue
for themselves. Whereas patent applications at the
IITs did not even amount to a handful in the early
1990s, the three universities filed nearly 90 patents in
2005. Sponsored research and industrial consultancy
projects more than tripled at the IITs over the same
period. All of this happened in an institutional context
comprising technology transfer offices (TTOs),
industrial liaison agencies, entrepreneurship cells
and incubation units. Perhaps most importantly,
the spillovers associated with public–private
collaborations led to more economic activity in the
form of start-up firms and job creation.




16 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Setting priorities and creating
an implementation plan
Ghana should not begin by attempting to fix the entire
STI system at once. Ghana’s public STI investments,
equivalent to about $49 million per year (most of
which goes on salaries and fixed costs at the public
research institutes) are small in comparison to the
size of Ghana’s STI needs. Discretionary funding for
R&D amounts to less than $10 million annually. This
is equivalent to only a few small research grants per
institution if the funds were spread equally across
Ghana’s system of twenty to thirty research-focused
institutes and universities. The private sector does
not yet contribute significantly to STI investments.
Therefore, the Government should set clear priorities
for its STI budget and focus its resources on those
areas. This is not the situation today. Currently the
STI budget is spread thinly over the public institutes,
leaving little funding to promote innovation and
technological development in the private sector or
even for research expenditures in the public system.
In the short term, Ghana must find existing sources of
demand in its domestic market for technology around
which to build its STI capacity. Examples of this might
include planned investments in modernizing agricul-
ture, ongoing investments in national infrastructure,
oil and gas industry development, or investments in
modernization of government. Similarly, Ghanaian
firms can provide technologically-based services to
donor agencies – Ghanaian firms competing for and


winning contracts to supply aid agencies in the areas
of roads, health, education and communications.
Building STI capacity around existing demand
offers both the opportunity for near-term productivity
improvements and direct economic pay-offs, as well
as an opportunity to generate the resources for long-
term STI capacity-building. For example, a firm that
finds a niche installing modern irrigation systems
at farms builds up its own capacity to upgrade
technology through its own earnings. This same firm
then raises its own level of technology and innovation
investments as it grows, and demands technology
from equipment suppliers, research from agriculture-
focused research institutes, and graduates from
university agricultural engineering programmes. By
focusing a government programme around this type
of niche that has existing demand in the marketplace,
it is possible to build up a critical mass of firms and
providers and sustainable STI funding.
The country’s newly updated national STI policy
provides a basis for setting STI capacity-building
priorities. This document should be supported by
a practical implementation plan that sets priorities,
measurable objectives, deadlines, and funding plans.
To ensure that a national STI policy is implemented,
Ghana needs to develop and use a clear multi-year
(say, 10-year) rolling implementation strategy. The
strategy should have clear benchmarks and articulation
of institutional responsibilities. It should distinguish
between short- and medium-term objectives and
long-term capacity-building challenges.




17CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW


NOTES
1 The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009–2010 is available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/


GCR09/GCR20092010fullreport.pdf.
2 A list of the participants and minutes from the initial STIP Review planning meeting is available from CSIR-STEPRI.


Stakeholders were drawn from business, academia, scientific bodies and civil society.
3 President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana (2002). Meeting the Challenges of Education in the


Twenty-first Century.
4 The research system review covered the following research and higher education institutions: the Council of Scientific


and Industrial Research (CSIR) – specifically the Crop Research Institute (CRI, Kumasi); the Food Research Institute (FRI,
Accra); the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR, Accra); the Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI, Kade); the Centre for Scientific
Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM, Mampong-Akuapem); the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG, Tafu); the
University of Ghana at Legon (UoG, Legon); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST, Kumasi); and
the University of Cape Coast (UCC, Cape Coast).


5 CRIG publications are for 2000. The figure for CSIR ISI publications might partially overlap with those of the institutes; it is
not the total for the entire organization.


6 This terminology was popularized by economist Alexander Gershenkron.
7 See, for example, Shanta Devarajan (World Bank Chief Economist for Africa) in China’s Miracle Demystified, available at


http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/china-s-miracle-demystified.
8 Portions of this paragraph are adapted from “Science, technology and public policymaking in Ghana”, a keynote address


given by Professor Edward S. Ayensu at the eighth Public Service Commission Annual Lecture. May 2005.
9 See, for example, http://www.scidev.net/en/opinions/africa-analysis-lateral-thinking-for-research-funding.html.
10 Sandwich programmes most commonly support university students to train at foreign universities for the middle two years


of their studies and at a home country university for the first and fourth years.
11 See the background study on STI in Ghana’s Food and Agro Processing Industry for a detailed discussion of this topic.
12 Association of Ghana Industries (2007).
13 For a detailed discussion of this topic, see the background study on innovation in Ghana’s traditional and herbal medicine


sector in part II of this report.
14 For a detailed discussion of this topic, see the background study on ICTs in Ghana’s education system in Part II of this


report.
15 The limited attention to research is the result of several factors, including the explosive growth in enrolments, limited


research funding, few incentives to carry out peer-reviewed and published research at universities, and other factors. For
further discussion of the topic, see the report of the University of Ghana Visitation Panel, available at http://www.col.org/
SiteCollectionDocuments/UofGhana_no%20picsweb.pdf.


16 For additional information on ICIPC, see http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/best_practices/icipc_colombia.htm.






BACKGROUND STUDIES


PART 2






Ghana’s National Innovation System




22 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


2.1 Introduction
There is substantial evidence that technological
development and innovation – the production and use
of knowledge as well as the creation and adoption of
new products (goods and services) and new ways
of doing things – are keys to creating sustained
economic growth and improved standards of living.
They are central to the economic and social progress
and trade competitiveness of nations, and to their
development, although they are not on their own a
panacea for growth and development. High-income
and middle-income countries are largely characterized
by high levels of innovative capacity and activities.
The production and application of knowledge are also
critical for poverty reduction and the attainment of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to face
pressing environmental concerns such as adaptation
to and mitigation of climate change.1
Ghana’s Government recognizes the role of knowl-
edge and innovation in transforming the economy,
reducing poverty and increasing the country’s com-
petitiveness in international and regional trade. This
recognition is reflected in various political and policy
statements of the Government. For example, Vision
2020 – the country’s long-term framework for develop-
ment – prepared by the National Development Plan-
ning Commission of Ghana, lays emphasis on the role
of local entrepreneurship and technological develop-
ment in the attainment of sustainable development of
the country. Ghanaian policymakers and politicians
occasionally make reference to the roles that science,
technology and innovation play in economic dev-
elopment, and why their country should invest more
in research and development (R&D). However, these
statements have often not been backed up by specific
actions. The private sector remains relatively under-
developed, and is unlikely on its own to be capable of
generating innovation of the type – and on the scale
– needed to create a dynamic engine of growth in the
medium and longer term without a more supportive
policy environment that promotes innovation.
The country’s national innovation (NIS) system is
relatively small and underdeveloped compared to
those of middle-income countries, such as India.


While its overall economic and political governance
framework has been improved considerably during
the past eight years or so, its policies and institutions
for science, technology and innovation have not
been modernized or aligned to economic growth and
human development goals. Some of its R&D institutes
date back to (or were established during) the colonial
period. These institutes have been instrumental in
generating scientific knowledge and promoting the
development of technology. However, there is still
much more that the Government of Ghana needs to
do to modernize them and stimulate the growth of a
national system of innovation.
This chapter presents a profile of the institutions,
policies and linkages that characterize Ghana’s
science, technology and innovation system. It focuses
on the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s
system of innovation. It examines the nature of the
policies, programmes and institutions that Ghana
has put in place in order to promote technological
innovation for economic growth and development.
The study places emphasis on the nature of the
institutional arrangements that Ghana needs in
order to build a dynamic system of innovation
that stimulates innovation among enterprises and
supports technological development. This is seen as
important in order to provide an enabling environment
that is supportive and helps stimulate technological
development and innovation in the private sector,
which, at present, remains underdeveloped and can
be characterized as investing relatively little in adopting
new technologies and in innovative activities. It is likely
that an improved incentive structure that encourages
the adoption of new technologies and investment in
innovation, along with additional support measures,
will be needed to stimulate increased private-sector
investment in STI development, as the private sector
itself grows and becomes stronger. It examines how
R&D and technology institutions are organized, funded
and used so as to contribute to the transformation of
the economy into a middle-income one. Linkages
among public institutions and between public-sector
organizations and private firms are explored.
The first section is a brief overview of the country’s
economic setting. It discusses economic trends,
foreign direct investment (FDI), and the trade policies
and exports of Ghana. The second section focuses
on the science and technology institutions, while the
third section deals with related policies. The fourth
section discusses the strengths and weaknesses of




23CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


Ghana’s innovation system. The last section offers
recommendations for building the national innovation
system to enable Ghana to achieve the status of a
middle-income economy.


2.2 Economic outlook and prospects
2.2.1 Macroeconomic performance and conditions
Ghana’s economy has been experiencing growth
since the early years of the new millennium. In 2007,
real GDP growth reached an estimated 6 per cent.2
The growth of Ghana’s economy is largely due to
good performance and higher productivity in the
agricultural sector, as well as strong commodity prices
for cocoa and gold. The upsurge in economic growth
is also associated with improved or better economic
policies, a stable political environment, increased
domestic private-sector investment, and increased
levels of FDI.
In common with most African countries, the economy
of Ghana is largely based on natural resources.
Agriculture is Ghana’s main economic activity.
Agriculture accounted for 34.7 per cent of GDP in
2007.3 Cocoa is the main cash crop. It provides a large
proportion of national revenue and forms a big share
of exports. However, the agricultural sector’s growth is
constrained by poor infrastructure and technological
backwardness. The country’s agriculture is largely
rain-fed. There is limited irrigation. Storage facilities
are inadequate, and poor road infrastructure is a
major barrier to increasing agricultural productivity.
Ghana’s industrial sector is comprised of mining
and quarrying, manufacturing, and construction
subsectors. In 2007, the industrial sector accounted
for 24.6 per cent of Ghana’s GDP. In 2006, the
manufacturing subsector grew by 4.2 per cent,
compared to 5 per cent in 2005.4 The decline in the
growth of manufacturing and industrial output was
largely caused by the 2007 energy crisis, which was
associated with falling electricity output, high taxes, an
influx of cheap imports from countries such as China
and India, and poor transport infrastructure.
Services constitute the fastest-growing sector in
Ghana, making up about 30 per cent of GDP. The
services sector is comprised of the finance, tourism,
and insurance subsectors. In 2007, the services
sector grew by 8.2 per cent.5 Tourism was the
fastest-growing subsector. Between 2000 and 2006,
tourism arrivals increased by 47 per cent, while tourist
spending increased by 69 per cent.6


Ghana’s strong recent growth performance has
been accompanied by noticeable achievements in
poverty reduction. According to Bogetic et al. (2008:
20), “Ghana is likely to face good growth prospects
and is likely to achieve the poverty MDG well ahead
of schedule… [M]icro-simulations show that the
proportion of Ghanaians living below the poverty line
could fall to 11.4 per cent, an impressive achievement
for a country where more than half of the population
lived in poverty in 1990.” Nevertheless, poverty is still
widespread, and some 45 per cent of the population
lives on less than $1 a day.7 In addition, economic
conditions have deteriorated in most countries since
the start of the global financial and economic crisis
in 2008 – including in Ghana (despite its apparent
relatively strong resilience so far) – and will make
achieving the MDGs an even greater challenge.
The Government of Ghana has adopted and pursued
two growth and poverty-reduction strategies (GPRS
and GPRS II), with the objectives of significantly
reducing poverty, improving basic infrastructure (such
as roads, water and sanitation), improving education,
and accelerating private-sector development, inter
alia. GPRS II expresses support for building science
and technology capacity, but does not suggest
programmes to directly promote this goal.
Despite the Government’s efforts, prospects for long-
term economic change and growth are undermined
by Ghana’s overreliance on exports of primary
commodities. The economy’s potential for higher
performance will also continue to be constrained by
the high cost and difficulty of obtaining financing, the
underdeveloped transport infrastructure, unclear land
ownership, frequent power and water cuts, and low
levels of human capital development.
2.2.2 Foreign direct investment and private-sector


development
The Government of Ghana has adopted a wide range of
policy, institutional and legislative measures to attract
FDI. The main foreign investors or sources of FDI are
the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Germany, China, the
United States, India, Nigeria and South Africa. Most
of the investments are in mining and manufacturing.8
In 1994, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
(GIPC) was created to govern investments in all
sectors except minerals and mining. GIPC has
reduced the amount of bureaucracy for registering
foreign companies and for the licensing of projects.
Ghana was ranked 87th out of 181 countries by Doing




24 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Business 2009 in the ease of doing business list
(World Bank, 2008).
FDI flows to Ghana have contributed to the generation
of employment and building of skills. According to
UNCTAD (2003b), FDI has had direct and multiplier
effects on the level of employment, its quality, and
the skills of the labour force, but in some sectors this
has not contributed to promoting labour-intensive
activities. In mining, for example, capital-intensive
production has created relatively few low-skilled
jobs, but it has led to productivity improvements and
skills upgrading. However, there is a skills shortage,
which acts as a disincentive for FDI flows. Ghana’s
education system does not produce graduates who
meet or have qualifications for foreign investors’
qualification requirements (UNCTAD 2003b: 12).
The Government of Ghana has initiated a number of
reforms in the education sector in order to strengthen
the technical content of teaching and training in
Ghanaian institutions. Some of these reforms are
discussed later in this study.
Related to efforts at attracting increased FDI flows
are the Government of Ghana’s efforts to promote
development of the local or indigenous private sector.
Private-sector development in the country has been
sluggish. According to the African Development
Bank (AfDB), “private-sector investment has fallen
from about 57 per cent of aggregate investments in
the early 1990s to below 50 per cent in 2004. The
share of private fixed capital formation in GDP, which
improved from 7.1 per cent in 1995 to reach 14.5
per cent in 2000, declined to 12.5 per cent of GDP
in 2004.”9 Foreign-owned private-sector activities are
concentrated in banking, food processing, refining,
and aluminum-smelting.
The creation of free trade zones is one of the efforts
to promote private-sector development. The zones
are mainly located near the seaports of Tema and
Takoradi, and near Kotoka Airport. However there
are other firms, located in other parts of the country,
operating under the free zone licence. Incentives such
as a year’s corporate tax holiday and zero duty on
imports are provided to enterprises that export at least
70 per cent of their outputs. Foreign firms located in
the free trade zones are expected to mentor local or
indigenous businesses.
Despite the Government’s efforts to stimulate private-
sector development, there are still major constraints.
These include poor and inadequate transport


infrastructure, inadequate and unreliable energy
supply, and paucity of skilled labour. The GPRS and
GPRS II outline some of the measures planned by
government to remove these impediments.
On the whole, Ghana’s Government has put a lot of
effort into stimulating private-sector investment and
infrastructure development. These efforts are crucial
in creating an effective national system of innovation.
The next section is a review of institutions and policies
that have been established to promote the production
and use of science and technology for Ghana’s
development.


2.3 Science and technology institutions
2.3.1 Public research and development institutions10
Ghana has many public institutions dedicated to
R&D. The largest and oldest public R&D institution
is the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research,
established in 1968. It evolved out of the National
Research Council, which had been established in 1958
to coordinate scientific research.11 The overall
mandate of the CSIR is to generate and apply
science and technologies for the socio-economic
development of the country. The CSIR coordinates all
aspects of scientific research in the country, and aims
to encourage and promote the commercialization of
research results.
The CSIR has 13 research institutes covering
agricultural, industrial, natural resources and
policy research areas. These are the Science and
Technology Policy Research Institute, the Animal
Research Institute, the Crop Research Institute, the
Food Research Institute, the Oil Palm Institute, the
Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, the Building
and Road Research Institute, the Institute for Scientific
and Technological Information, the Soil Research
Institute, the Plant Genetic Resources Centre, the
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, and the Water
Research Institute. These institutes and the CSIR as
a whole hold the biggest pool of scientists in Ghana.
In 1996, the legislation establishing the CSIR was
amended in order to emphasize the importance of the
Council and its institutes focusing more on working
with the private sector, and taking on technological
innovation activities – as opposed to a narrow focus
on R&D. The CSIR is expected to generate part of its
income through the development and sale of products
and services.




25CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), the
Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial
Service (GRATIS) Foundation, the Ghana Institute
of Clinical Genetics, and the Centre for Scientific
Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) are other
national public R&D institutions forming part of
Ghana’s national system of innovation. CRIG was
established in 1957, but its parent institution, the
West African Cocoa Research Institute (WACRI),
was established much earlier in 1938. It is located at
Tafo, in one of the cocoa-growing regions of Ghana.
The Institute has approximately 35 scientists, 112
technicians, and a large administrative and support
staff. It has been instrumental in developing new
varieties of cocoa which are resistant to swollen shoot
virus and black pod infections.
The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is
another public institution engaged in R&D. The GAEC
has three institutes: the Radiation Protection Institute
(RPI), the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural
Research Institute (BNARI) and the National Nuclear
Research Institute (NNRI). These are largely dedicated
to nuclear research for agriculture, health and energy
purposes.
The NNRI is also a public R&D institution. It employs
approximately 60 scientists and engineers and
15 technicians. Its main source of funding is the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which
provides about $500,000 per year. The Government


of Ghana contributes funds for salaries and some of
the running costs. The Institute’s programmes focus
on the application of atomic and nuclear techniques
to solve agricultural, health and industrial problems in
Ghana.
The GRATIS Foundation evolved out of the GRATIS
Project. The project was established by the
Government of Ghana in 1987 to promote small-
scale industrialization in Ghana through the creation
of technology-transfer units in universities and other
R&D institutes. The GRATIS Project was transformed
into a private company – the GRATIS Foundation
– after the establishment of regional technology
transfer centres in nine regions of Ghana to transfer
appropriate technologies to small-scale industrialists
through training, manufacturing and the supply of
machine tools, plants and equipment. The Foundation
coordinates the activities and provides backstopping
to its network of regional technology transfer centres.
Funding for the establishment of regional technology
transfer centres was provided by the Government of
Ghana, the European Union (EU), and the Canadian
International Development Agency.
One of the leading medical research institutes is the
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. It
is a semi-autonomous institute established in 1979
as a constituent member of the College of Health
Sciences, University of Ghana. The Institute was built
and donated to Ghana by the Government of Japan. It


Institution Total Staff Researchers (Senior members) Senior Staff Junior Staff Others
CSIR 3,813 ... ... ... ...
INSTI 79 22 36 31 ...
SARI 535 42 35 458 ...
OPRI 440 23 36 179 202
FRI 170 35 51 ... ...
CRI 883 83 100 ... 700
ARI 295 27 44 96 95
IIR 135 38 44 53 ...
BRRI 211 53 56 83 19
SRI 372 26 32 257 57
WRI 249 68 65 116 ...
PGRRI 127 10 12 54 51
FORIG 286 47 61 74 104
CRIG 147 35 ... 112 ...


Sources: UNESCO (2007: 15-16), CRIG website, CSIR website.


Table 2.1. Research staff at CSIR Institutes and CRIG, 2007




26 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


is the leading biomedical research centre in Ghana
specializing in communicable diseases and nutrition.
The Institute also provides postgraduate training in
medical research. It has state-of-the-art laboratories,
including a P3 laboratory, and nine research
units covering bacteriology, clinical pathology,
histopathology, epidemiology, immunology, laboratory
animals, nutrition, parasitology and virology. More than
45 senior research scientists are employed by the
Institute.
Public R&D is also conducted in public universities.
Leading Ghanaian universities with R&D programmes
are the University of Ghana (Legon), the Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the
University of Cape Coast (Cape Coast), the University
of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa, and the Ghana
Telecom University College. These universities work
closely with the CSIR and the other public R&D
institutions. Although teaching constitutes a major
part of their programme, they are devoting some
resources to R&D activities.
2.3.2 Higher education and training institutions
Ghana has seven public universities. These are
the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology, the University of Ghana (Legon), the
University of Cape Coast (Cape Coast), the University
of Mines and Technology (Tarkwa), the Ghana Telecom
University (Tesano), the University for Development


Studies (Tamale) and the University of Education
(Winneba). There are 22 private universities and
colleges accredited with the National Accreditation
Board. Of the private universities, only a few have
degree courses in science and technology – for
example, the Regent University College of Science
and Technology, Ghana Telecom University, and
Central University College.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology was originally established in 1951 as
the Kumasi College of Technology. The College was
upgraded in 1961 to university status. In 1998, it was
named the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology. The aim of the university is to produce
high-calibre graduates with knowledge and expertise
to contribute to the industrial and socio-economic
development of the country. It has research and
teaching programmes in agriculture, mining, energy,
ICT and engineering. The University has a technology
transfer centre to promote the commercialization
of research results and technologies, particularly to
industry. About 76.6 per cent of the teaching staff at
KNUST have science and technology backgrounds
and 23.4 per cent have arts and social science
qualifications. The University has the highest enrolment
in science and technology courses in Ghana.
The University of Ghana is another of the country’s
major educational and training institutions. Founded
during the colonial days, the University has established


Science Programs First degree Post graduateMale Female Male Female Total
Electrical & Computer Engineering 848 103 0 0 951
Civil & Geodetic Engineering 949 143 42 3 1134
Mechanical & Agric Engineering 804 85 36 0 925
Chemical & Material Engineering 617 139 27 6 789
Physical Sciences 1728 416 52 3 2199
Biosciences 763 518 47 18 1346
Pharmacy 344 267 6 6 623
Allied Health Sciences 277 202 18 8 505
School Medical Sciences 979 739 78 52 720
Agriculture 551 142 44 6 743
Renewable Natural Res. 580 226 27 9 842
Architecture & Building Technology 792 218 64 25 1099
Planning & Land Economy 678 292 54 22 1046
Total 9910 3490 495 158 12922


Source: KNUST Basic Statistics, 2005-2006.


Table 2.2. Graduate Enrollment in S&T courses in KNUST – 2005/2006




27CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


teaching and research programmes in basic sciences,
engineering, agriculture and medicine. It also has a
strong orientation to humanities and social sciences.
The University of Cape Coast, established in 1971,
has research and teaching programmes in agriculture,
physical sciences, and biological sciences. However,
most of its resources are devoted to undergraduate
and postgraduate teaching.
The country has 10 public polytechnics, one in each
of its 10 provinces or regions. These are Accra
Polytechnic (Accra), Kumasi Polytechnic (Kumasi),
Cape Coast Polytechnic (Cape Coast), Ho Polytechnic
(Ho), Koforidua Polytechnic (Koforidua), Bolgatanga
Polytechnic (Bolgatanga), Sunyani Polytechnic
(Sunyani), Tamale Polytechnic (Tamale), Wa
Polytechnic (Wa) and Takoradi Polytechnic (Takoradi).
Student enrolment in the universities and polytechnics
has increased considerably in the past five years.
In 1997, about 33,000 students were enrolled in
the universities and polytechnics. In the 2006/07
academic year, an estimated 135,000 students were
enrolled in tertiary education, mainly in the universities
and polytechnics.12 However, enrolment in science
and engineering courses has not increased to meet
demand. A study conducted in 2002 showed that
“enrolment in bachelor of arts and management
programmes as a percentage of total enrolment in
the universities has been above 65 per cent and is
increasing, from 65 per cent in 1994/95 to 68 per cent
in 1999/2000. During the period 1994/95–1999/2000,
the share of total courses increased by 4.1 percentage
points, while courses in medicine, engineering and
other sciences declined by 0.3, 0.5 and 3.3 points
respectively.”13 This is a worrying trend in the context


of attempts to build a capable scientific and technical
workforce.
The private sector is starting to play a major role in
education service delivery in Ghana. There is an
increasing number of private tertiary education and
training institutions in the country. There is a general
view that it has increased in response to excess
demand for higher-level education and training in
such areas as ICT.
2.3.3 Funding research and development in Ghana
Research and development (R&D) in Ghana is largely
funded by the Government. The Government has
annual budgetary allocations for MOE, MEST, and
other line ministries, through which most of the public
R&D is funded. This amounts to at least 70 per cent
of the funding for public R&D institutions. The country
does not have a specific institution dedicated to
financing science, technology and innovation or R&D
programmes. Some of the public R&D institutions
rely on grants from international donors in order to
conduct R&D activities. Often such activities are
project-based or project-oriented and the funding is
short-term in nature.
Although there are no reliable up-to-date statistics or
data on public expenditure on R&D, most estimates
indicate that the country spends less than 0.3
per cent of its GDP on R&D. This is well below the
African Union’s agreed-upon target of 1 per cent of
GDP to be spent on R&D by every member State.
A study undertaken by UNCTAD (2003a) noted that
“allocations to the Ministry of Environment, Science
and Technology constitute only about 0.25 per cent
of the GDP, a reflection of the importance accorded
to science and technology and the environment.


Year Humanities Science TotalMale Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
1999 1705 870 2575 547 223 770 2252 1093 3345
2000 2633 1279 3912 554 213 730 3187 1492 4679
2001 2797 1543 4340 496 211 707 3293 1754 5047
2002 3061 1769 4830 711 331 1042 3772 2100 5872
2003 3769 2444 6213 1343 733 2076 5112 3177 8289
2004 3743 2626 6369 823 394 1217 4566 3020 7586
2005 3920 2839 6759 631 365 996 4551 3204 7755
2006 3387 2403 5790 819 390 1209 4206 2793 6999
Total (1999-2006) 25015 15773 40788 5924 2860 8747 30939 18633 49572


Source: University of Ghana Basic Statistics, 1999- 2007.


Table 2.3. Students’ enrollment in Science and Technology Courses at the University of Ghana, by gender 1999-2006




28 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Moreover, only about two fifths of the Ministry’s budget
is used for research.”
Funding to R&D has not been predictable. According
to Adarkwa (2008), “over the years, R&D funding as a
percentage of GDP has been erratic in Ghana. Ghana
achieved the highest funding as a percentage of GDP in
1986. Generally, R&D funding as a percentage of GDP
was relatively better from 1975 to 1986. Since then,
the country’s performance has slackened. Overall,
support in terms of research funding has largely
been inadequate. For example, in 2004, 81 per cent
of the Ghanaian Government’s budgetary allocation
to the CSIR was for personnel emoluments, with only
9 per cent for research activities.”14 Funding levels for
research activities continue to be low, as described in
detail in chapter 3.
In mid-2008, the Government of Ghana announced the
establishment of the national Science and Technology
Research Endowment Fund (STREFund), with
initial capital or seed money of approximately
$500,000 (500,000 Ghanaian cedis). This Fund will
operate as an independent funding mechanism,
registered as a private company, with legal flexibility
to receive funds from private companies. Private
companies contributing to the Fund will get a tax
incentive package to be determined by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Fund will be governed by a board
of trustees of nine persons, representing the CSIR,
the Association of Ghana Industries, the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Planning, universities, the
National Council of Tertiary Education, the Ghana
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Ghana
Atomic Energy Commission. The CSIR is expected
to coordinate and administer the operations of the
Fund.
Private-sector funding for R&D in Ghana is relatively
small, too. It is estimated that the private sector
accounts for only 2 per cent of the total funding
for R&D in Ghana (UNESCO, 2007). Most of the
multinational companies conduct or support R&D in
their home countries (UNCTAD, 2003a). Local private
companies rely on R&D undertaken by institutions
such as the CSIR and public universities.
Ghana has many financial institutions. Most of them
are commercial or development banks. There are also
many registered rural banks in the country. Most of
these financial institutions are not directly involved in
financing R&D and technology-development projects.
The exceptions are the Agricultural Development Bank


and the National Investment Bank. The Agricultural
Development Bank has in the past contracted the
CSIR to undertake agricultural research, while the
National Investment Bank has contracted the Ghana
Atomic Energy Commission to conduct research on
the industrial use of atomic energy.
2.3.4 Technology support and regulatory agencies
Ghana’s institutions for technology development
and support include the Ghana Standards Board
(GSB), the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), and the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FDB
is responsible for regulating the manufacture of
food products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and
chemicals. All food products must be registered by
the FDB before they are placed on the market. The
Board is also responsible for approving clinical trials
and testing of pharmaceuticals.
The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible
for assessing the environmental impacts of
technologies and of innovation activities. The EPA
plays a major role in licensing new projects in mining
and manufacture. The National Biosafety Committee
(now placed under MEST) is the focal body for
biosafety issues. The EPA and the National Biosafety
Committee therefore both have a crucial role to play in
determining the development, diffusion and adoption
of modern biotechnology.
The Ghana Standards Board is responsible for
the overall management and coordination of
standardization issues in Ghana.15 GSB deals with
quality standards for foods, metals, pharmaceuticals
and other products. It conducts quality tests and
issues quality assurance certificates. The GSB has
some modern facilities for testing and metrology. Some
private companies seek calibration services from GSB.
One of the challenges that GSB faces relates to the
low levels of awareness of the importance of product
quality and standards. Generally, Ghanaian public and
private institutions are unaware of the various quality
standards and the importance of meeting standards
in order to be competitive in international markets.
GSB has a public outreach programme that is aimed
at raising awareness about the importance of quality
standards and the role of the Board.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)
is another key player in promoting technology
development and innovation activities. It is responsible
for coordinating and monitoring all investment
activities. GIPC supports both domestic and foreign




29CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


investors to identify and initiate new projects. It
supports technology development projects by
collecting, analysing and disseminating information
about investment opportunities and sources of
investment capital. It also provides advisory services
on the choice or suitability of partners in joint-venture
projects. GIPC registers and keeps records of all
technology transfer agreements relating to FDI.
The Registrar-General’s Department is the custodian of
intellectual property law and the register of companies
in Ghana. It houses industrial property information and
information on the nature and operations of foreign
and local companies. It is thus a source of information
on technologies and on innovation activities in Ghana.
The Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) is responsible
for promoting commodity-processing/manufacturing
activities, by establishing export processing zones. It
also encourages the development of commercial and
service activities within the ports of Ghana. GFZB is
thus an important institution to support the diffusion
of innovations and promote procurement of new
technologies. In 2007, there were 170 enterprises in
Ghana’s four export processing zones, involved in a
wide range of innovation activities – particularly agro-
processing, textile and garment production, and the
production of plastics.
The National Board for Small-Scale Industries,
established in 1981, focuses on promoting the
development of micro and small-scale enterprises. It
has a range of programmes for enterprise improvement
and runs district-based business advisory centres to
promote entrepreneurship.
Other institutions for technology development and
innovation support in Ghana are the Public Utilities
Regulatory Commission, the Ghana National
Procurement Agency, and the Ghana Export Promotion
Council. In collaboration with the United Nations
Industrial Organization (UNIDO), the Government
of Ghana is establishing the national Technology
Innovation Centre for Capital Goods (TICCG). TICCG
will focus on promoting technology prospecting and
emerging technologies, by providing mechanisms
for bridging the gap between market demands and
existing technologies, and on promoting public–
private partnerships for the development of the capital
goods industry in Ghana. It will provide existing and
new firms with information and know-how to enhance
(a) technological performance in manufacturing; (b)
quality of goods; and (c) competitiveness. This will be


achieved through the transfer of advances/innovations
in related capital goods technologies.
2.3.5 Advisory and policymaking institutions
The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology
(MEST) is the main institution responsible for the
formulation of policies for scientific research and
technology development. Until 2009, science and
technology policy formulation and coordination were
under the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports
(MOESS). To a large extent, MOESS’s STI policies
focused on R&D.
There are a number of other key government
ministries and public institutions that play a prominent
role in policy formulation and implementation. These
include the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the National
Development Planning Commission, the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), and the
Ministry of Food and Agriculture. MOTI is responsible
for formulating and overseeing the implementation of
Ghana’s industrial policy. The industrial policy aims
at adding value to the country’s natural resources,
and at promoting an increased industrial share in
GDP. MOFEP influences R&D and innovation policies
mainly through budgeting. For example, in 2007, the
Ministry allocated funds for a Science, Technology
and Research Endowment Fund.
The National Development Planning Commission is
largely an advisory body, charged with a wide range
of policy areas. It is responsible for Ghana Vision 2020
and for such other policy initiatives as the preparation
of poverty reduction strategies. It has a mandate to
advise the President on development planning policy
and strategy, and is therefore expected to play a major
role in the formulation of innovation policy.
There is also the Parliamentary Committee on
Environment, Science and Technology, which has a
mandate related to policymaking and to monitoring
the implementation of research and innovation
programmes. This Committee lacks research
support and an information base. It has tended to be
reactionary rather than responsive and anticipatory.
The Committee has not been able to ensure that
science, technology and innovation issues to receive
enough attention in the proceedings of Parliament.
The CSIR’s Science and Technology Policy Research
Institute plays a major role in policy-making in Gha-
na. STEPRI’s mandates include undertaking science
and technology policy studies; facilitating the com-
mercialization of technological innovations; conduct-




30 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ing innovation studies with an emphasis on biotech-
nology and ICT; and assessing and monitoring the
implementation of science, technology and innova-
tion policies. STEPRI has designed and implemented
a number of projects that have contributed to shap-
ing government policies. It has also been contracted
or funded by international organizations such as the
World Bank, UNDP, and the United Kingdom’s De-
partment for International Development (DFID) to im-
plement projects relating to science and innovation
policy.
The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences is another
key institution whose work pertains to science,
technology and innovation policy. Established in 1959,
the Academy has a membership of leading Ghanaian
academics that aim at promoting the pursuit,
advancement and dissemination of knowledge in all
fields of sciences and the humanities. It has been a
source of scientific advice to the Government, and
particularly the presidency, on a wide range of policy
issues such as biosafety, biotechnology, climate
change, and biodiversity conservation.


2.4 Science, technology and innovation
policy regimes


2.4.1 Science and technology policy
Ghana’s National Science and Technology Policy of
2000 has recently been revised. The new National
Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, finalized
in 2010, drives a vision of achieving a middle-income
country based on STI application, adoption and de-
velopment. The STI policy broadly aims at harnessing
the nation’s total STI capacity to achieve national ob-
jectives for wealth creation, poverty reduction, com-
petitiveness of enterprises, sustainable environmental
management and industrial growth. The basic objec-
tives of the policy (among others) are to:
(a) Provide the framework for inter-institutional efforts


in developing STI and programmes in all sectors
of the economy to provide the basic needs of the
society;


(b) Create the conditions for the improvement of
scientific and technological infrastructure for
research and development and innovation;


(c) Ensure that STI supports Ghana’s trade and export
drive for greater competitiveness; and


(d) Promote a science and technology culture.


The effective implementation of the STI Policy will
be guided by the key principles of relevance, cost-
effectiveness, realism, synergy, and partnerships,
among others. The principal thrust of the national
science, technology and innovation policy is that
advances, insights, tools and practices that derive from
science and technology will be sought and applied
in all ministries, departments and agencies – indeed,
in all sectors for social and economic development.
Thus, STI will be the driver for the achievement of
sectoral goals, objectives and programmes.
A general view held by many people interviewed in the
course of preparing this study is that weak institutional
capacities – particularly within the MOESS – have
accounted for poor progress in policy implementation.
There has not been enough political and administrative
leadership to spearhead the implementation of
the National Science and Technology Policy. The
reestablishment of S&T responsibilities in 2009 under
the MEST offers an opportunity, but not a guarantee,
of improvements in policymaking coordination and
leadership for the implementation of a national STI
policy.
The Government of Ghana has adopted a National
Science and Technology Education Policy that
expands on the education section of the National STI
Policy. It outlines measures for improving vocational
and technical training, increasing science literacy,
building a science and technology culture, improving
laboratories in schools for the teaching of science
subjects, and encouraging the writing and production
of science textbooks. Science and technology policies
are also contained in other policy regimes such as
the Education Policy, the Ghana ICT for Accelerated
Development (ICT4AD) Policy of 2003, the Trade
Policy for Ghana approved by Cabinet in 2004, and
in sectoral policy statements covering agriculture,
health, the environment, private-sector development,
education and tourism.
2.4.2 Intellectual property protection legislation16
Ghana’s laws for the protection of intellectual property
are the Patent Act of 2003, the Industrial Designs Act
of 2003, the Copyright Act of 2005, the Trade Marks
Act of 2004, the Geographical Indications Act of 2003,
and the Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act
of 2004. The Registrar-General is the focal point for
intellectual property protection matters pertaining to
patents, industrial designs, and trademarks, while the




31CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


Copyright Office is responsible for issues related to
copyrights.
Ghana is a member of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) and the African Regional Industrial Property
Organization (ARIPO). It is a signatory to various
intellectual property protection treaties such as the
Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Paris Convention
(industrial property) and the Berne Convention (literary
and artistic works).
The number of patent applications filed in Ghana
increased between 2004 and 2006. In 2004, 12 patent
applications were filed; this increased to 22 in 2006.
There were 317 applications for industrial designs in
2006, mostly related to textiles. Trademark applications
in 2006 increased to 1,946 – from about 1,000 in 2004
(WTO, 2008). However, the number of patents granted
and in force is low. In 2005, there were only 4 patents
in force in Ghana (WIPO, 2007). During the same year,
there were only 3 non-resident direct patent filings.
The estimated cost of filing a patent application in
Ghana is between $2,000 and $2,200.
Ghana’s capacity to manage and use intellectual
property – particularly patents – is limited. The
Registrar-General’s office, responsible for patent
applications and information, is generally understaffed
and under-equipped. The use of patent information
by Ghanaian scientists, engineers and companies
is limited, too. This is mainly due to low levels of
awareness of intellectual property protection in
general. The enforcement of intellectual property
protection is another challenge faced by Ghana.


2.5 Assessment of the national system
of innovation


2.5.1 Innovation systems as an analytical
framework


The concept that innovation is created within systems
of innovation has gained currency and is now widely
used in academic and policy circles as an analytical
framework for studying the technological and
innovative performance of countries at the national,
subnational or industry level. A national system
of innovation is a network of institutions that are
organized through linkages “to relate to each other as
elements of a collective system of knowledge creation
and use as well as the technologies they use” (OECD,
1997: 9). Innovation systems analysis can be used to


evaluate the effectiveness of the interactive activities
of organizations and other key actors in a system or
network in accessing and diffusing knowledge and
in generating innovation (new products, processes
and organizational practices). It can be used as
a tool to help identify areas of weakness that may
warrant attention. The main institutional actors in the
national system of innovation are universities, public
R&D institutes, policymaking bodies and government
in general, private enterprises, financial institutions
such as commercial banks, and technology support
agencies. Well-functioning innovation systems
can quickly diffuse new information, ideas and
technologies among enterprises and other actors in the
system. They are needed to promote a more dynamic
and innovative private sector and drive growth in an
industry and in the economy more broadly.
Understanding the linkages among the institutional
actors involved in innovation activities or processes
is key to improving a country’s technological and
economic performance. Linkages in a national
system of innovation usually take different forms,
including joint research projects among public
institutes, joint technology development and transfer
activities between public-sector and private-sector
institutions, exchange and mobility of scientists and
engineers, technology licensing agreements, and
sharing of information and technology infrastructure.
Assessing the performance of a national system of
innovation entails tracing the various institutional links
and measuring the intensity of the interactions among
various knowledge producers and economic actors.
The interactions are supposed to be continuous and
characterized by positive feedback.
The linkages and interactions among the various
institutions in a national system of innovation can
be purposefully stimulated and nurtured by public
policies and various incentives that government puts
in place. Public policies pertaining to STI development,
intellectual property protection, competition, FDI,
trade, taxes, mobility of scientists and engineers, and
technology regulation and licensing can all influence
the evolution and growth of a national system of
innovation.
2.5.2 Characteristics of Ghana’s system of


innovation
Ghana’s national system of innovation is characterized
by the existence of many R&D institutions, several
technology support and regulatory agencies,




32 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


institutions of higher learning and training, many small
and some medium-sized and large-scale enterprises,
several foreign companies, and a good number of
financial institutions, particularly commercial banks.
There are also government ministries dedicated to
public policymaking and coordination. A profile of the
country’s institutional profile is provided in sections 2
and 3 of this study.
Generally speaking, Ghana’s institutional landscape
is quantitatively rich.17 The country has at least 16
R&D institutes, seven public universities, a number
of private universities, 10 polytechnics, several
technology support and regulatory agencies, and at
least a dozen commercial and development banks.
Some of the R&D institutions are well endowed in
terms of infrastructure (laboratories and equipment).
For example, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for
Medical Research has state-of-the-art laboratories
and equipment for medical biotechnology research.
Some of the the CSIR’s institutes also have good
laboratories. The Ghana Standards Board has modern
equipment for meteorology and product testing.
A key feature of Ghana’s institutional landscape is
the weak links and poor positive feedback between
and among institutions. A number of studies have
identified these limitations and weaknesses in
Ghana’s national system of innovation. Zachary G
(2003), UNESCO (2007) and UNCTAD (2003a) all
find weak links between research institutions and the
private sector to be one of the sources of Ghana’s
poor technological performance and relatively low
innovative capacity. For example, UNCTAD (2003a:
55) notes that Ghana’s main institution for industrial
research – the Institute of Industrial Research – “does
not have a strategy for reaching out to a broader
range of businesses and entrepreneurs, or for linking
its programme activities to the needs and demands
of the industrial production sector. Its activities are
essentially supply-driven and dictated by the limited
range of in-house expertise.”
Zachary (2003) also notes poor links between
university faculties and the private sector. While some
of the universities (for example the Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology) have created
offices dedicated to forging corporate partnerships
or alliances, many companies do not seem to be
interested in or to value R&D-type partnerships. Most
small and medium-scale enterprises largely rely on
old technologies for production, while foreign large
corporations conduct R&D in their home countries.


Very few of the foreign or local companies in Ghana
have established linkages to research institutes and
universities.
Ghana’s public R&D and higher education institutions
also have weak links and limited interactions between
and among themselves. There are very few joint
or collaborative projects between public research
institutions such as the CSIR and universities.
According to at least 90 per cent of the people
interviewed for this study in 2007 and 2008, Ghanaian
universities tend to perceive of institutions such as the
CSIR as competitors for limited funding.18 The few joint
activities that are undertaken between the institutes
of the CSIR and the public universities tend to be ad
hoc and not necessarily focused on technological
innovation. They tend to be limited to universities
promoting student internships at the CSIR and other
research institutes.
Public universities and the polytechnics have
made major contributions to the national system of
innovation by producing scientists and engineers.
However, the country has not really built a critical mass
of scientists and engineers. A recent government
report notes that although the official policy is to attain
a 60:40 ratio sciences-to-humanities manpower base
by 2020, the education system is not adequately
responding to the target, and the country as a
whole lacks a strategic approach for scientific and
technological development.19 A study by Boateng and
Ofori-Sarpong (2002) estimated a 10 per cent deficit
in the supply of engineering and technical graduates,
and a 66 per cent deficit in the supply of medical and
health graduates. There are also concerns regarding
the quality and relevance of education in Ghana.
UNCTAD (2003b: 13) concluded that the “coverage
and technical content of education does not respond
to investors’ requirements.”
Ghana has a shortage of science teachers in primary
and secondary schools. According to a recent report
by the Ghana Education Service, the country has a
shortage of at least 3,500 teachers for 35 subjects.
Statistics for the 2007/08 academic year showed that
there was a shortage of 532, 502, 207, 134, 129, and
8 teachers for mathematics, integrated/agricultural
science, physics, chemistry, biology, and technical/
vocational skills, respectively.20
UNDP’s Human Development Report 2001 ranked
Ghana 67th out of 72 countries based on a technology
achievement index. Ghana had a 0.3 per cent




33CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


gross tertiary science enrolment ratio (1995–1997),
compared to 1.7 per cent for India, 3.4 per cent for
South Africa, and 3.3 per cent for Malaysia over the
same period (UNDP, 2001).
Ghana’s Government has made efforts at reforming
its policies for science, technology and innovation.
Success has been achieved in certain areas. For
example, the country has modern intellectual property
legislation and has met most of WTO’s requirements
(WTO, 2007). Its policies and legislation for attracting
and regulating FDI are modern, too (World Bank,
2005). FDI flows have increased over the past decade.
The previous policy regime, under the National
Science and Technology Policy of 2000, focused on
promoting scientific research with limited emphasis on
the role of innovation (i.e. on the creation and adoption
of new products, processes, practices and services)
in stimulating economic growth. Policy reform has,
in the past, been characterized by discontinuity and
inertia. There was a common view that science and
innovation policymaking did not have a champion
or institutional leader. Encouragingly, the newly re-
established MEST has produced a revised science,
technology and innovation policy intended for
parliamentary approval. The National Development
Planning Commission also prepared a chapter on STI
(during 2009) for the national development plan that
proposes a set of institutional and policy reforms that
should be considered for implementation.
Ghana’s efforts at promoting technological innovation
are fragmented and diffused across the institutional
terrain. Research and development programmes are
developed and implemented in an uncoordinated
manner, with no or only limited focus on firm-level
innovation. The MOESS tended to focus narrowly on
policies for science (educating scientists, and funding
research), whereas the Ministry of Trade and Industry
(MOTI) has a focus on adding value to Ghana’s
traditional exports using existing technologies. There
are no deliberate national efforts at technology
prospecting, procurement and promotion.
Furthermore, there is no horizontal coordination and
no clear regime for setting research priorities. MOESS
did not seem to have much influence on the setting
of research priorities in the R&D institutes, and MOTI
does not have a strategy for promoting technological
innovation in the private sector. To overcome these
prior deficiencies, the revised STI policy produced
under the MEST aims to increase the focus of STI
policy on innovation and improve the coordination of


STI across public and private institutions.
The institutional set-up for science and technology
policymaking and coordination has been under
continuous flux and inertia. Since 2001, the
responsibilities for coordinating science and
technology (including overall policymaking) have
moved from ministry to ministry. Until 2009, there
was no single ministry dedicated to science
and technology issues. Science was under the
MOESS, while technology was under the Ministry of
Communications. “The confusion in the institutional
governance structure as far as science and technology
line ministry is concerned has been very uncertain,
and for most observers, the current Government does
not give priority to science and technology to promote
socio-economic development and transformation as
it [is] made to believe.”21
The country’s R&D and innovation efforts are
underfunded. As indicated earlier, Ghana’s
expenditure on R&D is about 0.3 per cent of its GDP. It
does not compare well to South Africa, which spends
0.87 per cent of its GDP on formal R&D (OECD,
2007). Most of Ghana’s expenditure is on salaries in
the R&D institutes. Even with the establishment of the
Science and Technology Research Endowment Fund
(STREFund), there is no indication that allocations for
R&D and innovation activities will increase.
There is no specific institution dedicated to the funding
of R&D and innovation activities. The country does
not have the equivalent of South Africa’s National
Research Foundation (NRF) and Innovation Fund.
Most of the companies in Ghana are not adequately
investing in innovation. Although data and information
on R&D in the private sector are scarce, there is a gen-
eral view that its investment in research is very limited.
Private-sector enterprises in Ghana do not have R&D
programmes or activities. The private sector’s contri-
bution to national R&D and technology-development
funding is estimated at 2 per cent, while more than 75
per cent is from government, and the rest from inter-
national donors (UNESCO, 2007). Most companies in
Ghana do not have in-house R&D capabilities. There
are no private biotechnology companies in the coun-
try. Companies dealing with ICTs are largely involved
in the application of the technologies, and not in R&D
or technology development.
Ghana has a relatively small manufacturing sector.
In 2006, there were 25,931 companies active in
manufacturing.22 Of these, 85 per cent were small-




34 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


scale enterprises employing up to 9 persons.
“Only 41 manufacturing firms employ more
than 500 people…. It can be concluded that the
manufacturing industry is dominated by small and
medium-sized enterprises…”23 The high costs of raw
materials, lack of credit, lack of modern equipment,
inadequate skilled labour and power outages
are some of the causes of the underdeveloped
manufacturing base. Approximately 65 per cent of
capital goods, including manufacturing equipment,
are imported. Local companies, particularly small
and medium-sized enterprises, use second-hand
equipment. According to Biggs et al. (1995), most of
the machinery used by firms in Ghana is more than
20 years old. It is mainly in the telecommunications
sector that there have been significant imports of new
machinery in recent years.
One of the oldest foreign companies operating in the
country is Alcoa’s Volta Aluminium company (VALCO),
an aluminium manufacturer. It was established in Ghana
in the mid-1960s and employs about 1,000 people.
According to Zachary (2003: 7–8), “Alcoa’s operation
is essentially the same today as it was 40 years ago.
The company makes no ‘downstream’ products
from the raw aluminium it produces in Ghana, and it
imports virtually everything required prior to the stage
where massive application of electricity to aluminium
smelting occurs.” VALCO’s electricity production and
supply levels have stagnated, despite the potential
to raise its capacity. The company has locked itself
into a particular technological system, and fails to
increase local content and to use new technologies.
There is, therefore, an opportunity for the Government
to conduct or commission innovation audits of
companies, including foreign ones, operating in
Ghana.
Poor infrastructure is widely reported by local actors to
be one of the main barriers to technological innovation
and development in Ghana. The high cost and
unreliability of such public services as electricity and
telecommunication services undermine the country’s
potential to become a middle-income economy.
Transport costs are generally high in Ghana, because
of a poor road and rail network. The country’s ports of
Tema and Takoradi are poorly equipped and managed,
too. Many of these constraints have now been singled
out for action by the Government. Despite efforts over
the past five years or so to improve infrastructure,
poor physical infrastructure continues to undermine
the growth and performance of Ghana’s system of
innovation.


2.5.3 Participation in bilateral, regional and
international programmes


Ghana has bilateral science and technology
cooperation programmes. It participates in regional
and international programmes of the Economic
Commission for West African States (ECOWAS), the
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),
the African Union (AU), UNESCO, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European
Union. The country hosts regional and international
research institutions, such as the Forum for
Agricultural Research in Africa, as well as outposts of
the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research.
The country has entered into many bilateral agreements
that deal with science and technology cooperation. It
is an active member of the African Laser Centre, and
has a bilateral science and technology cooperation
agreement with South Africa. Ghana has bilateral
investment agreements with countries including
Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba,
Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Guinea, India,
Malaysia, Mauritania, the Netherlands, South Africa,
Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States
and Zambia (WTO, 2007). Many of these agreements
put emphasis on measures to strengthen technical
cooperation. They cover such aspects as mobility
of capital, including skills and information, and the
protection of intellectual property. They are important
instruments for promoting technology transfer and
procurement.
Ghana is an active participant in the African Ministerial
Council on Science and Technology of the AU and
NEPAD. Its government officials played a major
role in the development of the AU/NEPAD Africa’s
Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action.
In 2007 Ghana chaired the AU, a period that African
leaders declared to be a year of promoting science,
technology and innovation. With support from NEPAD,
Ghana has expressed its intent to conduct national
R&D and innovation surveys.
As a member of ECOWAS, Ghana has actively
participated in the development of the ECOWAS
framework for science and technology. Between 2003
and 2007, it hosted at least three regional workshops
on biotechnology and biosafety. Ghana is a champion
of biotechnology in the ECOWAS region.
At the international level, Ghana participates in the
Network for the Coordination and Advancement of




35CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


sub-Saharan Africa–EU Science and Technology
Cooperation (CAAST-Net). CAAST-Net is financed
by the EU to increase cooperation in science and
technology between Europe and Africa.
2.5.4 Overall assessment of Ghana’s national


system of innovation
Ghana’s national system of innovation has the
potential to grow and become dynamic. It has some
institutional infrastructure for R&D, a growing private
sector, some policy instruments, a new mechanism
for funding R&D, universities dedicated to producing
scientists and engineers, and institutions to support
and regulate technology development. However, the
national system of innovation is underdeveloped, and
not performing to the level at which it will enable the
country to achieve its aspiration of becoming a middle-
income economy by 2020. A strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of
Ghana’s system of innovation is summarized in
table 2.4.
The main weaknesses of Ghana’s system of innovation
have been discussed above. In summary, they are:
(a) Poor institutional configuration and leadership –


the country has traditionally not had a sufficiently
capable and respected lead institution to
orchestrate technological innovation for economic
change and growth. There is no agency for
promoting the procurement and use of old and new
technologies in fields such as biotechnology, ICTs
and nanotechnology. Its institutions are neither well
connected nor communicating to effectively drive
technological development in economic activities
under the President’s Special Initiatives.


(b) Lack of an explicit national innovation policy and
related strategy. As stated before, Ghana’s science,
technology and innovation policy measures have
to a large extent been – until the new policy of
2010 – implicit and scattered in many government
documents. There was a lack of policy coherence
and focus on innovation.


(c) Limited funding is channelled to the country’s
science, technology and innovation programmes
– Ghana’s budget and expenditure on R&D and
related innovation activities are too limited. Most
of the funding goes to R&D institutes for salaries
and some operational costs. Currently, the country
is not sufficiently targeting innovation in either the
public or the private sector.


(d) Institutions of education and training are not
producing human resources of the required quality
and quantity to spur technological innovation for
economic growth.


(e) Inadequacies in physical infrastructure (e.g.
unreliable and costly electricity) are a major barrier
to technological innovation in both public and
private enterprises.


Indeed, the current state of underdevelopment of
Ghana’s system of innovation is in part accounted
for by the inadequate political support for science,
technology and innovation at the highest levels in
the past. Policy reform in STI has been subject to a
high degree of discontinuity and inertia, and there
is a common view that science and innovation
policymaking needs a champion and more active
and effective institutional leadership. Ghana’s political
parties and the legislature have not, to date, really
given adequate attention to science, technology
and innovation issues, despite their potential role
in accelerating growth and development and in
this way helping to reduce poverty (Zachary, 2003).
Therefore, action has not been stimulated to create a
truly enabling and supportive environment for private-
sector investment in technological upgrading and
innovation.
A large body of scientific knowledge generated by
public R&D institutes is not turned into products and
services, mainly because of a lack of entrepreneurial
culture in public R&D institutes. Local private-sector
firms are not really attuned to procuring and/or investing
in R&D to improve their economic productivity. Foreign
companies are less engaged in domestic R&D and
are largely dependent on research undertaken in their
countries of origin (UNCTAD, 2003a). Most of their
innovative activities are conducted in their home
countries.
Ghana’s educational system is not well aligned to its
economic and industrial-development aspirations.
The country’s universities and polytechnics have
relatively weak research capacities, and most of them
lack an entrepreneurial culture.24 Public universities
are under continuous strain to absorb growing student
populations, and devote increasingly low or limited
portions of their annual budgets to R&D and technical
innovation activities. Ghana performs poorly in terms
of technical education. There is a big gap between
education and human capital development (UNCTAD,
2003a).




36 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Political stability, openness
and improved democratic
governance


Political parties and parliament
do not give adequate attention
to science, technology and
innovation issues in their
practices and policies


Potential of peer influence and
review through the African
Union, APRM and NEPAD;
and potential to strengthen
Parliamentary Committee on
Environment and Science


Good macroeconomic condi-
tions and performance


Economy relies on narrow
range of traditional exports


President’s Special Initiatives
(PSI) good basis for economic
diversification; increasing FDI
inflows


Global economic recession and
financial crisis


Existence of R&D institutions R&D institutes under-resourced Newly established Science and
Technology Endowment Fund,
and increasing ODA


Lack of clear strategy and
institutional leadership to build
or improve the R&D institutes


Existence of several technol-
ogy support and regulatory
agencies


Technology support and regu-
latory agencies not adequately
resourced and linked to R&D
institutes


Government recognises the
need to strengthen institutions
such as GSB and the Registrar-
General


Absence of specific budgets
dedicated to institutional
strengthening


A wide range of implicit sci-
ence, technology and innova-
tion policies exist


No explicit innovation policy;
current policies scattered in
many documents, and the Na-
tional Science and Technology
Policy 2000 outdated


Efforts to renew national sci-
ence and technology policy
made; new National STI Policy
drafted


Weak institutional leadership
of MEST and lack of deliberate
executive or cabinet champion
for science and innovation
policy


Bilateral FDI agreements
increasing and country
participates in regional and
international programs


Lack of strategy and institution-
al leadership to use bilateral,
regional and international co-
operation to link up to national
systems abroad for purposes
of learning and technology
prospecting


Initiatives such as NEPAD, AU
and CAAST-Net focusing on
Ghana; and improving condi-
tions for FDI and technology
cooperation


Lack of institutional leadership
from Ghana to tap the regional
and international opportunities


Existence of science and engi-
neering faculties in four public
universities; and 10 polytech-
nics in the 10 provinces of
Ghana


Science and technology
faculties and the polytechnics
under-resourced; and declining
enrollment in science and
engineering courses


Education and training system
being reformed to put empha-
sis on science and engineer-
ing; and a new science and
technology education policy
adopted


No budgets dedicated to
science and engineering train-
ing; and no clear strategy to
improve infrastructure for R&D
and engineering


Existence of vibrant financial
institutions, particularly com-
mercial and development banks


Financial institutions are not
strategic involved in or linked to
R&D and technology develop-
ment programs


Increasing recognition by
government of the need to
promote venture capital,
R&D in enterprises; and the
new Science and Technology
Endowment Fund


Lack of institutional leader-
ship to stimulate interest
and promote engagement of
financial institutions in R&D
and technological innovation


Private sector is growing;
increasing number of small and
medium scale enterprises; and
presence of a good number of
foreign companies in mining,
agriculture and ICTs


Poor links between private
companies and public R&D;
and limited in-house R&D and
innovation activities in private
sector


Government’s efforts to
promote private sector
development, and recognition
by government to encourage
commercial use of R&D


Poor physical infrastructure
particularly costly and unreli-
able electricity


Existence of MEST, Ministry of
Trade, Industry, Private Sector
Development and President’s
Special Initiatives; Ministry of
Communication


Poor coordination among and
between ministries; weak
policy analysis capacity


Existence of CSIR’s Sci-
ence and Technology Policy
Research Institute


No budget dedicated to sci-
ence, technology and innova-
tion policy programs


Table 2.4. SWOT analysis of Ghana’s System of Innovation




37CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


On the whole, Ghana does not have a strong
national system of innovation. However, it has the
potential to improve its innovative capacities and
technological performance. The next section of this
study offers some suggestions and recommendations
on measures that will improve the country’s system of
innovation and its overall technological performance to
enable it to achieve higher levels of economic growth.
Emphasis is placed on measures that will build and/
or strengthen links between R&D, the science and
technology system, and the productive sectors.


2.6 Recommendations
1) Establish an agency to oversee coordination and


implementation of STI policy
This review has shown that one of the challenges
to the growth of Ghana’s system of innovation
relates to the absence of a clear focal point for the
implementation of innovation policy and programmes.
The MEST is organized and capacitated to be the
focal point for designing national innovation policy
and programmes. The CSIR, research institutes, and
universities are capable of carrying out R&D. However,
none of these are appropriate entities for overseeing
implementation of STI programmes.
To stimulate innovation and ensure a focused
approach to strengthening the country’s national
system of innovation, Ghana should establish a
specialized agency – a National STI Implementation
Agency (NIA) – to implement STI programmes. The
main goals of the NIA would be to:
(a) Spearhead the formulation and implementation of


an explicit coherent national innovation policy;
(b) Promote and nurture university–industry research


and technology development partnerships, as well
as partnerships between polytechnics and local
businesses;


(c) Promote knowledge and technology transfer
from laboratories to businesses, and encourage
technology-based entrepreneurship in small and
medium-scale companies;


(d) Conduct and use firm and farm-level innovation
audits to improve policies and strategies for
technological innovation; and


(e) Create and use appropriate funding mechanisms
or instruments for innovation in public and private
enterprises.


There are many benefits to establishing a National
STI Implementation Agency. A new agency would
start off without many of the structural rigidities that
characterize the current institutions. It would be
established as a legal person, by means of an Act or
Bill of Parliament. Ghana’s NIA could be autonomous
and explicitly focused on promoting technology-based
economic activities. In order for it to be sustainable,
its funding would have to be expressly determined by
Parliament. The law establishing an NIA would set a
specific budgetary target (e.g. a percentage of GDP
or a percentage of the total revenue of government)
for the agency. The NIA would need an independent
board of directors with representation from the
private sector, academia, civil society, and political
institutions.
A growing number of countries are establishing national
innovation agencies. Ghana should draw lessons from
these countries. South Africa is one example. In 2007,
South Africa enacted specific legislation to establish
a technology innovation agency (TIA). The goal of
the TIA is “to support the State in stimulating and
intensifying technological innovation and invention in
order to improve economic growth and the quality of
life of all South Africa by developing and exploiting
innovations and inventions.”25 TIA is being created
as an autonomous institution, but is affiliated to the
Department of Science and Technology. It will have
links to the Department of Trade and Industry and
other government departments. It is expected to co-
evolve with the National Research Foundation, science
councils such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR), higher education institutions, private
companies and financial institutions.
2) Design an explicit innovation or STI policy and a


multi-year implementation strategy
The creation of an NIA would need to go hand
in hand with the design of an explicit national
innovation policy and strategy. As has already been
stated, Ghana’s National Science and Technology
Policy 2000 was outdated and largely focused
on promoting scientific research. It was weak on
measures to promote technological innovation in
public and private enterprises for economic growth.
In order to have a sharp national focus on innovation,
the country needs a policy regime that guides it
to (a) make strategic choices for R&D; (b) take
a long-term anticipatory approach to technology
development; (c) invest in technology foresights,
prospecting and procurement; and (d) create




38 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


appropriate incentives for private-sector in-house
R&D. The newly drafted national STI policy represents
a major improvement.
A good national innovation policy should also
contain specific measures to promote long-term
capability-building in industrial firms and society
as a whole. It should encompass “a wide range of
policies including social policy, labour market policy,
educational policy, industrial policy, energy policy,
environmental policy, and science and technology”
(Lundvall et al., 2002). In this way, a national innovation
policy is a regime. Its coordination requires high-level
executive authority. For the innovation policy to be
effective, leadership for coordination should be vested
in the Presidency of the country. The STIP Review of
Ghana recommends that the NIA should be located in
the Office of the President of Ghana but with autonomy
and authority to execute its programmes.
To ensure that a national innovation policy is
implemented, Ghana needs to develop and use a
clear multi-year (say, 10-year) rolling implementation
strategy. The strategy should have clear benchmarks
and should articulate institutional responsibilities. The
Office of the President of Ghana should spearhead
the design of such a strategy.
The establishment of the NIA and the formulation of an
innovation policy should be accompanied by reforms
and strengthening of many of the country’s institutions
for policymaking. The focus and capacities of the
education, labour, trade and industry, and finance
ministries, and of the entire government machinery,
should be reorganized around the goal of building a
national innovation system for growth. For example,
the Ministry of Trade and Industry needs to also
focus on new technology areas, in addition to giving
priority to Ghana’s traditional exports. The Ministry of
Labour should expand its mandate and activities to
do more than managing industrial disputes. It should
be another locus for skills development through
lifelong training programmes in areas such as quality
management.
3) Strengthen the legislature in innovation


policymaking
Ghana’s political institutions have not really done
much to promote the building of a national system
of innovation. The Parliamentary Committee on
Environment, Science and Technology tends to
operate in an ad hoc way. It does not have a research
infrastructure or proper support. As such, it is not


actively informed on or involved in science, technology
and innovation policy issues.
The establishment and operations of the proposed NIA
would need support and oversight from the country’s
parliament and political parties. As suggested earlier,
Ghana’s Parliament would need to pass legislation
to establish the NIA, and would also be responsible
for determining – or at least influencing – budgetary
allocations to the agency. Furthermore, Parliament
will also be called upon to make decisions pertaining
to technology, for example by considering legislation
for such aspects as biosafety, environmental impact,
FDI, and clinical trials. In this way, Parliament will be
an important institution for innovation policymaking. If
Parliament is not adequately informed, its decisions
could derail technological innovation and undermine
the growth of the country’s system of innovation.
There are two specific ways of strengthening Ghana’s
legislature to play an active role in innovation
promotion. The first is to establish a specific
parliamentary committee for science and innovation.
This would replace the current Parliamentary
Committee on Environment and Science. It would
be arm of the legislature that would ensure that
Parliament’s decisions did not undermine efforts to
build a national system of innovation and to improve
the country’s technological performance. The
parliamentary committee on science and innovation
would also be a watchdog for the NIA budget, and
would promote implementation of the innovation
policy through other parliamentary bodies such as
committees for education, finance, and constitutional
matters.
The second way is to establish a research and policy
analysis support mechanism for Parliament as a whole,
and for the committee for science and innovation in
particular. The mechanism could be either a multi-
disciplinary unit or a team of researchers working
for Parliament. Such a unit or team would gather
evidence and provide policy options for improving the
country’s innovative capacities through various policy
and legislative reforms. It would need to be resourced
with funds, library access and other means, in order
to be effective.
4) Build skills and entrepreneurial culture
As stated above, Ghana’s educational and training
institutions are not producing enough skilled
manpower to meet market demand. There is a shortage
of skilled scientists, engineers and technicians.




39CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


This is a major barrier to improving the country’s
technological performance and growing a national
system of innovation. This has been recognized
by the Government, and various reforms of the
education and training system are being introduced.
A national science and technology education policy
was recently adopted. It puts emphasis on improving
the education curriculum to increase and improve the
science and engineering content, on doubling the
number of science teachers in primary and secondary
schools, on promoting science clubs in schools, and
on equipping laboratories in the schools. There is a
need to introduce similar measures in universities.
A wide range of measures is also required in order
to increase enrolment in science and engineering
courses in Ghanaian universities and other institutions
of higher learning. The measures include increasing
universities’ capacities by building more and better
laboratories, increasing the numbers of lecturers
and technicians in science and engineering faculties,
and encouraging private universities (e.g. through
special tax relief) to develop and offer science and
engineering courses.
There is a need to take a long-term approach to
building science and engineering skills in Ghana.
Single short-term interventions will be inadequate.
For example, putting emphasis on increasing student
enrolments without adequate focus on creating
employment opportunities in businesses is unlikely to
work, at least in the long run. Increasing investment
levels in science and engineering training should go
hand in hand with concerted efforts to develop the
private sector, improve physical infrastructure, create
more jobs, and grow the economy as a whole.
Thus, Ghana should avoid taking single isolated
interventions in its efforts to improve science and
engineering skills production. A suite of well-organized
or sequenced measures is necessary in order to
improve the whole system of science and engineering
training.
A recent study by the World Bank puts emphasis
on an integrated approach to strengthening tertiary
education and training in Africa (World Bank, 2009).
This report argues that measures aimed at improving
tertiary education should be part and parcel of overall
national efforts to fight poverty, grow the economy,
promote human development, and increase
economic competitiveness. Investments in tertiary
education, particularly in science and engineering,
should be treated as part of building national systems


of innovation and promoting technological catch-up
in Africa.
A key aspect of building science and engineering skills
in Ghana should be the promotion of entrepreneurship.
Studies such as Boateng and Ofori-Sarpong (2002),
Zachary (2003) and UNCTAD (2003) have all identified
a weak entrepreneurial culture among Ghanaian
graduates as one of the barriers to increased
business development and job creation. Many
graduates of Ghana’s universities and polytechnics
get to the labour market not really well prepared to
manage businesses and take risks. Universities,
polytechnics and other institutions of higher learning
need to introduce courses in entrepreneurship in their
curriculums. They could team up with businesses and
business schools to design and offer such courses.
Ghana needs a clear strategy for building and utilizing
science and engineering skills. This should be an
integral part of an explicit national innovation policy
and implementation strategy. As part of the process
of designing an explicit national innovation policy
and implementation strategy, a comprehensive
assessment of the science and engineering capacity
needs of the public and private sectors, including
those of the training institutions, should be conducted.
Such an assessment would provide a clear picture of
disciplinary gaps (whether in electronics, mechanics
etc.) and of the potentials of specific universities
and polytechnics. The NIA could be responsible for
conducting the proposed assessment.
5) Sharpen economic targets and technology focus
Vision 2020 and GPRS II are important frameworks
for economic targeting and the promotion of the
country’s self-discovery. They put emphasis on the
country focusing and building on those areas where
it has accumulated experience and capacities for
economic production. However, as a recent study
by the World Bank has shown, initiatives such as
the President’s Special Initiative on Cassava did not
generate innovation because the R&D institutions
brought to it a narrow focus on old techniques
(World Bank, 2006b). A key lesson from this is that
frameworks such as the President’s Special Initiatives
need to have a clear technology focus, as opposed
to a commodity approach. Having a clear technology
focus should also be linked to explicit poverty
reduction and economic productivity targets.
Economic targeting and technology focus can be
improved through exercises such as technology




40 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


assessments and technology foresights. We
recommend that Ghana should devote some
attention to conducting technology assessments and
technology foresights in fields such as biotechnology
and ICTs, and in specific sectors such as agriculture,
energy and mining. This would be part of the core
functions of the proposed NIA.
In addition to improving economic targeting and
technology focus, the Government of Ghana should
invest in promoting the country as a special location
for a few selected foreign technology businesses. It
should identify two or three promising technological
innovations in areas such as biotechnology and ICTs,
in each of its 10 regions, and promote these as part of
challenge programmes run by regional polytechnics
and universities, linking these to local enterprises.
6) Do more to develop the private sector and


promote innovation in businesses
Previously, Ghana’s Government had focused
attention on promoting private-sector development
and attracting FDI. It put a wide range of policies
in place, and it reformed institutions, in order to
improve conditions for enterprise development and
for investment. For example, intellectual property
legislation was reformed and strengthened in 2003
and the security of private property enhanced. There
are many businesses operating in Ghana, and FDI has
increased. These developments have contributed to
the economic growth of Ghana. They are an important
part of building the country’s system of innovation.
However, much more needs to be done.
There is now a need to focus on promoting
technological innovation in and by the private sector.
Some of the actions or measures that should be
taken include conducting innovation audits of firms
and farms and then using these to reward innovating
enterprises. High-performing enterprises (essentially,
innovators) would receive special recognition and
incentives – such as tax exemption for expenditure
on R&D, technology procurement, and innovation in
general. Secondly, the Government should establish
a national funding scheme or instruments to promote
R&D and technological innovation in the private
sector. This would take the form of competitive grants
to private firms that twin or partner with public R&D
institutes to conduct economic-oriented research or
the development of a particular technology. Examples
of such funding instruments are South Africa’s
Technology and Human Resources for Industry
Programme (THRIP) and Innovation Fund, both


administered by the National Research Foundation. In
the case of Ghana, the funding scheme or instruments
would be administered by the NIA.
7) Continue to increase investments in building


infrastructure
There has been considerable investment in improving
physical infrastructure in Ghana during the past five
years or so. The road network in Accra has been
improved. Infrastructure at the main airport has been
improved too. There are also efforts to build more
roads in other cities and districts of Ghana. In the
case of telecommunications infrastructure, there are
public–private partnerships (Ayogu, 1999). However,
there is much more to be done over the medium and
longer term to get the country’s infrastructure of roads,
telephones, electricity, water systems, and other
utilities developed to be able to make the national
system of innovation dynamic and productive. If the
country does not invest in building its energy base –
particularly the production and supply of electricity –
its aspiration to become a middle-income economy
will not be realized.
8) Promote stronger executive leadership through


an STI council
Ghana’s cabinet, the presidency, and other parts of
the executive branch of the State hold the keys to
its entry into middle-income economy status. They
will determine whether the country’s national system
of innovation grows to be mature and dynamic.
The executive branch of the State is not currently
configured to be actively engaged in the promotion of
building a knowledge economy and a strong system
of innovation. Ghana’s Presidency should do more
and become the locus of building and organizing the
country’s system of innovation.
What needs to be done? We recommend that the
Office of the President of Ghana should spearhead the
creation of the proposed NIA and strongly consider
the implementation of the related recommendations
of this study. It should become the nucleus for
strengthening the country’s system of innovation
by establishing a high-level Presidential Council
or Committee on science and innovation. Such a
council or committee would be led by a science and
innovation policy advisor to the President of Ghana.
This study shows that Ghana has some of the
institutional arrangements, policies, and programmes
to develop a dynamic and productive system of
innovation. The country’s aspiration to become a




41CHAPTER II: GHANA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM


middle-income country and achieve the Millennium
Development Goals depends on what it does to
improve its technological performance and on the
dynamism of its system of innovation. Deficiencies
in STI capabilities and inadequate technological
upgrading are key constraints on creating faster
economic growth and accelerating economic and
social development. Public policies need to do
more to build a relevant skills base and strengthen
institutions of higher education and training, design
an explicit national policy regime for innovation,


increase investment in building and improving
physical infrastructure, promote innovation in private
enterprises, and generally focus on other measures
to build a knowledge economy. The NIA could
orchestrate and provide institutional leadership to
promote the development, over time, of a dynamic
system of innovation. The country needs executive and
political leadership focused on the role of innovation
in national development from both Parliament and the
Presidency if the recommended measures are to be
adopted and effectively implemented.




42 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


NOTES
1 See United Nations (2005) for detailed discussion of how science, technology and innovation are critical to the attainment


of the MDGs.
2 AfDB/OECD (2008).
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 AfDB/OECD (2007).
7 Based on United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) data for 2005 (UNDP, 2007/2008 Human Development Report).


In terms of human development, Ghana is ranked by that report 135th out of 177 countries.
8 The United Kingdom is the largest investor, with investments of more than $750 million through Lonmin plc. Other large


foreign firms in Ghana are Valco of the USA, Anglogold of South Africa, ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, Pioneer Foods
(Star-Kist Tuna), Coca-Cola Company, Phyto-Riker (Pharmaceuticals), Westel (ICT), Teberebie Goldfields Limited and Union
Carbide.


9 AfDB (2005).
10 A detailed review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the country’s research institutes can be found in chapter 3 of this


report.
11 During the period 1968 to 1979 the CSIR was under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.


In 1979 it was transferred to the new Ministry of Industries, Science and Technology. It was next under the Ministry of
Education, Science, and Sports (MOESS) until the recent ministerial restructuring in 2009 placed it under the Ministry of
Environment, Science and Technology (MEST)


12 Republic of Ghana (2008). See also Adu, Kingsley and François (2006).
13 Boateng and Ofori-Sarpong (2002).
14 Adarkwa (2008).
15 A new Standards Bill specifying new roles and responsibilities of the GSB is in Parliament for enactment into legislation.
16 Chapter 3 includes a review of the IP management system at universities and public research institutes.
17 See chapter 3 of this report for a detailed review of individual R&D institutions in Ghana.
18 Thirty-seven people were interviewed during this period.
19 Republic of Ghana (2008).
20 Ghana Education Service (2007).
21 UNESCO (2006: 7).
22 UNIDO and Government of Ghana (2006).
23 Ibid.
24 Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana (2002).
25 Republic of South Africa (2007).




Ghana’s Research and Development System




44 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM
Linking knowledge and productive activities must
prominently involve the research capacity embodied
in Ghana’s universities and public research
institutes. This chapter provides an assessment of
the effectiveness of Ghana’s research system. The
overarching question guiding the analysis is whether
the system is geared in such a manner that research
outcomes can advance Ghana’s development
agenda. To this effect, it investigates funding,
performance, governance, and incentive alignment,
including intellectual property rights and regulations.
With regard to the public research institutes, the report
was also expected to draw on comparative insights
from Colombia, India, and South Africa.
In order to meet the key data requirements for this
task, the institutions were contacted with a request
for specific material that the team wished to access.1
In parallel, their websites were consulted and site
visits were organized in order to interact with senior
management, and with junior and senior researchers.


3.1. Inputs, outputs and outcomes
The funding of Ghana’s research system
The discussion that follows is based on the Medium-
Term Expenditure Framework for 2008–2010 and the
annual estimates for 2008. This warrants a caveat.
How much money Ghana actually invests in its
research system is not something one can glean from
budget documents. In the past, the discrepancies
between estimates and between approved and
disbursed funds in the research system were very
significant. Finance administrators of individual
research institutes interviewed for this study were
adamant that the annual estimates should not be
used as a planning tool and thus not to be relied on.
Perhaps more importantly, discrepancies between
approved and disbursed funds within a budget year,
usually to the disadvantage of the latter, clearly require
unconventional efforts to reconcile income and
expenditure items.
In effect, this means that the information referred
to below paints a picture of the Ghanaian research
system that is rosier than the reality. Data about the
share of spending on research and development


(R&D) in the national budget estimates should be
read against past allocations to come to grips with
how much or how little investment there is. Since the
African Union has committed to devoting a specific
share – 1.0 per cent – of gross domestic product
(GDP) to R&D – and since other entities such as the
European Union make considerable efforts to attain
international competitiveness through an increase in
its members’ R&D outlays – it is curious that such a
figure, both its current value and where one would
want it to be in the future, is not a household indicator
in Ghana. Surely if the commitment to science and
technology were taken as seriously as policymakers
indicate, the informed public could be expected to
know the amount of public funds involved.
The Ghanaian budget amounts to some ¢4.3bn in
2008 (see table 3.1). Just over one per cent is devoted
to R&D. Most R&D is devoted to economic affairs that
include many of the applied research activities carried
out by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
(¢44.4 million), followed by health R&D (¢3.9 million).
South Africa, one of the few sub-Saharan economies
with middle-income status, currently spends 0.6 per
cent of its budget on R&D. However, business sector
funding of R&D is substantial, so that South Africa is
on target to achieving 1 per cent of GDP investment
in R&D by 2009. This is meant to increase further in
the future. To the extent that South Africa is a model
to emulate – something which many researchers we
interviewed seconded – it will be difficult for Ghana to
graduate to middle-income status without increasing
the resources devoted to R&D both in relative and in
absolute terms.


Table 3.1. Science and technology in Ghana’s total
budget, 2008 (in GHC/)


Budget Line Item* GHC/** %
Total government expenditure 4,292,084,203 100
Basic research 201,500 0.005
R&D General Public Services 151,412 0.004
R&D Economic Affairs 44,314,486 1.032
R&D Health 3,942,081 0.092
Total S&T 48,609,479 1.133


*Budget represents estimates, not actuals.
**New Ghanaian Cedis and USD were close to 1:1 exchange rate during the 2008 budget year.
Source: Republic of Ghana (2008).




45CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


About three quarters of these funds come from the
government budget, while the remainder results from
contract work, commonly referred to as internally
generated funds (see table 3.2). Health research


attracts 75 per cent of its funding from external
contracts, economic affairs R&D, only 29 per cent.
The average share of internally generated funds for
the entire research system is 23 per cent.


Box 3.1. A Lack of Data and Documentation at Ghana’s Universities and Research Institutes Represents Larger Costs
to the Research System


Some remarks about data availability are necessary. First, Ghana’s research system is in general very poorly documented.
For example, the most recent annual reports of the CSIR’s 13 institutes made available by the CSIR secretariat in July
2008 were as old as 2003 (SARI) or 2004 (IIR, OPRI, WRI), though several institutes (INSTI, STEPRI) not covered by this
review did have more recent annual reports. For one institute, there was only a quarterly report (PGRRI), and for another
(ARI) there was none at all. Likewise, the webpage entitled “achievements” on the CSIR’s website was empty when
accessed in July 2008.
Second, the quality of this documentation needs improvement. For example, when comparing annual reports, institutes
often neglect the guidelines for these reports and omit essential information such as publications output. By contrast, a
few universities report output under “journal publications” that has neither been published nor accepted by a journal, but
merely submitted, or was published in another medium.
Third, some data seem contradictory. For example, there is often little correspondence between information captured
in hard copies and data uploaded onto websites. In July 2008 the University of Ghana listed one journal publication for
2007 on its website, and reported 514 articles that had been published or accepted for publication in its annual report.
Fourth, some data are jealously guarded. This primarily concerns information about funding and external income. Even
senior management at many institutes and universities refused to make budget information available without the consent
of the respective director general or vice chancellor – consent which was not always forthcoming. In some cases,
information is genuinely unknown. For example, UoG has no idea how much external research income it generates
because to date there has been no central body capturing such data.
The information one does find, although relevant, may not strictly be statistically representative. Therefore, at times this
report illustrates larger insights with case studies that exemplify micro problems of Ghana’s research system without
having systematic evidence to prove that these micro problems cumulatively translate into a macro weakness. However,
since this report draws on very extensive interaction with stakeholders, we are confident that its principal conclusions are
correct.
The above problems reflect the entire system in a bad light. A technology manager of a subsidiary of a foreign multinational
who might be interested in exploring the outsourcing of a certain component development to local suppliers would be
unlikely to learn much useful information about technological capabilities in the public research sector from readily
accessible sources. Likewise, a laboratory in Europe without prior contacts in Ghana that is looking for an epidemiologist
to integrate into a global research consortium might not be able to identify a suitable candidate without physically visiting
the country.
Hence poor documentation comes at a cost to the system in terms of low (international) visibility, consequently fewer
chances to get involved into global knowledge networks, and thus foregone opportunities to exploit S&T for local
development.
Also, the regular evaluation of system performance is problematic with such incomplete data resources, especially if the
assessment were to be done over time. This can only result in a lack of transparency which in turn impacts on the ability
of all concerned stakeholders to engage (self)critically in a discussion of how the system could be improved and what
value this would bring to society.
Although these remarks go for the system at large, there are important differences between the universities, the CSIR, and
other research institutes, as well as across the CSIR. The universities provide in general much better and professionally
packaged information than the research institutes. The one exception to this is the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
(CRIG) whose documentation matches that of the universities. This raises the question of a possible correlation between
research performance on the one hand, and the completeness and quality of documentation on the other. Clearly, an
institution that is proud of its achievement would have more of an incentive to report this to its stakeholders. Likewise, an
institution which faces competition in the demand for its products or services would likely also be more inclined to pay
attention to how it documents itself. These questions are taken up later in this report.




46 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


The large majority of these funds is spent on
salaries (personal emoluments) (see table 3.3). In
the universities, the share is over 80 per cent; at the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, it is 76
per cent on average. The two institutes with the lowest
relative staff costs are the Science and Technology
Policy Research Institute (51.3 per cent) and Plant
Genetic Resources Research Institute (48.6 per cent).
Administration costs account for 10.7 per cent at the
universities and almost twice that much (20 per cent)
at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research,
where they range from 15 per cent (Oil Palm Research
Institute) to 36 (Sustainability Research Institute) per
cent. By far the largest line item in the administrative
budget is “other allowances”, covering on average
more than two thirds of this budget category and
reaching as high as 92 per cent (Sustainability
Research Institute). Hence, in either case, staff and
administrative expenses make up more than 90
per cent of the budget, leaving between 4 per cent
(Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and
8 (universities) per cent for operational and capital
expenses related to research. Capital expenses tend
to be even lower than operational expenses.
The situation at the Cocoa Research Institute of
Ghana is similar. The only institution that is markedly
different is the Centre for Scientific Research into
Plant Medicine, where personal emoluments make
up a third of the budget, and research and capital
expenditure, 43 per cent.
Operational research funding is recorded as “service
funds” (see table 3.4). At the Council for Scientific
and Industrial Research, it is noteworthy that the
Secretariat, which is not directly involved in the
exercise of research, utilizes almost a third of the
service funds of the entire Organization. Of these,
it spends 70 per cent on seminars, conferences,


workshops, meetings, and stationary, and thus not on
actual research. Surprisingly, research is underfunded
both absolutely and relatively in an organization whose
principal remit is research.
Likewise, most of the very low investment is used for
the rehabilitation of buildings and related expenses.
The Secretariat spends significantly more than a third
of all investment outlays for the entire organization on
itself. Investment in equipment features hardly at all
across the organization (see table 3.5).
The picture that emerges of the Council from these
figures is therefore of a top-heavy organization that
employs its staff without providing the means to engage
in research. Apart from some building rehabilitation,
much of which benefits its headquarters, the Council
is clearly running down its assets. Annual reports
made available for this report noted the challenges
of inadequate research funding, especially to equip
labs and workshops,2 inadequate funding (along
with late release of funds) from the Government,3
and insufficient resources for infrastructure and farm
machinery,4 to name just a few. This is not new. A review
of Ghana’s agricultural research system undertaken
in the late 1980s criticized the deterioration of the
physical research facilities and the decline in the
operational funding per scientist. Despite the different
proportion of the total budget going into research,
the situation at the Centre for Scientific Research into
Plant Medicine is essentially the same – in fact, the
roof leaks every time it rains and the electrical wiring
is so old as to pose a “danger to life and property”.
Indeed, researchers at the institutes we visited
complained about outdated or badly maintained and
broken equipment in their labs. According to some
accounts, research staff had to subsidize basic office
supplies such as printer cartridges and stationary in
order to have access to such material.


GoG IGF Total IGF/Total (%)
Total government expenditure 2,279,679,879 299,184,430 4,292,084,205 7.0
Basic research 201,502 2 201,502 0.0
R&D General Public Services 151,414 2 151,414 0.0
R&D Economic Affairs 31,414,490 12,900,000 44,314,488 29.1
R&D Health 994,385 2,947,699 3,942,083 74.8
Tertiary education 107,068,534 26,169,190 133,237,722 19.6
Total S&T 139,830,317 42,016,885 181,847,201 23.1


Source: Republic of Ghana (2008).
Note: Figures include only GoG and IGF (i.e. without debt relief and donor support, etc.).


Table 3.2. Source of funds, 2008 (in GHC/)




47CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


GoG P.E


Admin.


Service


Investment


Total


IGP P.E


Admin.


Service


Investment


Total


TOTAL


P.E.


Total (%)


Admintion


Total (%)


Service


Total (%)


Investment


Total (%)


Un
ive


rsi
ties


81,3
24,1


65
6,59


6,52
9


967
,305


2
88,8


87,9
95


2
4,06


9,77
5


4,00
2,34


9
2,71


0,65
6


10,7
82,7


76
99,6


70,7
69


81.6
10.7


5
2.7


CS
IR


17,6
11,4


90
4,64


7,00
2


571
,002


445
,002


23,2
74,4


90
23,2


74,4
90


75.7
20


2.5
1.9


of w
hic


h
Sec


reta
riat


1,84
8,99


6
617


,203
172


,981
169


,385
2,80


8,55
9


2,80
8,55


9
65.8


22
6.2


6
Cro


ps
Re


sea
rch


Ins
titu


te
1,43


0,88
8


297
,902


31,0
34


22,1
04


1,78
1,92


2
1,78


1,92
2


80.3
16.7


1.7
1.2


An
ima


l R
ese


arc
h In


stit
ute


1,13
9,28


0
293


,202
29,9


93
27,1


47
1,48


9,61
6


1,48
9,61


6
76.5


19.7
2


1.8
So


il R
ese


arc
h In


stit
ute


1,41
4,41


7
359


,002
32,9


34
22,1


04
1,82


8,45
1


1,82
8,45


1
77.4


19.6
1.8


1.2
So


il R
ese


arc
h C


ent
re


166
,009


98,0
02


8,37
9


2
272


,386
272


,386
60.9


36
3.1


0
Bu


ildi
ng,


Ro
ad


and
Re


sea
rch



Ins


titu
te


1,33
0,06


0
272


,402
25,2


07
17,6


54
1,64


5,31
7


1,64
5,31


7
80.8


16.6
1.5


1.1
Foo


d R
ese


arc
h In


stit
ute


978
,749


237
,102


26,8
93


17,5
44


1,26
0,28


2
1,26


0,28
2


77.7
18.8


2.1
1.4


Wa
ter


Re
sea


rch
Ins


titu
te


1,44
7,77


9
346


,702
28,5


69
30,4


10
1,85


3,45
4


1,85
3,45


4
78.1


18.7
1.5


1.6
Ins


titu
te o


f In
dus


tria
l R


ese
arc


h
691


,911
301


,702
29,0


02
26,9


99
1,04


9,60
8


1,04
9,60


8
65.9


28.7
2.8


2.6
INS


TI
509


,183
200


,302
19,0


03
14,8


35
743


,317
743


,317
68.5


26.9
2.6


2
Oil


Pal
m R


ese
arc


h In
stit


ute
1,48


9,30
7


274
,402


26,7
26


17,8
02


1,80
8,23


1
1,80


8,23
1


82.4
15.2


1.5
1


Sav
ann


a A
gric


ultu
ral


Re
sea


rch


Ins
titu


te
1,33


2,03
8


299
,602


27,4
68


25,9
60


1,68
5,06


2
1,68


5,06
2


79
17.8


1.6
1.5


Gh
ana


Gr
ain


s D
eve


lop
me


nt
Pro


jec
t


1,48
6,63


1
324


,702
25,8


04
2


1,83
7,13


3
1,83


7,13
3


80.9
17.7


1.4
0


S&
T P


olic
y R


ese
arc


h In
stit


ute
200


,087
155


,702
19,4


90
14,8


35
390


,108
390


,108
51.3


39.9
5


3.8
For


est
ry


Re
sea


rch
Ins


titu
te


1,24
1,57


7
271


,302
29,0


71
17,8


02
1,55


9,74
6


1,55
9,74


6
79.6


17.4
1.9


1.1
Pla


nt G
ene


tic
Re


sou
rce


Re
sea


rch


Ins
titu


te
578


,918
578


,918
12,8


07
20,4


47
1,19


1,08
4


1,19
1,08


4
48.6


48.6
1.1


1.7
Ro


ot &
Tu


ber
Cr


ops
Pr


oje
ct


325
,692


103
,402


21,4
93


2
450


,583
450


,583
72.3


22.9
4.8


0
ICM


ST
2


2
4,19


1
2


4,19
1


4,19
1


0
0


100
0


CS
RP


M
(20


06
), O


ld G
han


a C
edi


s
3,57


4,30
0,00


2
2,95


2,00
0,00


2
1,33


9,50
0,00


2
3,63


7,50
0,00


2
11,5


03,3
00,0


02
11,5


03,3
00,0


02
31.1


25.7
11.6


31.6
CR


IG
(20


05
-06


), O
ld G


han
a


Ce
dis


56,9
05,2


77,0
02


5,10
7,52


5,00
2


2,20
8,48


0,00
2


2,33
6,63


0,19
6


72,1
83,6


25,0
02


72,1
83,6


25,0
02


78.8
7.1


3.1
3.2


No
te:


INS
TI


is t
he


In
stit


ute
fo


r S
cie


nti
fic


an
d T


ec
hn


olo
gic


al
Inf


orm
ati


on
; IC


MS
T i


s t
he


In
ter


na
tio


na
l C


en
tre


fo
r M


ate
ria


l S
cie


nc
e a


nd
Te


ch
no


log
y.


So
urc


e:
Re


pu
blic


of
G


ha
na


(2
00


8);
CR


IG,
CS


RP
M


(20
06


).


Tab
le 3


.3.
All


oca
tion


of
fun


ds,
Un


ive
rsi


ties
an


d R
ese


arc
h In


stit
ute


s (i
n G


HC/
)




48 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Column A Column B Column C Column D Column E Column F
Service Drugs, chemicals and consumables C/B (%)


Rent of plant
and equipment E/B (%)


CSIR 571,002
of which:
Secretariat 172,981 51,002 29.5 ... ...
Crops Research Institute 31,034 20,234 65.2 ... ...
Animal Research Institute 29,993 10,993 36.6 ... ...
Soil Research Institute 32,934 30,002 91.1 ... ...
Soil Research Centre 8,379 1,002 11.9 ... ...
Building, Road and Research Institute 25,207 10,002 39.7 ... ...
Food Research Institute 26,893 6,902 25.7 ... ...
Water Research Institute 28,569 23,202 81.2 ... ...
Institute of Industrial Research 29,002 15,002 51.7 ... ...
INSTI 19,003 2 0 ...
Oil Palm Research Institute 26,726 10,002 37.4 ... ...
Savana Agricultural Research Institute 27,468 7,802 28.4 6,308 23.0
Ghana Grains Development Project 25,804 9,802 38.0 ... ...
S&T Policy Research Institute 19,490 2 0 ... ...
Forestry Research Institute 29,071 10,071 34.6 ... ...
Plant Genetic Resource Research Institute 12,807 7,202 56.2 ... ...
Root&Tuber Crops Project 21,493 5,493 25.6 ... ...
ICMST 4,191 502 11.9 ... ...


Source: Republic of Ghana (2008).


Table 3.4. CSIR Service Funds, 2008


Column A Column B Column C Column D
Investment Purchase of plant and equipment C/B (%)


CSIR 445,002
of which:
Secretariat 169,385 0 0
Crops Research Institute 22,104 0 0
Animal Research Institute 27,147 0 0
Soil Research Institute 22,104 0 0
Soil Research Centre 2 0 0
Building, Road and Research Institute 17,654 0 0
Food Research Institute 17,544 0 0
Water Research Institute 30,410 0 0
Institute of Industrial Research 26,999 0 0
INSTI 14,835 0 0
Oil Palm Research Institute 17,802 0 0
Savana Agricultural Research Institute 25,960 0 0
Ghana Grains Development Project 2 0
S&T Policy Research Institute 14,835 0 0
Forestry Research Institute 17,802 0 0
Plant Genetic Resource Research Institute 20,447 10,002 48.9
Root&Tuber Crops Project 2 0 0
ICMST 2 0 0


Source: Republic of Ghana (2008).


Table 3.5. CSIR Investment Funds




49CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


The high share of salary costs in the research
system raises the question of whether researchers
are adequately paid. This is of course paramount for
their motivation, especially since they are confined to
working under less than optimal conditions.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
currently employs just over 3,800 staff. Average per
capita staff cost in 2008 was ¢4,607, or ¢384 per month.
It is instructive to compare that with one of the large
universities. For 2008, Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology devoted ¢28,342,882 to staff
compensation. With 3,358 total staff, this amounts to
a per capita cost of ¢8,440, more than 80 per cent
higher than at the Council. To some extent this is
due to the fact that the universities generally have
higher core/support staff ratios. At the Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research, on average, one in
ten employees is a researcher. At Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology, this ratio is
about one in three. Since core staff are better paid,
the two ratios are to be compared with caution.
However, it is no secret that university faculty make
higher salaries than their peers at the research
institutes. More importantly, our interviews indicate
that while university salaries do guarantee sufficient
incomes, the majority of Council researchers
moonlight because their compensations cannot
sustain themselves and their families. Moonlighting
typically does not take the form of professional
assignments on the side, but rather activities such as
taxi driving, retail activities, broiler farming and the like.
While universities appear to be relatively better off,
they also count poor remuneration and poor service
conditions for staff, alongside inadequate funding
and poor allocation of resources for academic
programmes, and run-down infrastructure among
their major weaknesses.6,7 For example, at Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,
laboratories set up in the 1960s largely host the
original equipment and facilities, which have not
been updated.8 The vice-chancellor of the University
of Ghana told the annual congregation that “the
University particularly requires equipment and
chemicals for its laboratories to enable students in the
Sciences to carry out meaningful practical sessions
to support their theoretical lessons”,9 without which it
would be impossible to turn out first-class graduates.
In terms of governance and financial administration,
the universities differ from the Council for Scientific


and Industrial Research. Whereas university senior
management is unaware of the exact size of potential-
ly sizeable external research income, at the Council, it
is mostly the researchers that are in the dark about re-
search volumes in what is a highly centralized system.
In conclusion, this section showed that the inputs to
Ghana’s research are inadequate. What about the
outputs and the outcomes?
Outputs and outcomes
Table 3.6 shows basic indicators about Ghana’s
largest universities. On the input side, it is evident
that graduate enrolment is relatively low, especially at
the University of Cape Coast. In 2007, the share of
science and technology graduates in the total cohort
ranged from 8 per cent (University of Ghana) to 63
per cent (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology). This clearly reflects that the latter was
from its inception a university mandated to focus on
science and technology subjects. More importantly,
however, all universities turned out less than 1 per cent
of their students with a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
in science and technology subjects, meaning that
they did not contribute many highly trained junior
scientists or engineers to the country in a given year,
including for the replenishment of their own faculty.
Since an increase in the output of students in science
and technology-related courses has been an explicit
aim of the University of Ghana since at least the
early 1990s,10 its performance to date in this regard is
disappointing.
Information concerning publications output taken
from the respective annual reports is not entirely
reliable. This is, for example, because the 2007
documentation lists articles with a publication date
of 2006 as “forthcoming” which logically means that
one of the two pieces of information supplied is not
correct – either the paper was published in 2006 or
it is still forthcoming in 2007 onwards. Also, some
articles registered as published do not signal a year
of publication; since the annual reports for some
reason report publications not strictly for the previous
year only, but over a range of two to three years, date
allocation is thus not possible. In addition, since co-
authored articles are listed under the name of each
author, there is some overcounting.
In 2006 and 2007, it took between seven and four
academics at the three universities to publish an
article in a peer-reviewed journal. Many papers were
published in in-house or other Ghana-based journals.




50 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


About every third paper was published in a journal
recognized by the Thomson Reuters ISI database.
The quantity of publication output does not sit easily
with claims to academic excellence. For example, in
its strategic plan, the College of Science of Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science and Technology refers
to the quality of academic staff as one of its strengths.
“Most of them have attained high reputation in their
fields of study and rank among some of the best
scientists in the world. Quality research findings
by faculty members are published in reputable
journals…”.11 In 2007, the 123 lecturers published
56 articles in peer-reviewed journals.12 Although this
makes for a better ratio than the average, it does not
compare well with research output elsewhere, not to
mention top science universities.
Academics tend to blame a heavy teaching load for
their low research output. In fact, enrolments in all
universities have increased dramatically. In 2007, the


University of Ghana admitted 2.7 times more students
than a decade earlier. The University of Cape Coast
and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology increased their intake over the same
period by a factor of 2.3 and 2.1, respectively. Since
this occurred without a concomitant increase in the
number of teaching staff, student/faculty ratios rose,
thus making the teaching load heavier.
While the growth of enrolments thus affects the
universities across the board, there are differences
across departments with respect to research
productivity. Why this might be the case is taken up
later in this report. Differences across the universities
are also evident. For example, in terms of its core staff
complement, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science
and Technology runs a much leaner organization than
the University of Ghana and especially the University
of Cape Coast, which has nine administrative staff for
every academic.


UoG UCC KNUST
Year established 1948 1962 1952
Enrolment
Total 29,756 16,808 23,868
Male/female ratio 1.5 2.1 2.5
Postgraduate 1,818 396 1,599
Undergraduate 26,156 16,142 22,271
Sub-degrees 1,786 272 ./.
% of graduate enrollment 6.1 2.3 6.7
International students 1,144 ./. 738
Staff
Teaching and research 865 398 778
Academic staff with PhDs, % 46.8 ./. 39.9
Admin. and professional 3,911 3,034 2,582
Ratio academic/support staff 4 4 4
S&T teaching
Ratio of science students, % 19.9 26.0 48.8
Ratio of S&T graduates, 2007 8.5 23.6 63.5
Ratio of S&T PhD graduates, 2007 0.16 0.0 0.08
Journal publications
Listed on university website (2007) 1 0 (2007) 12
Annual Report (2006) 230 (2006) 50 (2007) 165
Output per capita 0.27 0.13 0.21
ISI 2006 73 15 54
Ratio ISI/other journals 0.32 0.30 0.33


Sources: ISI, KNUST (2007a,b); UCC (2007a,b); UoG (2007a,b); university websites.


Table 3.6. Ghana’s universities: Basic indicators




51CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


Table 3.7 provides similar information about the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and its
institutes, plus the Centre for Scientific Research into
Plant Medicine and the Cocoa Research Institute of
Ghana. Measured in publication output in refereed
journals, the Council’s research productivity is lower
than that of the three large universities. In 2005, 6 of
its 13 institutes did not publish any papers at all. The
remaining 7 accounted for a total of 31 publications,
making for a Council-wide publication output ratio
of 0.08, thus ranging from 0 to 0.38. Albeit evidently
very low, this is not seen as a problem either at the
corporate level or by the individual institutes, none
of which identified this as a challenge in their annual
report. It might be argued that limited publishing
reflects the Council’s mission to undertake applied
R&D meant for practical aims, rather than advancing
frontier science and technology. However, in its
Strategic Considerations 2005–2009, the Council
underlined its ambition to “extend our impact beyond
our walls through scientific publications that will
showcase our achievements and our role as thought
leaders of the African scientific community”.13 At the
beginning of this planning period, the Council was this
aim was still out of reach, which suggests a steep hill
ahead.
The per capita publication output of the Cocoa
Research Institute of Ghana is comparable to that
of the universities, while the output of the Centre for
Scientific Research into Plant Medicine exceeds it.
Since publications covered by the Thomson Reuters


ISI database are from a different year, these two series
are not strictly comparable. The data also do not
capture other outputs, such as consultancy reports,
extension services and the like. This is not because
they are irrelevant, but because they cannot readily be
compared across institutes, let alone internationally,
insofar as the quality of individual products is not
transparent. By comparison, scientific publications
are not only an internationally accepted method of
benchmarking research institutions, they are also
a benchmark that both the universities and the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research have set
themselves and against which they can therefore be
evaluated. In conclusion, based on the output data
available, it is incorrect to associate research mainly
with the research institutes and perceive the role of
the universities as primarily in teaching. Although
these data do not capture all research achievements
– especially technological developments – and thus
underreport on the achievements of the institutes, it is
clearly important to regard the universities as central
actors in Ghana’s research system.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office
registered 10 patents to Ghanaian inventors between
1977 and 2008. Four of these were granted to people
associated with the University of Ghana, and three to
people associated with Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology. It is likely that these patents
represented team efforts headed by multinational
firms, with the Ghanaian inventor one of several
team members. Thus the assignee was in every case


Table 3.7. Selected indicators: Research institutes
ARI BRRI CRI FRI FORIG IIR ISTI OPRI PGRRI SARI SRI STEPRI WRI CSIR CSPRM CRIG


Staff 295 211 883 170 286 135 79 440 127 535 372 31 249 3,813 180 147
of which:
research 27 27 83 34 38 18 13 23 9 35 26 9 56 398 22 35


with PhDs 9 0 24 12 14 4 1 2 2 8 0 3 20 99 6 17
Journal
publications
in 2005


2 0 7 0 4 0 3 2 0 0 10 0 3 31 10 8


per capita 0.07 0 0.08 0 0.11 0.00 0.23 0.09 0 0.00 0.38 0 0.05 0.08 0.45 0.17


ISI (2006) 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 2 2
Note: Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana publications are for 2000. The figure for Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and publications covered by the Thomson Reuters ISI database might partially overlap with those of the institutes; it is not the total for the entire organization.


Sources: CRIG (2002), CSIR (2006) for publications, CSIR website, CRIG website for staff complement, CSRPM (n.d.) and ISI. Plea-se see table 3.3 for full names of organizations.




52 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


a foreign entity in the United States of America or
Europe, meaning that no intellectual property from
this patenting activity resides in Ghana itself
Accessing domestic intellectual property information
proved difficult. Patent records are not available
in electronic form or publicly accessible via a
website. Consultations at the Registrar General’s
Department merely yielded information about the
number of patents and trademarks assigned. Patent
applications filed in Ghana increased between 2004
and 2006. In 2004, 12 patent applications were filed.
The applications increased to 22 in 2006. There were
317 applications for industrial designs in 2006, mostly
related to textiles. Trade mark applications in 2006
rose to 1,946 from about 1,000 in 2004.14 However, the
number of patents granted and in force is low. In 2005
there were only 4 patents in force in Ghana.15 During
the same year there were only 3 non-resident direct
patent filings. The estimated cost of filing a patent
application in Ghana is between $2,000 and $2,200.
Patent data have well-known drawbacks as a measure
of technological innovation. This is especially the
case for countries whose firms and research institutes
do not generally operate at the technology frontier.
However, even for countries at relatively low levels of
capability accumulation, it is important to recognize
both the opportunities and the constraints emanating
from the international intellectual property rights
regime. It is not evident that this is the case in Ghana
which is a point taken up below.
In sum, Ghana’s research system is underfunded and
does not perform to the standard it set itself. The two
are clearly related – performance relies on resources
and, when lacking, can only be poor.


3.2 Staff upskilling and career
progression


Any research system is only as good as the human
capital on which it is based. Harnessing that capital
is therefore of utmost importance. This refers to the
competence of the scientific workforce, its motivation
to excel and the incentives the system provides to
encourage such dedication.
Human resource management at the Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research is regulated in its
Conditions of Service.16 This provides for, inter alia,
annual appraisal reports, promotions, sabbatical
leave and scientific visits, and study leave. According


to these provisions, research staff are obliged to
submit annual appraisal forms that are reviewed by the
Director General, who is supposed to communicate
issues arising from the report to the researchers
concerned. Information obtained in interviews with
researchers suggests that this is not a moderated
process which accompanies agreed performance
targets that progress – or the lack thereof – can be
measured against. Instead, the process is perceived
as a bureaucratic one-way chore that has little to
do with the career progression of the individual
concerned.
Promotions to higher levels of seniority depend
on minimum requirements such as academic
qualifications, which may be waived in case of
assistant scientific officers who have not had the
opportunity for post-graduate training; a certain
number of publications, including technical reports;
and – for levels above scientific officer – a minimum
number of years spent at the respectively lower level.
This last condition may be waived in exceptional
circumstances. The logic of this provision is
questionable. Star scientists who fulfil all conditions
for promotion except the time factor are unlikely to
perceive such a system as truly meritocratic. Also,
staff members, who in year 1 of their tenure at a
given level publish the three to five articles required
for promotion to the next level, have no incentive to
continue to publish in years 2–5, as their research
productivity does not affect their career progression.
Scientific officers and above can apply for a one-
year paid sabbatical after five years of service.17 All
scientific and technical staff can apply for paid study
leave for periods up to five years, implying that the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is an
organization committed to capacity upgrading. In
order for such applications to be granted, however,
there must be adequate provision in the respective
institute’s approved budget to cover the expenses.
This is rarely the case. Study leave occurs only in the
presence of foreign funding. As a result, many staff,
especially junior staff, not only have little information
about this opportunity, but are discouraged about
their chances of ever being able to take advantage
of it.
In its strategic document covering 2005–2009, the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research18
acknowledged the need for highly motivated staff
and world-class skills and competencies to meet
the needs of its target markets. It announced that by




53CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


2005 it would review and enhance incentive packages
for staff and revise promotion criteria to encourage
accelerated promotion at all levels. Three years later,
it is not clear that this has actually happened.
The individual institutes share a recognition of the key
role their human resources play. The Oil Palm Research
Institute in 2002 underlined the need for an effective
human resources development programme for the
renewal of institutional expertise through training and
retraining, which it predicted would have borne fruit by
2007 in terms of new competencies in biotechnology,
information technology and other disciplines.19 Such
a programme was to address the perceived lack of
motivation of staff which led to high turnover and to
moonlighting. Since the strategic plan did not identify
operational targets against which progress could have
been measured, it is not clear how close the Institute
has come to achieving its goals. The Crops Research
Institute also acknowledged that staff capacity-
building, coupled with periodic in-depth reviews
of divisions, is an essential ingredient to improved
research and service delivery.20 One of the three key
goals set by the Centre for Scientific Research into
Plant Medicine is to make it an attractive place to
work.21
The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, while
priding itself on a strong human resource base,
acknowledged that the competences of its staff were
in need of upgrading.22 Its strategic plan laid out the
need for new or updated human resource systems,
utilization and development. This included reward
management, appraisal systems, performance
management, career planning and development,
work study and other types of development. The
Institute is the only establishment that in the absence
of performance or productivity indicators admitted not
being able to identify areas of over- or understaffing.
It also questioned whether its low labour turnover was
an unambiguous strength of the institution, in the
sense that the long service duration of senior staff
prevented talented younger researchers from a rapid
career progression. In addition, there are practically
no direct financial incentives for good performance at
the Institute. Since it is undoubtedly one of the better
organized research institutes in Ghana and since
its strategic plan is among the more solid analyses
undertaken in the country’s research system, it is likely
that these difficulties reflect a larger problem with
incentive alignment for human capital in the system,
even if not all institutes are as vocal about it.


This contention is also borne out by strategic
reflections undertaken in the universities. The Visitation
Panel that reviewed the University of Ghana in 2007
recommended strengthening the faculty through the
systematic mentorship of young lecturers, including
induction and orientation programmes for new
appointments.23 It also recommended introducing a
two-track salary system where research competence
and output would determine differential remuneration
in order to provide incentives for highly productive
academics to commit to a university career. It
concluded that, in the absence of an up-to-date
staff establishment, performance management had
been compromised. The University of Ghana largely
accepted the recommendations emanating from the
report.24 Since it had declared as early as 1994 that
the development, utilization, and retention of a high-
calibre faculty was an essential stepping stone to
achieving its mission, one wonders what happened in
the decade and a half that passed between its strategic
plan for the new millennium (University of Ghana,
1994) and the engagement of the Visitation Panel.
Many of the Visitation Panel’s recommendations,
such as the introduction of reward systems and staff
development programmes, were already part and
parcel of the earlier plan. Hence it is not correct to
say that solutions to human resources development
problems elude the universities; rather it seems to be
an unwillingness or an inability to implement them that
is the problem.
The University of Cape Coast, while less detailed,
also regards the poor service conditions of staff as a
major threat to its performance.25 In its ten-year plan
going to 2014, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science
and Technology determined that the high level human
resource capacity it needed to fulfil its mission required
among other things the introduction of a package
of motivational incentives tied to performance and
outstanding achievement, plus the provision of clear
guidelines for career progression and the creation of
awareness on upward mobility.26
In sum, the analyses embedded in the various
strategic plans reviewed here suggest that human
resource management and development have either
not been pursued systematically or have become a
bureaucratic routine that has not adapted to changed
circumstances. The result is that the research
system’s most important capital, people, is short-
changed. Inputs from scientists interviewed for this
study, independent of seniority, bear this out. This is an




54 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


enormous problem because highly trained knowledge
workers will continue to opt for careers in science
and academia – which are less well remunerated
than positions in industry – only if their motivation
and ambition is matched by organizational practices
and policies that are receptive and supportive of their
expectations.


3.3. Intellectual property rights in the research system
The impact of intellectual property rights on
developing countries, especially subsequent to the
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), has been hotly debated. In theory, more
intellectual property rights protection should lead
to more innovation in the long run, although this
clearly imposes costs on the laggards in the short
run. However, there are differences among more and
less advanced developing countries, and how such
costs and benefits exactly manifest themselves is
essentially an empirical question. Stronger intellectual
property rights are generally associated with a rise
in knowledge flows to affiliates of transnational
corporations and in inward foreign direct investment
to middle-income and large developing countries,
but not to poor countries.27 Patents do not seem to
influence the incentive to innovate in developing
countries themselves, but other forms of intellectual
property rights, such as utility models, do.28 In other
words, in countries with weaker R&D capacity, what
matters for innovation, technological diffusion and
growth may be the protection of minor, incremental
innovations rather the than strength of protection.29
The purpose of this section is not to verify the issue
of benefits and costs in the case of Ghana, although
this is of course an important issue. The point is rather
to relate intellectual property emanating from the
country’s research system to its emerging intellectual
property rights framework (Industrial Designs Act
2003, Patent Regulations 1996, Trade Marks Act
2004). This matters because the existence of a legal
framework does not preclude that innovations are
insufficiently protected. Reasons for such a disjuncture
can be manifold. In Chile for example, particularly in
biomedical research, indigenously developed ideas
end up being owned and commercialized by United
States companies simply because the country’s
researchers and institutions are steeped in a non-
patenting culture.30 In addition, the tension between


systems designed to protect codified knowledge and
attempts to regulate access to and exploitation of
traditional knowledge is not well resolved.31
These last observations are very relevant to Ghana, at
least at three levels. First, individual researchers are
rarely familiar with intellectual property rights legislation.
They often do not appreciate what actually constitutes
a novelty or why it might make sense to protect it.
They also suspect that registering a patent might be
cumbersome and costly, even if this is not based on
direct experience. Some argued that scientists were
prevented from registering patents as private persons.
Further, patents do not figure prominently in the rules
governing promotion. Second, neither universities nor
research institutes have central frameworks in place
that would regulate how intellectual property is to be
handled, how it is disseminated or transferred, who
would be responsible for the cost of servicing patents,
or how possible proceeds from its exploitation are to
be shared between the inventor and the assignee.
Third, the government as a funder of public research in
the country has not made intellectual property rights,
in whatever form, an explicit yardstick against which
it measures the performance of the system. In sum,
there are no incentives inherent in the system that
would encourage anyone to take the national or the
global system of intellectual property rights protection
seriously.
There is an intellectual property rights office in the
Patent Information and Documentation Centre which
is located at the Institute of Industrial Research. This
was set up with support by the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO), the European Patent
Office, and the International Development Research
Centre. Its sustainability became endangered when
donor support was withdrawn. The Centre was meant
to provide legal and technical information and advice.
There are no user records so it is not clear who makes
use of this facility, or how often its services are being
requested. Although it is staffed by only one person,
one cannot therefore conclude understaffing in the
sense that demand for its services might actually be
rather low. In the middle of the decade, the Secretariat
of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
commissioned the Centre to write a paper about
intellectual property rights, but reportedly this was
never followed up.
The absence of institutional intellectual property rights
management systems leads to a situation where no
one knows whether there is any intellectual property




55CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


worth protecting in the country, how best to do it and
what degree of locally developed ideas potentially
leave the country to be exploited by anyone who was
not involved with their development. For example,
scientists at the Institute of Industrial Research
developed a pilot cassava processing plant. This
aimed at the minimization of post-harvest losses, value
addition, the facilitation of downstream linkages and
export markets. The scientists did not know whether
their technological development was new to market
or new to the world, even though they worked in the
very same institute that houses the Patent Information
and Documentation Centre. It was therefore not clear
what type of intellectual property rights protection, if
any, would have been most appropriate. This makes
it impossible to calculate a return on this investment,
for example because one cannot assess its viability
on export markets.
Agricultural research is no different. The Crops
Research Institute does not register the new seed
varieties it develops; it merely records them in in-
house journals. This is not the outcome of an explicit
policy – that is, to make the results of publicly funded
research freely available to any takers – but merely
the default practice of selling physical commodities
without considering the intellectual capital they
embody. This benefits farmers who obtain affordable
access to improved seed varieties; however, it also
benefits industrial customers, such as breweries,
which privatize the gains from public research. To be
sure, this is not necessarily negative. The inclusion
of quality protein maize in locally brewed beer may
well earn a social return in excess of the investment
made into developing the quality protein maize. The
issue is that because this is not properly evaluated, no
one is in a position to estimate how much the Institute
contributes to development in Ghana. In this particular
instance, its effect is likely underestimated.
The safeguarding of indigenous knowledge is a
particularly sensitive issue. There are instances of
biopiracy in the developing world. More importantly,
in the absence of a framework that ensures a
fair sharing of the gains from the exploitation of
traditional knowledge, the poor are most in danger
of being adversely affected, whereas control over
these assets might actually help them achieve
sustainable livelihoods. The Centre for Scientific
Research into Plant Medicine operates without a
national bioprospecting framework. The only way
it protects its intellectual property is by keeping the


dosage of its concoctions confidential, although
most pharmaceutical laboratories can figure out
both the ingredients and their respective quantities.
Hence if any products of the Centre were to be
widely successful, it might lead to a search for active
ingredients by foreign firms that are currently not
regulated by benefit-sharing arrangements to ensure
that local communities are not left out.
The situation in the universities is similar. None have an
intellectual property rights office, and faculty, like their
peers in the research institutes, are similarly confused
about intellectual property rights. The University of
Ghana is addressing this issue by sourcing technical
assistance from Oxford University and collaborating
with the West African Innovation Management and
Research Association.


3.4. Coordination failures andfunctionality
The institutes and universities are only a part of
Ghana’s research system. Hence when assessing their
performance, it is important to distinguish between
them and the system at large. There are instances
where relevant knowledge was produced but left
unutilized – not because of something the universities
or institutes did or did not do – but because of what
Gerschenkron termed “missing prerequisites”. A few
examples illustrate this.
In a project funded by the Canadian International
Development Agency, scientists at the Institute of
Industrial Research developed a cassava processing
plant. In contrast to traditional practice, it utilized all
inputs from the root, including peels. Nonetheless, it
is challenging for mechanized processing to be cost
competitive, because rural women undercost their
labour input. According to the scientists involved in
the project, the plant was viable. It produced a range
of inputs both for the food processing industry and
for industrial purposes. After it was completed, it
would have required some form of funding so that
rural communities could afford to purchase and
use it. Since its operation required professional
management, it would also have required the setting
up of a structure whereby community ownership,
for example, through shares, was reconciled with
the employment of a professional manager. Yet this
funding was not forthcoming. Banks are reluctant to
invest in agricultural projects, and there was likewise
no other credit facility available from the Ministry of




56 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Food and Agriculture, for example. The lack of credit
also prevented entrepreneurs from acquiring the plant.
Therefore this plant now sits idle, with little prospect
of generating an income stream that would ultimately
justify the initial investment in the technological
development.
It does not fall within the remit of this study to assess
the viability of this and other projects. But taking
the scientists’ account at face value suggests that
there are very considerable coordination failures in
the system. Foremost among them is the absence
of credit to facilitate the uptake of developments
produced by the country’s knowledge infrastructure.
The developers would reportedly be interested in
commercializing the pilot themselves, but to date the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has no
policy on spin-offs, and it is not clear how they would
fund the purchase. Since no one has checked for
potential international interest in the facility, it appears
to be essentially a wasted opportunity.
In another example, the Food Research Institute was
involved in a ten-year effort to increase the quality of
local rice so as to substitute imports from Asia and
elsewhere, funded by Department for International
Development of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, and the Food Security and Rice
Producer Association. In principle, certain areas of
Ghana, especially in the north, lend themselves well
to rice cultivation. However, the quality of local rice
has traditionally not been high, in terms of purity,
appearance, and so on. This partly depended on
inputs such as land and seeds, but post-production
methods were also a problem. This refers to late
harvests from water-logged fields that lead to cracked
grains, threshing on the bare ground without a
tarpaulin and the like. The cracks are difficult to avoid,
which is why farmers parboil the rice. The Institute
designed a vessel for parboiling that reduced water
and fuel input. They also made arrangements for
farmers to receive training in good practices. However,
local rice production did not ultimately go up, rice is
still largely imported and the project was therefore not
a success. The Food Research Institute’s version of
why that is the case hinges on the cost of high-quality
seed that the farmers cannot afford as soon as the
international funding runs out and they face market
costs for inputs.
A very senior manager at the Council for Scientific
and Industrial Research expressed no sympathy for
these problems. He argued that research design


must de rigueur include and ensure that technological
development goes all the way to commercialization,
thus hoisting the entire responsibility onto the
shoulders of the scientists in charge of the project.
This implies that in the above examples, scientists
at the Institute of Industrial Research and the Food
Research Institute should have solved failures in the
market for credit in Ghana. This comment illustrates
a profound misunderstanding of how research and
innovation systems work and a lack of responsibility
for the very support systems that the Council’s
management should put at the disposal of its core
staff.
In the Ghanaian research system, the whole does
not seem to be more than the sum of its parts. As
these examples show, even when the parts are
working, there is not necessarily a positive outcome,
simply because information exchange, coordination
and monitoring within the system do not take place.
This means that underperformance or failures go
unnoticed, resulting in a great deal of inefficiency and,
thus, wastes of potential.
It is important to assess the performance of Ghana’s
research system in the context of the institutional
limitations that constrain key linkages in the system. As
the above examples show, it would be inappropriate
to hold the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research or the universities responsible for low
performance when the system itself does not provide
the prerequisites that are necessary conditions for
that performance to materialize.


3.5. Governance and accountability
The legal framework within which Ghana’s research
system operates provides for regular performance
reviews, at least for some of the actors in the system.32
For example, the Act establishing the Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research (1996) identifies the
following as one of the Council’s functions:
To review, monitor and periodically evaluate the work
of the institutes administered by the Council in order to
ensure that research being carried out by the institutes
directly benefits identified sectors of the economy and
is within the national priorities.33
There is no written evidence that the Council actually
performs this function. None of the institutes we visited
had been subjected to such a review. This means that
neither the Council nor the individual institutes are
used to self-evaluations, engaging with peer reviews,




57CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


and the like; in short, no institute has a transparent
process of accountability geared toward rectifying
undesirable developments and generally improving
system performance.
It is probably no coincidence that in the absence of
such a culture of reviews, be they internal or external,
the Council has resorted to – or been subjected to –
evaluations by outsiders. This is not a bad thing per
se, except that ad hoc external reviews of systems
or institutions that do not systematically monitor and
evaluate themselves can be brutal affairs. For example,
the Government commissioned a study into the partial
commercialization of the Council Secretariat, the
Water Research Institute, and the Institute for Scientific
and Technological Information.34 It essentially wanted
to find out how these three institutions could meet
their 30 per cent target of internally generated funds.
But the consultants did not mince words. They argued
that the Government was wrong in presupposing that
the Council was a fundamentally sound institution
that only needed some streamlining. They concluded
that there were “deep-seated and system-wide
constraints” and that “the ability to manage efficiently
and optimize commercial operations is significantly
curtailed by inherent bottlenecks of the existing
system”.35 They recommended to pare the number
of institutes from 13 to 5 and to prepare for sizeable
staff layoffs. It is rare that such radical proposals
are implemented, if only because they face fierce
resistance from many quarters. But to the extent that
their underlying analysis has merit, not engaging with
the recommendations – which a culture that neglects
self-evaluation and regular internal reviews indirectly
promotes – is clearly a problem.
Perhaps the lack of regular self-evaluation and internal
assessments is one reason why some institutes
have outsourced their strategic plans to consultants.
This has yielded rather mixed results. Some plans
diligently elaborated the “how?” after stating the
“what?”. For example, the strategic plan of the Cocoa
Research Institute of Ghana incorporates an analysis
of strategies for services and technology, marketing,
human resources and organization, finance and
general development.36, 37 Similarly, the Crops
Research Institute matches its strategic direction with
a plan of operation that codifies milestones against
which the achievements of targets can be assessed.38
Strategic documents of other institutes that should
serve as a guide for their work, partly well into the
next decade, are problematic. The strategic plan of


the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine
devotes roughly two pages to each of the years the
plan covers.39 The Institute of Industrial Research
recently released a strategy document that is so
ambitious as to require a complete re-engineering of
the entire institute. The many actions it recommends
read a bit like a shopping list whose feasibility remains
unclear because implementation extends to the entire
duration of the plan, namely five years, which – since it
does not specify milestones – means that monitoring
and evaluation are restricted to declaring success or
failure only at the very end of the planning period.40
By not agreeing on performance indicators and
not making them public at its institutes, the Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research as a whole
undermines its ability to substantiate any claims of a
strong performance.
The situation in the universities reflects a similar
diversity. Universities are mandated to organize
reviews on a regular basis. For example, paragraph
5(5) of the University of Cape Coast Law (1992)
stipulates that “[t]he Chancellor shall once in every five
years appoint a visiting committee to inspect the work
of the University and report to him”.41 But whereas this
procedure appears dormant at the University of Cape
Coast, the University of Ghana made use of a similar
provision in the University of Ghana Act 79 of 1961 to
recruit the services of an international visitation panel
in 2007. Although the resulting report is not the same
as a strategic plan, the reaction of the University’s
leadership shows that the report will in key ways
inform its strategic thinking.42 A review clearly raises
the bar for the quality of self-reflection, thus making for
more realistic takes on how desirable goals can best
be matched with available resources within a specific
time horizon.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
undertook a situation analysis followed up by a
strategic plan in 2005. This process was implemented
at the corporate level and by the individual colleges.43
It started from a number of well-defined challenges,
for example how to diversify its sources of income
and reduce its dependence on government. The
objective to increase its contribution to recurrent
funding through internally generated funds to 50 per
cent was translated into a number of strategies, such
as to reappraise existing income generating units
and appoint a resource and development officer to
promote and coordinate fund-raising activities.44
The University of Cape Coast performed a similar




58 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


exercise, albeit without proper costing (University of
Cape Coast, 2003).
What matters is that Kwame Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology and to a lesser extent
the University of Cape Coast put a system in place
that allowed them to monitor their own performance
and, insofar as they made this information publicly
available, gave external stakeholders the opportunity
to judge the universities’ progress as well. This
increases accountability in the system.


3.6. Negative examples
Ghana’s research system has many practices
that affect its performance negatively. It also
lacks practices that would allow the constituents of
the system to function more professionally. A few
examples illustrate this.
Young scientists entering the system might spend
years in the library and spend little time in a research
lab, let alone conduct experiments. This affects their
competence and negatively impacts their ability to
assemble data so as to live up to their publication
requirements. What they share with senior staff is that
laboratory equipment is often so outdated that journals
reject submitted papers because of experimental
methodologies that are regarded as outmoded by the
profession.
Although there is a system-wide absence of
professional research management systems and
skills, researchers complain that they are actively
discouraged from obtaining training in project
management or other forms of strategic management.
One scientist reported that he attended a project
management course on his leave time for which he
paid himself because his institute saw no point in
supporting such an initiative. Since many institutes
evidently suffer from capacity constraints in formulating
strategic or business plans, as shown in the previous
section, it makes no sense to prevent staff with an
interest in management to acquire requisite skills.
Industry representatives remarked that institutes
did not do proper costing, which suggests that
general business skills are weak. As a result, their
services are sometimes not competitively priced.
Furthermore, in the absence of proper marketing,
the institutes do not necessarily have a public profile
such that potential clients are aware of what their
capabilities are.


Although the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research Secretariat and the individual institutes
have commercialization officers, they do not have
dedicated positions for research project acquisition.
Since this is upstream from commercialization, it
is perhaps one reason why commercialization is
not effective. As a result of the absence of research
support services, much international work is bilateral,
rather than multilateral, because the former is easier
to organize. Of course, highly motivated individuals
can still seek international research funding. But
they are competing against peers with much better
developed support systems, and this clearly affects
their competitiveness. It is curious that not all
institutes practice an award system for staff who
bring in large international research projects, since
this directly affects the core activity of the institutes.
Management boards of at least some Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research institutes, which
among other things are a key interlocutor with the
private sector, met so rarely as to be unable to fulfil
their supervisory and advisory role. In one institute
the board had not been convened at all in the first
semester of 2008. Unfortunately, the institutes often
cannot afford to pay board members their allowances.
Unless staff h a v e acquired their degrees abroad,
they tend to have little international exposure.
Since research is increasingly performed in large,
international networks, this is a problem because it
impedes integration into such consortia. The research
system does not support scientists and academics
directly (through active marketing, systematic
intelligence on tender opportunities and the like)
or indirectly (for example, through informative and
functional websites), exacerbating the situation.
In the key health field, the Centre for Scientific
Research into Plant Medicine has no lab facilities to
isolate active ingredients or marker compounds. The
focus is therefore on qualitative work and preclinical
evaluations. Compounds must be sent abroad
for testing. Hence there is as yet no proper drug-
making capability. Because of the lack of linkages
to established institutions – and thus international
exposure – of collaborations with pharmaceutical or
biotech companies, and of scientists with expertise
in molecular biology and nanotechnology, there is no
local presence in third generation biotechnology.45
Not surprisingly, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals
exports based on Ghana’s abundant biological
diversity have not materialized.




59CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


The Crops Research Institute does not have an
irrigation system to allow it to run two or three planting
cycles per year. It relies entirely on precipitation.
This affects its ability to earn internally generated
funds. Its deficient lab facilities compromise its work
in more than one way. Its biofortification research
requires testing that can only be done abroad. And
since there are centres, including in Africa, that are
much better equipped, such as the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research, major
international crop research contracts tend to go there,
while the Crops Research Institute has to content
itself with the spoils from the high table,46 although it
used to host big projects in the past, for example, the
CIDA- funded Grains Development Project from the
1980s. Given that the Government of Ghana requires
that donor funding for agriculture must go through
the Ministry of Food and Agriculture – which has no
institutional responsibility for the Institute – scientists
at the Institute often do not learn about new funding
opportunities. Money always goes to the Government
from where it must be released, therefore introducing
red tape and delays into the system.
In essence the whole system suffers from systemic
failures and works poorly. Without external partners
and international partners it would not work at all.
This underlines the strategic need to invest in
these relationships to pre-empt donor fatigue in
economically difficult times. In the long term, unless
Ghana offers specific knowledge competences,
the country will not be able to run the system on
a shoestring as it has in the past, even if only to
forestall a total shutdown.
The Government of Ghana seems to have viewed
the research system primarily as a cost item. This
partially explains why some parts of the system are
reluctant to divulge information on external income.
There have been instances when government
“rewarded” an increase in internally generated funds
through a decrease in its subvention, for example at
the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. This is the
exact opposite of the idea of co-funding, which is
the norm in much global research funding. However,
when internally generated funds become a substitute
for government contributions to the budget, the
resulting trade-off greatly undermines whatever
incentive there may have been to raise external funds.
However, not all problems with the system lie
on the supply side. Much of Ghanaian industry
produces primarily for the domestic market, where


it does not face the kind of competition that would
make technological upgrading an imperative. If
manufacturing firms were forced to export more,
then perhaps this would be different. The demand for
higher levels of technological sophistication would
also rise if there were more standards in the country.
In turn, this would likely increase demand for science
and technology graduates.


3.7. Positive examples
On the whole, this study shows that the Ghanaian
research system does not perform well. However,
this is an assessment on average. There are
also examples of research activities followed by
technology developments that have influenced
growth and development in the country, or have the
potential to do so. It is important to identify such
examples both so that their lessons can be absorbed
and because they might be the most realistic points
for policy intervention to improve the system. It is
clearly easier to improve performance on the basis of
something that is already working well, as opposed
to something that does not work at all.
Research management
Until recently, the University of Ghana did not have a
central office to coordinate research at the institution.
This changed with the recent creation of the School
of Research and Graduate Studies, which is headed
by a dean and supported by a dedicated research
administrator, and who are tasked with developing
a professional research management system.
To date their activities have included a research
proposal writing workshop through which they
began to mentor junior or otherwise inexperienced
staff in accessing international research contracts.
Research support further includes the provision of a
list of interested donors; more systematic scanning of
tender opportunities on a regular basis will become
possible once the School manages to hire dedicated
research facilitators for each college.
The incentives for faculty to compete for external
research funds are both direct and indirect. Some
projects allow for salary top-ups. As importantly,
externally funded projects allow the purchase
of equipment and facilities that under other
circumstances would never become available. In
turn, this facilitates research whose successful pursuit
ultimately decides about promotion.




60 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


What might emerge out of this are strategic
research agendas that not only relate to national and
international priorities, but establish viable activities
on the ground. At some Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research institutes, such endeavours to
obtain external research contracts seem largely
absent.
Research design and implementation
The Food Research Institute, in conjunction with the
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, has been involved
in a multi-year project, funded by the Department for
International Development, the Agricultural Services
Sub-Sector Investment Project, and more recently,
the Gates Foundation, that tried to absorb regularly
occurring cassava surpluses by expanding markets
for the root.47 Relevant products included high-quality
cassava flour as a substitute for imported wheat,
glucose syrup. and industrial alcohol. The rationale
behind these products was that the traditional food
market was largely saturated. Interest from industry
existed but there were bottlenecks in the supply for
cassava flour. The solution to this problem originated
at the Food Research Institute and was implemented
in conjunction with private manufacturers. It consisted
of increasing yields by removing suboptimal farming
practices, setting up decentralized processing plants
that reduced transport costs and guaranteed fresher
products, and utilizing a new dryer technology
developed with partners in Nigeria. This reduced
the total cost/kg from ¢10 to ¢6.60, but with an
acceptable margin for the farmers who have to trust
the level of demand and rely on a certain price stability
in order to harvest this crop. End-users were given
performance guarantees and processors could draw
on a credit facility to ensure the sustainability of the
project. This created an entirely new value chain for
the industrial use of cassava and is a good example
of how technology can be used to the benefit of poor
people.
Commercializing research results
The Oil Palm Research Institute is one of the few
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
institutes whose internally generated funds approach
the 30 per cent target. This is because it has a
domestic monopoly on planting material and, thanks
to almost four decades of breeding trials, there is
international demand for its high-yielding parentals.
Yet like all other institutes of the Council, it faces
problems covering operational expenditures (e.g.


for fertilizer) and equipment (e.g. a mill for palm fruit
processing) that negatively impact on its revenue.
Since the Institute is not allowed to apply for credit
and the Secretariat has not shown any interest to
engage in loan activities, the board of the Oil Palm
Research Institute is considering a joint venture with a
private company to finance the mill while sharing the
proceeds from the processing activity.
More interestingly, at least from a research point of
view, is another joint venture for seed production with
a transnational corporation from Indonesia. The
purpose of the partnership is the sharing of germ
plasm, of which each partner has a good stock. With
export markets in mind, this requires high-quality
seeds, which is why the agreement also provides for
the maintenance of a minimum research infrastructure.
To bolster this effort, the Oil Palm Research Institute
aims at International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) certification.
Further opportunities for partnerships exist in
biofuels, which is being investigated by potential
foreign investors. Hence the Institute has looked for,
and partially found, ways out of its predicament of
underfunding.
University-industry linkages
The Tema Oil Refinery, which had supported activities
at the Department of Physics at the University of Cape
Coast, approached the Department with a request
for help to measure oil pollutants in the atmosphere
because the Refinery could not afford the necessary
equipment. The Department managed to use its good
contacts with the academic physics community in
Italy to source a monitoring device that it installed and
that now measures pollutants at 10-km heights. This
example illustrates that the availability of equipment
is a precondition for engagement with industry.
Capabilities and competences
The recent ISO accreditation of the laboratories of
the Food Research Institute is proof that Ghana’s
research system in select areas can operate at world-
quality standards.


3.8. Lessons from elsewhere
Between 2010 and 2016, Kwame Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology, the University of Cape
Coast, and the University of Ghana will enrol students
in science and technology subjects roughly in the
following proportions: two fifths o f undergraduate




61CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


students, and one half of postgraduate students.
There are approximately 1.7 postgraduate students
to every undergraduate. The rise in the proportion
of postgraduate students over time has allowed the
universities to expand their research and innovation
base. During this period, 78 per cent of the students
enrolled in each new cohort leave the universities as
graduates. Around half of faculty members are full
professors. The faculty/student ratio is 1:10. In 2010,
the average per capita journal publication output in
Web-of-Science-accredited journals is 0.825. By 2016
this will rise to 1.82. While few patent applications
were filed in the early 1990s, the three universities will
file close to 90 patents by 2015. Sponsored research
and industrial consultancy projects will more than
triple over the period under consideration.
All of this takes place in an institutional context
comprising technology transfer offices, industrial
liaison agencies, entrepreneurship cells and
incubation units. Their remit includes t h e framing of
innovation- specific guidelines, o f revenue sharing
policy and o f intellectual property rights policy. This
yields direct economic benefits for the universities.
Perhaps more importantly, the spillovers associated
with public-private collaborations lead to more
economic activity in the form of start -up firms and
job creation.
Academics enjoy these new arrangements. The
universities encourage them to participate in these
activities as a means to supplement their salaries.
Departments are happy as well because a certain
share of the royalty stream accrues to them.
Technology transfer office staff are very enthusiastic
about commercializing inventions, both in low R&D-
intensive applications and in high-tech fields. They,
too, are rewarded for successful performance.
Many students are involved in these activities as
well. Their initial contact with the world of industry
and agriculture comes through a compulsory course
on entrepreneurship that all universities have made
part of the undergraduate curriculum. Students
collaborate with faculty, technical staff and outside
researchers in so-called entrepreneurship cells on
campus. These cells serve as an inducement to
take on entrepreneurial challenges and assist those
involved with launching and running a business
venture.
During this period, the share of externally sponsored
research and industrial consultancy will grow more


than two and a half times and reach 44 per cent of the
Government’s contribution to the universities’ budget,
although the majority of earnings continue to derive
from government-sponsored research projects. The
increase is higher for research than for consultancy
projects, reflecting an academic environment that is
naturally research driven. In a decade and a half, the
universities have spun off more than 80 companies.
The university community generally concurs that an
explicit policy in support of spin-offs is behind this
success.
In sum, whereas in the past the universities almost
exclusively focused on training highly skilled
human capital, over about a decade they now have
started to make use of their intellectual assets for
economic development, while generating revenue for
themselves.
All that is required to turn this tale from fiction into fact
is to change the names of the three universities for
the following Indian Institutes of Technology: Bombay,
Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, and Madras. In terms of
faculty size, the five Institutes are comparable to the
three large universities in Ghana. The period from
which the above performance indicators are drawn is
1999–2005.48
The point of telling this story is that miracles do
happen. What is not possible is to replicate the
above experience in its totality in Ghana. But surely
one could begin emulating the Indian success in
strategically chosen areas of excellence, with a view
to letting the whole university system benefit over time
from such an experiment.
Councils for Scientific and Industrial Research in
South Africa and India, and a science and technology
development agency in Colombia
A useful point of departure for any attempt to tackle
these problems is to appreciate that Ghana’s
research institutes are in good company – their sister
institutes in other parts of the world have problems,
too. The panel that reviewed the South African
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in 2003
summarized its findings as follows:


“Thus, the major finding of the Panel is that the
science and technology base is currently not
strong and that, in some significant areas,
the science and technology base has been
considerably weakened since the last Review in
1997. […]




62 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


is funded 40 per cent by a parliamentary grant. This
represents about 15 per cent of total government
expendi ture and 4 per cent of national expenditure
on R&D. The parliamentary contribution, although
not its share, tends to rise over time; from 2006
to 2007 the gross increase was 17 per cent. About
half of its external income supports relevant national
strategies and technology missions. Importantly, it
not only sells research but also intellectual property
– in 2007, license income exceeded Rand 22 million.
The Council also generates income from companies
that it owns.
In 2007, almost 7 per cent of its revenue was
ploughed back into scientific equipment. Stringent
reporting requirements to parliament and the
Department of Science and Technology try to ensure
that these investments are in relevant areas. Its
technological output included 12 international, 91
foreign, and 81 domestic patents, along with 49
technology demonstrators. However, its research
output amounted to only 129 peer-reviewed articles,
making for a very low per capita figure of 0.8. This
implies, as suggested above, that there are certainly
areas of improvement – and this is perhaps the
most important difference between the Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa and
in Ghana. Not only does the former undergo regular
external reviews in relatively short intervals, that is,
every five years, it also subjects itself to constant
internal reviews – there is an annual review enveloped
by a three-year rolling strategic plan. As a result,
there is much more organizational change, such as
the creation of new units or the closure of others that
have exhausted their usefulness.
The reform of the Indian Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research preceded the new (1996) Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research Act in Ghana by
ten years. The Review Committee recommended an
external funding target of 30 per cent. Which part of
the organization contributed how much to this overall
goal, was for the Council to decide internally, that is,
in relative autonomy from the Department of Science
and Technology to which it reported. A one-time grant
helped update essential equipment, while overall
modernization proceeded in a phased manner.
Resource allocation took place on the basis of specific
programme needs, as opposed to some aggregate
formula. Staff might be encouraged to follow the
technology they developed to the industry where it
would be applied. Red tape was removed from the


Strengthening the science and technology base
will therefore depend, importantly, on considerable
enhancement of human resources. … the Panel
made a number of proposals that are designed to
advance the development of young researchers.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is a need to
recruit a few very high-quality scientists who could
act to galvanize the organization and provide a
new sense of excitement and purpose and who
could serve to attract others. This will require that
the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
carefully consider how it could best create the
conditions that would allow such persons the space
to exercise the initiative that will be necessary for
high-quality science to grow and flourish.”49


The Panel went on to recommend a new business
model, which, inter alia, was meant to ensure that
earnings be deployed to strengthen the science and
technology capacity and to achieve a consolidation
of certain business units, that is, the equivalent of
institutes in Ghana. These recommendations were
taken on by the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research. A member of the Council’s senior
management interviewed for this report underlined
the importance of a strong science and technology
base without which engagement with the private
sector was impossible and made no sense. Thus,
the Council recently created a new nanotechnology
lab that provides a world-class infrastructure. Young
researchers associated with its facilities are provided
opportunities to attend international conferences.
Through studentships, the Council involves people in
the pursuit of MSc (Master of Science) or PhD degrees
in project work. This not only gives these students an
exposure to practical research they are unlikely to
experience in their university. It also affords senior
scientists the chance to enlarge research teams, co-
publish with research assistants, establish links with
universities, possibly teach part time, and so on – all
activities that support research productivity.
The South African Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research has less baggage than the Ghanaian
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research identified
in this report. Its core/support staff ratio is higher than
2:1, compared with roughly 1:10 in Ghana. However,
in the past it had a very inflated overhead, which
suggests that engineering more reasonable staff
complements is eminently doable. It is much better
funded. Its current annual turnover of approximately
Rand 1.3 billion – most of which is of national origin –




63CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


relationship between the individual labs – institutes
in Ghana – and headquarters, by some degree of
decentralization in the areas of finance, recruitment
and administration. Scientists with expertise in areas
of strategic concern to the organization were rewarded
50 per cent above their peers at the same rank. Of
concern was the size of non-science and technology
staff; it was recommended that the core/non-core
ratio be reduced to 1:1.5.50
In 1996 the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research in India published a strategy paper that was
supposed to take it into the new millennium.51 How
well the Organization lived up to the goals enunciated
in this document is somewhat controversial.52
However, in the current decade, many performance
indicators have improved. Staff cuts went hand
in hand with an increase in outputs. For example,
publications, patents, and external income all rose.53
Thus, in 2002, the Council’s 38 labs were ranked
top Patent Compliance Treaty applicants from the
developing world, jointly with Samsung, whose
research budget was 10 times larger.54 They also
considerably devolved decision-making processes to
the individual labs.55
However, headquarters retained key units of
importance to the entire Organization, such as
the Intellectual Property Management Division,
the International Science and Technology Affairs
Directorate, and the R&D Planning Division, none
of which have a counterpart in Ghana. Twice a year
the Human Resource Development Group advertises
junior research fellowships which total 7,000–8,000
beneficiaries. The human resources development unit
identifies and nurtures new talent, funds extramural
research, recognizes excellence and encourages
interaction between scientists. Altogether it runs 18
such programmes. The core/non-core staff ratio is
2.7:1.
Colombia has had a science and technology
development agency called Colciencias that in
early 2009 was transformed into the Administrative
Department of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Its remit is none less than to create a national system
of science, technology and innovation. It oversees and
funds a series of research themes, currently hosted in
seven research institutes, ranging from biodiversity to
life sciences and new materials. In addition, it puts a
premium on human resources development. To this
end, it has set up the National Council for Economic
and Social Policy, or CONPES 3179, to improve


national doctoral capacity by providing a competitive
fund for scientific and technological equipment. This
programme is the first of its kind in Latin America.
Colciencias has also been funding masters and
doctoral studies abroad since 1992, using loans from
various sources. Currently 500 students are enrolled
in this programme. In addition it runs a science
awareness programme in the country’s schools.
The experiences from South Africa, India, and
Colombia show that the sister organizations of
the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
have confronted, and adapted to, changes in their
economic environment. This often entailed very
considerable modifications to the way they operated.
Along the way, their performance improved. Hence
the way in which these systems are run determines in
no small way what and how they deliver. Ghana can
learn from these insights.


3.9. Recommendations
This assessment has discussed the question
of whether Ghana’s research system advances
its developmental agenda. The answer is no.
Undertaking the analysis also raised the question of
whether it could in principle do so. The answer is yes.
This concluding section summarizes what is wrong
with the system and how it could be improved.
Figure 3 .4 depicts a stylized version of the research
system and its problems. It focuses on processes,
functions, and institutions rather than individual
organizations. A few themes emerge. The system
receives little by way of inputs and produces little by
way of outputs. Problems internal to the organizations
that the report analysed include a dearth of
professional research management, inadequate
human resources development, misaligned incentive
systems and an absence of regular performance
assessments. These are issues that the research
institutes and universities can and must address
themselves. Then there are problems that afflict the
system at large: widespread coordination failures,
a dysfunctional intellectual property rights system,
and again no openness to being reviewed. These are
issues external to the organizations reviewed here
and must be tackled primarily by government.
It is not possible unambiguously to infer causality
from figure 3.4. For example, directors of research
institutes might argue that if only they had more and
better resources, their output would increase and




64 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


become more relevant. Detractors, in the form of
other claims on public resources, might counter that
the nature of the internal problems is such that more
inputs would at best be an inefficient way to allocate
resources to spur growth and development, and at
worst, a total waste of money. One might also
question how realistic it is to fix problems at the
micro, or organizational, level if macro coordination
and steering remain problematic or are lacking. Or
conversely, what sense it would make to improve
overall system capacity if the major knowledge-
producing organizations in the country cannot work
effectively?
This means that piecemeal approaches will not work.
They are equivalent to the lip service that Ghana
has been paying to the role of science, technology
and innovation, which is acknowledged but never
made explicit. This applies to policy, strategy,
implementation, and monitoring and evaluation,
supported by performance reviews. In sum, although
many components of Ghana’s research system
perform suboptimally, it is the system at large – in
other words the effective interaction between its
various components – that does not work. Fixing
things here and there is necessary but not sufficient
when the whole system needs an overhaul.


Source: the authors’ elaboration


Figure 3.1. Problems in the Ghanaian research system


Research Institutes and Universities
Problems:
- Professional (research and technology)
management
- Human resource development
- Performance assessment and review


Government


Coordination Review IPR


Problems


Little
input


Little
output


The most important problem of the system is
underfunding. This must not be misunderstood to
imply that more funding will by itself quick-fix the
system; as pointed out, there are other serious
problems. Without better resources, however, none
stand a chance of being sustainably solved. This
section first discusses what should be done to tackle
this problem, and then how.
The lack of resources can be solved in four
complementary ways.
1) Increase budgetary allocation to STI
The government must increase its budgetary
allocation to science, technology and innovation in
order to give meaning to its commitment to that
area. If it wants Ghana to become a knowledge
economy, it must realize that such a path is neither
cheap, nor short. Knowledge workers need to be
well paid. They also need quality equipment and
facilities. The discrepancy in salary between scientists
at the institutes and academics at the universities is
not justified. Since higher education always implies
a subsidy to the middle classes, treating students
and faculty as somehow deserving better than other
members of the knowledge infrastructure merely
acknowledges the lobbying power of an influential
group in society. All this means that very substantial
monies must be released for science and technology
and that such investments only make sense in the
context of long -term commitments that transcend
electoral cycles. An increase in spending for a few
years, followed by cutbacks, is counterproductive.
In such a case it would be more logical to settle for
a more or less permanent low-income status of the
country at large.
2) Review institutional management
The Government should consider keeping the
entire science and technology system under
one ministerial roof, as has been the case since
2009. This assessment has failed to turn up any
evidence that having three ministries rather than
one to which the research institutes and universities
report somehow benefits the system. Instead it
makes coordination even more difficult in a system
that on current standing is not particularly adept at
ensuring relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness.
It would be easier for one ministry to identify and
address coordination and other failures, as opposed
to several departments overcoming silo mentalities
and bureaucratic obstacles. It bears emphasizing




65CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


that if the knowledge economy is as important for
Ghana as some key policy documents make it seem,
such a ministry must enjoy considerable clout. This
is even truer in an economic environment that has
considerably deteriorated since when this review was
first conceived, and where fewer resources will lead
to more conflict over their distribution.
3) Improve efficiency
The research system must become more efficient.
This concerns staffing levels at the research institutes,
in particular. This study has shown that core/support
staff ratios in Ghana bear no comparison with those
in similar organizations elsewhere. People concerned
about job security, especially for non–core staff, or
about the cost of severance packages resulting from
massive redundancies, must be reminded about the
opportunity costs of keeping these people employed
in essentially non-productive positions. The Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research should take
a hard look at its entire business model in each
institute, at the Secretariat, and for the Organization
as a whole. It may have to employ an outside agency
to conduct such a review.
4) Boost external income
Lastly, the research system must substantially boost
its external income. This requires first and foremost
a motivated scientific and academic workforce.
Motivation results prominently from the satisfaction
and reward one derives from one’s job. Hence
powerful incentives must be put in place to encourage
people to win international research tenders and to
commercialize technological innovation. Next, it
requires a supportive and professionally managed
environment in which researchers can rely on
upstream (for example, tender opportunity scanning)
and downstream (for example, marketing, network
building, commercialization or intellectual property
management) services, whose delivery is essential for
the success of core activities.
5) Facilitate institutional and organizational


experimentation
In an ideal world, these measures could be directed
at the entire system contemporaneously. In the real
world, this is impossible. What is possible is to
open up space for experimenting with institutional
and organizational alternatives in select areas. This
must be guided by the need to focus on those
activities where certain prerequisites exist and where


interventions have a better than even chance of
succeeding. Such a search for excellence would
be based on key factors, such as the quantity
and quality of highly skilled human capital and an
incipient infrastructure that has supported above-
average research or technology performance
over the last few years. This study h a s referred
to differentials in research productivity, both across
and within institutions. Such information provides an
entry point for discussions of which parts of the
system to select for an experiment.
To make this possible, the Government should not take
an approach whereby successful income generation
on the open market is penalized by a reduction in
the government subvention. Good performance
should be rewarded at all levels, which means that
for budget purposes the idea of co-funding should
be introduced.
Not all feasible solutions will be politically palatable.
For example, the centralized regulation of academic
user fees in the universities prevents the cross-
subsidization of study courses that are important for
the development of the country, namely in science
and engineering, through income from subjects
such as business or law. Likewise, the reluctance to
attract top-notch scientists and to reward them with
working conditions commensurate with their impact –
a lighter teaching load, fully sponsored postgraduate
assistants, acceptable lab facilities, and so on –
curtails the ability of the universities to increase their
presence, even if only selectively, in global knowledge
networks.
6) Promote more professional management
Across the system, the management of research,
technology, people and their ideas must become
more professional. This is an area where
decentralization would likely be inefficient, at least as
far as performance review and promotion procedures
are concerned. They should be standardized and
adhered to across the system so that the best
researchers can be associated with, or even migrate
to, the most interesting research projects, regardless
of whether such projects are hosted by an institute
other than their own. In essence, it is important that
rules and incentives facilitate a market for ideas,
seed funding, and project implementation so that
the most vibrant and relevant parts of the research
infrastructure can grow, while those that do not
produce what is expected of them are allowed to




66 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


close down. In contrast, the administration of research
projects, regardless of size, should be as close as
possible to the people performing the research.
7) Increase self-reflexivity
Finally, the entire system must increase its self-
reflexivity. Annual reports should be taken more
seriously. Strategic plans should be updated on a


regular basis and contain measureable milestones.
Reviews should be undertaken periodically, including
through external panels, in order to monitor whether
the system is on track.


None of this is easy. But this can be achieved with
strong political commitment and the collective
determination of key role players.




67CHAPTER III: GHANA’S RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM


NOTES
1 This review was mandated to cover the following research and higher-education institutions: the Council for Scientific and


Industrial Research, specifically the Crops Research Institute (Kumasi), the Food Research Institute (Accra), the Institute
of Industrial Research (Accra) and the Oil Palm Research Institute (Kade); the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant
Medicine (Mampong-Akuapem); the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (Tafu); the University of Ghana at Legon; Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi); and the University of Cape Coast (Cape Coast).


2 Institute of Industrial Research (2004), ISTC (2006).
3 Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (2005), Water Research Institute (2004).
4 Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (2003).
5 Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (2007: 19)
6 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005a), Report of the Visitation Panel to the University of Ghana


(2007), University of Cape Coast (2003).
7 The 2007 Visitation Panel to the University of Ghana seemed in two minds about the issue of faculty are remuneration. On the


one hand it warned that the ratio of remuneration to per capita income was already exceptionally high and possibly beyond
what is socially acceptable (Report of the Visitation Panel to the University of Ghana (2007, 13–14)). On the other hand it
bemoans low salaries and generally unattractive conditions that are nowhere near world-class levels (ibid, 44).


8 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005b).
9 University of Ghana (2007: xxxi).
10 University of Ghana (1994).
11 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (n.d.: 5).
12 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2008b: section 6).
13 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (n.d.: 8); emphasis is in the original document.
14 WTO (2008).
15 WIPO (2007).
16 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (1996a, b).
17 The current designation of scientists or researchers working in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is “Research


Scientist”. The respective higher ranks have Senior, Principal and Chief prefacing this.
18 CSIR (n.d.).
19 Oil Palm Research Institute (2002).
20 Crops Research Institute n.d.
21 Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine n.d.c.
22 Ghana/EU Cocoa Sector Support Programme (2003).
23 Report of the Visitation Panel to the University of Ghana (2007).
24 Council of the University of Ghana (2008).
25 University of Cape Coast (2003).
26 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005a, b).
27 Comin and Hobijn (2004).
28 Utility models are also referred to as petty patents. They fulfil essentially the same function as patents but are easier to


acquire, have a shorter protection term, are usually not examined and thus faster to register, and are cheaper to obtain and
maintain. See http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/ip_business/utility_models/utility_models.htm.


29 Kim, Lee, and Park (2008).
30 Krauskopf and Méndez (2007).
31 For example, Augusto (2002).
32 No review is foreseen in the founding act of the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (Centre for Scientific


Research into Plant Medicine Decree 1975).
33 Ibid, 3.
34 Natural Resources Institute n.d.
35 Ibid, 2.
36 Ghana/EU Cocoa Sector Support Programme (2003).
37 The Institute’s founding act also does not include a review provision (Ghana Cocoa Research Institute Decree 1979).




68 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


38 Crops Research Institute n.d.
39 Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine n.d.c.
40 Institute of Industrial Research n.d.
41 University of Cape Coast Law (1992: 3).
42 Council of the University of Ghana (2008).
43 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005a, b, n.d.).
44 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005a: 1,8).
45 The Crops Research Institute has just received funding to set up a lab with third-generation biotech equipment.
46 The Crops Research Institute is, however, part of the West African Agricultural Productivity project, working with Mali


and Senegal. The Project is expected to net some $14–15 million over five years. Yet individual scientists in Kumasi know
little about the project scope, do not feel ownership and are resigned to the fact that key decisions, including about
disbursements, are taken by people in Accra.


47 C:AVA (2008), Graffham and Dziedzoave n.d.
48 For more detail, see Chandra (2008), and also Locket, Wright, and Franklin (2003) and Siegel, Waldman and Link (2003).
49 A Summary of the Main Findings and the Main Thrust of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Review


Report n.d., 1,3; confidential document.
50 Hussa (1986).
51 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research India (1996).
52 See, for example, Abrol n. d.
53 Dahlman, Goel, and Dutz (2007).
54 Bound (2007).
55 Wessner and Shivakumar (2007).




Ghana’s Food and Agro-Processing Sector




70 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


4.1. Introduction
The cornerstone of economic progress of any nation is
the judicious development and utilization of its natural
resources, and Ghana is no exception. Today, Ghana
stands on the threshold of abundantly rich but largely
underutilized agricultural natural resources. Agriculture
is its dominant economic activity, accounting for 37.7
per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006.
Since 2000, the shares of agriculture and services in
national GDP grew, while the industrial component
declined. From the agriculture sector, crops and
livestock contribute about 25 per cent to GDP, cocoa,
5 per cent, and forestry and fishing, 4 per cent each
(figure 4.1).
Figure 4.1. Contributions to GDP, by sector and


agriculture subsectors


safety, and price to consumers, it also results in
missed opportunities for economic growth and job
creation in one of Ghana’s most important sectors.
Demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to
reach $100 billion by 2015, double its level of 2000,2
facilitating private sector development and regional
trade. This offers a unique opportunity for Ghanaian
farmers, processors, and entrepreneurs to become
major regional players. For a successful and growing
economy, Ghana needs its primary industries to be
successful and the role of food and agro-processing
in that mix cannot be overstated.
A well-developed food and agro-processing industry
serves as a buffer against fluctuating food prices
and minimizes the impact of volatile global prices on
domestic markets. While recent high food prices in
Ghana reflect shortages in global production, some
agricultural commodities in Ghana are produced
well in excess of consumption.3 This is evident in the
short-term gluts seen during harvest seasons while
shortages of the same commodities are experienced
between harvests. Recent surges, followed by volatile
food prices and farm inputs, including energy,
underline the importance of a stable domestic food
supply. Increasing the output and capitalizing on the
locally focused food and agro-processing industry
can promote stable and year-round food supply for
the country and the region.
Weakness in the post-harvest agricultural system
also results in missed opportunities for economic
growth and job creation in one of Ghana’s most
important sectors.4 Ghana produces a wide variety
of agricultural products, including cereals, starchy
crops, horticulture, fish and seafood, that serve as the
raw materials for transformation into an abundance of
value-added products. Not many agricultural products
leave the farm in the form in which they are utilized
by the consumer; food and agro-processing are
invariably necessary to extend the use of perishable
commodities beyond the season in which they are
produced and to help meet the dietary needs of
increasingly urbanized populations that are separated
from the food source both in time and in place.
Increasing the production of non-food items from farm
commodities for use by non-agricultural industries also
plays a crucial role in a country’s general economic
development, especially when most of the employed
labour is involved in agriculture. This requires a
sophisticated and innovative agro-processing sector.
High value-added products are witnessing a constant
product differentiation and innovation worldwide;


Agriculture sub-sectors (% of GDP)




2000 2006


! ""
#$


%"
#$


&
$


! ""
''$


%"
($


&
(($


Sources: World Development Indicators, Ghana Data Profile
and Details of the Agriculture sector, Bank of Ghana Annual
Report 2006.
Modern agricultural practices have boosted the
indigenous production of food crops in the country.
However, expanding agricultural production has
not been accompanied by an equivalent expansion
in Ghana’s food and agro-processing sector.1 This
weakness in Ghana’s post-harvest agricultural
system not only negatively affects food security,




71CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


as a result, agriculture has changed from a sector
characterized by the production of undifferentiated
bulk commodities to one of specialized markets
driven by new end-user demands. Value-added and
safe products with enhanced quality, added health
benefits or extra convenience for consumers also
tend to require more complex technologies and a
technically competent, skilled workforce.
Since local food processing remains too small to meet
local demand, high-value food imports are on the rise.
A recent study points out that although the growing
middle-income households are poised to provide
a significant consumer base for locally processed
agriculture, Ghana is currently producing less than
30 per cent of the raw materials required by its food
and agro-processing industries. This is not the result
of underproduction per se, but is largely a result of an
inconsistent and poor quality supply.5 As agricultural
production increases, small and medium-sized
agribusinesses can work closely with local farmers to
ensure that farm output is of the consistent and high-
quality nature needed by these businesses.
Overall, there is a very small link between the
agricultural production sector and the market, and
small farmers have hardly any access to local and
international markets. In order to better exploit
its own post-harvest opportunities in agriculture,
Ghana must generate a dynamic and fast-growing
set of agribusiness firms. To do so, Ghana would
need to accelerate its entrepreneurial engine in
the food and agro-processing sector through
judicious investments in capacity development to
support innovative enterprises. This would require a
substantial investment of resources in the food and
agro-processing infrastructure. If Ghana is successful
in this endeavour, a robust food-processing industry
would serve to enhance food security by preventing
the waste and spoilage of commodities, while at
the same time capturing more value from the raw
materials.
A critical aspect of accelerating entrepreneurial growth
and successfully linking producers to markets is the
capacity of science, technology and innovation related
to food and agro-processing. Ghana needs to create
national infrastructure and mechanisms to support the
development of businesses that generate innovative
products from its agricultural production base. This
would require significant strengthening of its science,
engineering, technology and entrepreneurial human
capacity through programmes that build manpower


capacity in science, technology and engineering of
relevance to agribusiness.
This chapter proposes a package of three
complementary actions to fill the gap in science,
technology and innovation capacity in the food and
agro-processing sector. These actions were identified,
designed, and recommended by a diverse set of food
and agro-processing stakeholders that met in Accra
at a stakeholders workshop in July 2008:
(a) Establish a network of two or three agribusiness
innovation centres (AICs), distributed among the three
main regions in the country and located at the pre-
mises of institutions of higher learning and research.
These centres would act as the hubs for economic
clusters of the food and agro-processing industry. The
major activity of AICs is to spur home-grown innova-
tions and developments in food and agro-processing
technologies to convert raw commodities into pro-
ducts that face barriers to commercialization. These
AICs should be modelled on similar centres that have
worked successfully to stimulate entrepreneurship
and agribusiness innovation in a diverse set of coun-
tries. A derivative undertaking would entail adding
business incubators that offer tenant space to start-
ups for short-term entrepreneurial and commercial
use to process, distribute and sell value-added farm
products that meet market needs. The centres would
offer opportunities to provide workers with practical
skills and produce students and entrepreneurs who
will be job creators and not job seekers. The centres
and the related regional infrastructure would target a
set of commodities offering high potential for exploita-
tion in each region.
(b) Improve funding mechanisms for market-oriented
research, development and innovation performed
by Ghana’s agribusinesses. In order to develop the
agro-processing sector Ghana must provide ways
to support research and development (R&D) and
low and high-tech innovation by agribusinesses
and entrepreneurs. Investments in facilities and
equipment made by businesses, research institutes
and innovation centres will be wasted if businesses
lack the financial resources to undertake innovation.
Funding mechanisms could include commodity
check-off fees to be collected and invested by the
industry, national competitive matching grants, tax
credits for innovation-related activities or scaling up
of existing sources of funding, including the national
venture capital fund and the research endowment
fund.




72 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


(c) Establish an industry advisory group, composed
of government, university, research institute, and
industry representatives, to guide the development of
the food and agro-processing industry. The advisory
group – based on similar bodies in other countries
– would seek to provide coordination, direction, and
practical and systemic solutions for developing the
food and agro-processing industry in Ghana. This
group would seek to create a climate hospitable to the
kinds of private enterprises that can stimulate change
from a subsistence farming economy to an integrated,
market-oriented, agricultural-based economy.
These efforts would be undertaken with public and
private participation and guided by the industry
advisory group. In this way, government, industry
and academia could be aligned in their efforts to
nurture current and emerging areas of agribusiness.
Investments related to these efforts would be focused
on Ghana’s unique agricultural strengths, including
commodity groups that hold high potential for
exploitation by Ghana’s food and agro-processing
industries. A successful pursuit of these efforts
would be expected to achieve the following main
outcomes:
Accelerated development, scaling up and


commercialization of viable and competitive
products and processes based on Ghana’s
agricultural feedstock;


Better opportunities for partnership with food
and agro-processing institutions and enterprises
worldwide;


Enhanced human science, engineering and
entrepreneurial capacity in Ghana;


Improved and state-of-the art systems and
infrastructures to support linkages among R&D,
business and capital stakeholders in Ghana;


Increased input of stakeholders in policy making,
market intelligence and regulations to foster
domestic and global competitiveness;


Nurturing of an entrepreneurial culture that
produces job creators, not job seekers.


This chapter (a) describes the current state of Ghana’s
food and agro-processing sector, (b) evaluates the
role that science, technology and innovation can and
should play in the development of Ghana’s food and
agro-processing sector and (c) describes in more
detail the set of recommended actions.


4.2. Status and challenges of the food
and agro-processing sector
This discussion of the food and agro-processing
sector includes products originating from agriculture
and fisheries only; it excludes forestry.
4.2.1. Food-processing sector
At present, Ghana has a very small food-processing
sector. The sector is characterized by microenterprises
and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
that constitute about 92 per cent of the industrial
set-up and mostly operate in the informal sector (see
figure 4.2).6
Figure 4.2. Share of microenterprises and small and


medium-sized enterprises in the food-
processing sector


Large enterprises
8%


MSMEs
92%


Note: MSMEs – microenterprises and SMEs
Source: The authors.
These enterprises are mostly family-owned businesses
that handle locally grown foods such as tubers, fruits
and vegetables, fish and nuts. Traditional processing
methods such as the conversion of cassava into
fufu and gari using rudimentary techniques, such as
pounding, drying and grating, dominate the sector.
Since these methods are carried out within the ambit
of laborious and uncompetitive cottage industries
using simple and age-old tools, in general very limited
value addition is achieved and the final product
remains undifferentiated and only slightly improved
over the raw feedstock.
Beyond these family-owned businesses, a small
number of firms have been established that use more
modern processing techniques. A few successful
local establishments include Cowbell and Fan Milk,
which produce dairy products and juices, and Athena
Foods and Pinora, which have set up pineapple and




73CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


orange juice concentrate manufacturing operations.
Blue Skies Company has started to export freshly cut
fruits and sells processed fruit juices in the domestic
markets. There are also big local companies, such
as the Ghana Cocoa Processing Company, and
multinationals, such as Nestle and Cadbury, that
operate in the formal sector.
A survey of the current status of food-processing
activities within the country indicates large differences
in the types of value chains in the various geographic
regions of Ghana.7 Figures 4.3 and 4.4 illustrate
the distribution of the food-processing plants and
activities by region. Overall, the central and southern


regions were relatively more active in grain milling and
fisheries processing, and the northern and western
regions were more focused on malting, dairy and
animal products, and fats and oil processing. As
expected, these differences were dictated by the
availability of commodities based on the geology
and climate of the region. In general, the activities of
these firms have not gone much beyond the mere
transformation of local commodities into tradable,
minimally processed end products.8 These SMEs face
market constraints, including the lack of technological
support, insufficient market intelligence and limited
support services.


Commodity 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
%


Change
(05-06)


Horticultural
Pineapple 8,769 13,055 11,853 13,450 15,520 14,378 22,069 13,430 19,086 42.1
Cotton Seed 578 1,250 855 2,588 363 220 1965 1,762 11,795 569.4
Kola nut 771 1,151 755 663 1,122 948 1893 125 944 655.2
Yam 4,756 6,497 7,172 4,739 2,428 4,442 8,400 10,951 141 -98.7
Vegetable/Condiment 620 272 431 348 521 726 2536 3,976 2,444 -38.5
Orange (Fresh) 78 141 249 126 672 329 94 3,865 462 -88.0
Tinda 355 445 474 532 587 636 - -
Tomatoes 125 128 446 757 1,096 427 56 39 -
Pepper (Chilies) 880 1,221 1,255 1,938 1,782 1,822 107 -
Garden Eggs 468 596 434 519 455 522 260 66 40 -39.4
Banana 2,688 3,220 3,695 3,189 3,250 227 209 489 10,330 2,012.5
Mangoes 110 103 118 78 70 108 164 135 83 -38.5
Pawpaw 725 1,218 161 993 864 737 1,267 1,081 937 -13.3
Fish & Seafood
Tuna Fish 7,018 8,715 5,437 10,291 12,191 8,901 23,620 14,978 32,148 114.6
Frozen Fish 8,390 6,176 5,586 8,088 6,205 10,659 21,108 26,386 29,693 12.6
Lobsters/Shrimps, etc 911 1,604 902 975 1,051 2,612 1,013 843 1,780 111.2
Processed Fish 1,577 9 19 2,695 4,397 3,304 1,479 25,394 25,915 2.1
Processed Tuna 77,283 61,890 65,101 50,398 71,048 64,051 - 54,850 55,520 1.2
Cuttle Fish/Octopus 3,021 29,923 3,997 17,973 636 1,378 2,898 2,918 4,124 41.3
Processed & Industrial:
Cashew Nuts 1,187 3,798 2,553 89 1,450 2,599 18,759 5,498 11,975 117.8
Cocoa Waste 3,608 3,713 2,021 4,739 2,728 2,590 - 2,288 709 -69.0
Processed Cocoa 74,221 56,596 60,636 69,320 86,041 136,024 - 71,741 152,237 112.2
Raw/Lint Cotton 8,535 8,415 9,904 8,530 6,143 46,051 3,773 4,053 4,427 9.2
Robusta Coffee 8,253 7,678 5,174 2,051 643 365 481 256 133 -48.0
Sheanuts 7,892 6,804 4,674 6,654 6,125 16,746 2,463 28,969 27,249 -5.9


Source: Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) (2007).
(-) Figures not available


Table 4.1. Value of Main Agricultural Non-Traditional Exports: (US $ thousands)




74 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Figure 4.3. Number of food processing firms in Ghana, by region and commodity group


Source: the authors, based on Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Private Sector Development (2008).


Plant-based Animal-based Fish Other (includes beverages)


Brong-Ahafo


Upper East


198


48 3


265


Northern


355


155


3
87


A shanti


623


119
35


181


Western


218


68 29 39


Central


390


88 62 94


Upper West


46 17 0 54


123
16 9


129


Greater Accra


266


48


185
83


Eastern


274


84 35
98


Volta


222


8 14
76




75CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


Ghana produces a wide range of possible feedstock
that could and should be profitably converted into value-
added and diverse products by its agribusinesses.
Over the past two decades, food production in Ghana
has undergone significant growth and diversification.
Major food crops consist of cereals, including maize,
rice, millet, guinea corn and sorghum; as well as
starchy crops, such as cassava, yam, cocoyam (taro)
and plantain. These staples are still sold mostly in raw
form, mainly because of a very rudimentary national
food-processing industry that lacks the technological
base to help maximize the profits that could be derived
from value-added processing and manufacturing on
large commercial scales.9 It is estimated that about 30
per cent of Ghana’s annual food production currently
is wasted, primarily due to underinvestment in the food


and agro-processing sectors.10 Agricultural farming
is frequently viewed as an independent, stand-alone
sector with a major emphasis on the production of raw
commodities, often devoid of industrial underpinning.
Significant gains in some agricultural exports have
accompanied increases in food production. The
variety of commodities featuring on the export list
is broad. Table 4.1 (page 73) highlights the variety
of commodities covered under the horticultural, fish
and seafood, processed and industrial categories. As
may be deduced from the increases in value across
progressive years, some are becoming major foreign
exchange earners. For example the export value of
vegetables grew from $620,000 in 1998 to $3,976,000
in 2005, dropping to $2,444,000 in 2006, as shown in
table 4.1. The export of frozen fish has also shown a
similarly remarkable upward surge. From $8,390,000
it rose to $10,659,000 in 2003 to $21,108,000 in
2004 and to $29,693,000 in 2006. Product variety is
evidently broad and shows positive development.
The strong growth of the horticultural non-traditional
exports is illustrated in figure 4.5.11
Pineapple continues to be the leading horticultural
export commodity, with a total export value close to
$20 million. The production of pineapple is mainly
dominated by big commercial farms, such as Jei
Farms Limited, Georgefields Farms, Prudent Export
Farms, Bomart Farms and Golden Exotics. The Export
Development and Investment Fund is offering a grant


Figure 4.4. Food processing firms in Ghana, by region and product


Source: the authors, based on Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Private Sector Development (2008).


0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900


Wes
tern Cen


tral


Grea
ter A


ccra Volta East
ern


Ash
anti


Bron
g-Ah


afo
Nort


hern


Upp
er E


ast


Upp
er W


est


Regions


No
. of


Fir
ms


Food Processing Firms in Ghana, by Region


Carbonated beverages
Meat
Horticulture
Fish
Oils and Fats
Starch Products
Animal Feed
Other
Grain mill products
Dairy
Cocoa and Confectionary
Bakery Products
Malting
Alcohol and Fermentation


Type of food product
% of
total
sales


US $
million


Imported* 32 384
Partly processed & packaged in
Ghana 8 96
Totally processed in Ghana 15 180
Locally produced & consumed 45 540
Total 100 1200


Sources: Ghana exporter guide 2007. USDA FAS. Gain report GH7005, 2007.
* 45% from Europe, 40% from Asia, 5% from USA and 10% from South Africa & other countries.


Table 4.2. Retail food sales by value for 2006




76 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


to supply specialized machinery and agricultural
inputs to further boost pineapple farming. Private
investment is also significant. For example, a leading
fruit-processor, Blue Skies, commissioned a second
factory, boosting its total daily export capacity from 10
to 30 tons. The firm exports fresh processed mangoes,
organic coconuts, pineapples, banana and fresh fruit
juices to the European Union. Marks and Spencer,


Woolworth’s, Waitrose and Sainsbury are some of the
large supermarkets selling Blue Skies’ products.


Demand within Ghana for high-value food products
has increased with improved earnings and living
standards, together with a growth in expatriate
population. Retail food sector sales in 2006 were
about $1.2 billion, as shown in table 4.2 (page 75).


Figure 4.5. Value of horticultural exports of Ghana


Source: Essegbey (2008).


Pineapple Pepper Cashew YamBanana


0


5,000


10,000


15,000


20,000


25,000


1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006


Year


Val
ue


(US
$ '0


00)


Supply of Raw Materials Post-Harvest
Supply inconsistencies (volumes and quality) Weak capabilities of firms to undertake value-added activities
Infrastructure – roads, irrigation, cold chain Weak linkages to markets
Access to medium-long term finance Workers and entrepreneurs lack practical skills (both business and


technical skill sets)
Land tenure system Lack of business development services for firms to access
Access to production technology (weak extension


services)
Limited facilities for R&D and for accessing technology


Infrastructure – roads, ports (now improved), energy
Perceived weak access to finance for business development
Trade barriers


Table 4.3. Key Constraints in the Food and Agro-Processing Sector


Source: the authors.




77CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


Domestic demand for processed foods has risen
along with the share of imported food, as local food
processing remains too small to meet domestic
demand. A very small part of retail food exports is in
processed food (figure 4.6), compared with a very
significant portion of imports is in that area.
When the many and diverse assets of the country are
examined in combination, an impressive environment
for pursuing food and related bio-product development
emerges. A case illustrating both potential and missed
opportunities for value-addition is cocoa, a traditional
cash crop. Africa produces approximately 75 per cent
of the total world cocoa output, but processes only
about 15 per cent. Europe, however, produces no
cocoa, yet it processes over 42 per cent of the total
output and thus captures the benefits of value addition.
In Ghana, production over the past five years has
averaged about 700,000 tons of cocoa beans per year.
Yet, the share of processed and value-added cocoa in
the total export is still relatively low, constituting only
about 20 per cent of the total, as shown in figure 4.7.
The reality is that vigorous and ongoing support for
research, education, entrepreneurship and innovation
will be needed to make inroads into the value-added
areas of agribusiness that often face trade and other
barriers, including in the cocoa industry.12
4.2.2. Ghana’s main advantages in food and


agro-processing
Ghana’s geographical location in West Africa and on
the Atlantic coast and its tropical climate, prevailing
over forest and grassland ecological systems,


creates a comparative advantage for the production
of a diversity of agricultural commodities and tropical
horticulture. There are wide expanses of available and
unused agricultural land; about 6.3 million hectares of
land remains uncultivated. Of the 500,000 hectares
of irrigable land, only 11,000 hectares have been
irrigated. The potential for more irrigation is vast, given
the availability of rich water resources.
Water resources also offer geographical advantages
that can be exploited further. There are significant fish
and seafood harvests for both domestic consumption
and exports. Aquaculture fits very well into the mould
of inland fish production. Some companies have
ventured into that kind of enterprise. However, much
of the fish harvest under 100,000 tons comes from the
catches of small-scale fisher folks.
The liberalized economic environment sustained
by democratic governance is another advantage.
Ghana offers a gateway – a “Golden Gateway” as
the advertisers put it – to the West African market
of 250 million consumers. The road network linking
the neighbouring countries is well developed and in
recent years, domestic airlines have been expanding
operations into the subregion, complementing the
operations of the established international airlines.
The ports and harbours at Tema and Takoradi have
been modernized in recent years and are handling
increasing volumes of cargo. Tema Port handles
about 80 per cent of the country’s import and export
cargo and has seen substantial increases in cargo
with its modernization.


Figure 4.6. Share of Processed Foods in Ghana’s Total
Food Trade – 1981-2004


Source: UN Trade Data.


0
10
20
30
40
50
60


80
70


1981 1990 2000 2003 2004


60 70 64
76 78


10 9 12
22 21


Per
cen


t


Import Export


Figure 4.7. Total cocoa exports of Ghana (U.S. $Millions)
– 2002-2006


Source: Essegbey (2008).


Cocoa products Cocoa beans
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
0




78 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


4.2.3. Major constraints of Ghana in food and agro-
processing


Despite the apparent steady progress in the export
business, constraints emanating from both the
domestic and the external environments can be
discerned. These constraints are highlighted in
table 4.3 (page 76).
The infrastructural support for agricultural production
still requires improvement. For example, roads to the
commodity production points, which are invariably
located in the rural areas, need upgrading. The often
untarred roads not only increase transportation costs
but also overextend the transport time for some of
these commodities and, as in the case of some of the
horticultural commodities, there is a risk of spoilage.
The land tenure system can be a disincentive for
investment and business ventures. Ghana’s lands
are vested in chiefs, clan heads, family heads
and individuals, with only a small portion coming
under State ownership. The challenges in land
administration in Ghana have included the lack of
formal documentation of customary holdings and
uncertainty regarding the boundaries of private and
other land holdings. For the food and agro-processing
industries, which can involve the acquisition of large
tracts of land to produce raw materials or even
to establish factories, land acquisition is a major
constraint. It increases the cost of land acquisition
and in some cases protracts the process for assuming
ownership. Against this background, the Government
fashioned out the National Land Policy in 1999, and
in October 2003, the Government launched the Land
Administration Project to translate the policy into
concrete action.
Though progress has been made, energy supply
has also posed challenges in recent years to local
industries, as the main source of supply of hydro-
electricity from the Akosombo dam has become
unreliable. The water level in the dam is dropping
below operational levels because rainfall patterns are
becoming more unpredictable. Thermal plants are
becoming important sources of power generation, but
then industries have to pay more for this.
There are technological constraints as well, cutting
across the productive agriculture subsectors. The fact
that just about one per cent of the country’s arable
land has been weaned off the vagaries of rainfall and
other weather conditions shows the extent to which
Ghana’s agriculture is less technologically dependent.


In the end, the production constraints lead to an
inconsistent supply of commodities for the food
and agro-processing industry. Ghana’s agricultural
production currently meets only half of its domestic
cereal and meat needs and 60 per cent of domestic
fish consumption, according to the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture. Self-sufficiency is achieved only in
starchy staples such as cassava, yam and plantain,
while rice and maize production falls far below
demand (Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 2007). The
success of the food and agro-processing industry will
rely on an improvement in the consistent supply of
commodities.
Ghana’s agro-processing industry also suffers from a
North–South divide. The southern region, comprised
of seven states — Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central,
Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta and Western – is where
most of the development projects and programmes
are concentrated. The northern region, consisting
of three states – Northern, Upper East and Upper
West – lags behind. This can be explained by the
geographic and climatic advantages of the south, but
the gap is narrowing. Development in the food and
agro-processing industries is relevant in both regions,
exploiting their strengths in the production of raw
agricultural commodities.


4.3. Food and agro-processing institutions
A number of institutions, both public and private, are
involved in agricultural production, processing and
marketing. These include government ministries,
departments and agencies; R&D institutions, such
as the universities and the Council for Scientific
and Industrial Research; and the private sector. The
Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ministry
of Fisheries are the central government bodies in
charge of agricultural and fisheries production in
Ghana, while the Ministry of Trade, Industry and
Private-Sector Development, and the President
Special Initiatives have oversight responsibility for
the processing and marketing of the products. In
addition to these three ministries are numerous other
public and private agriculture and agricultural-related
bodies. The success of these ministries, departments
and agencies, and private institutions, relies on their
human resources capabilities and therefore on the
production of qualified technical personnel from the
country’s universities and polytechnics. The public
institutions in support of food and agro-processing
related activities are described in table 4.4.




79CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


Table 4.4. Major Public Food and Agro Processing Institutions
Food Research
Institute (FRI)


FRI is one of the thirteen affiliate institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Its mandate
is to conduct market-oriented applied food research and provide outreach services to the industry in the areas
of processing, preservation, storage, marketing, distribution and utilization. It also advises GoG on food policy.
Since its establishment, the Institute has produced a number of food technologies which have been transferred
to a wide range of clients. Important clients included Cadbury Ghana Ltd, Pioneer Food Company Ltd., Beverage
Investment Ghana Ltd., GAFCO, Unilever, Food and Drugs Board, UNHCR and Burger Peanut Industry. FRI is now an
accredited ISO member for food safety. FRI presently has seven divisions: Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Food
Processing and Engineering, Nutrition and Socio-economics, Commercialization and Information, Administration
and Accounts. While the Microbiology and Chemistry Divisions provide technical support to both research and
industry, the Food Processing and Engineering Division maintains a pilot plant unit and conducts pilot scale studies
on products developed by FRI. Though some products and processes developments have been successful, the unit
is inadequately integrated with food processors and entrepreneurs, partly due to the poor state of facilities. Apart
from the new malting and brewing units, most of the other equipment in the pilot plant are old, outdated, and in need
of replacement.


Crop Research
Institute (CRI)


CRI is mandated to undertake research into food crops to develop improved varieties of crops and improved
production technologies to increase agricultural productivity and ensure food security. CRI has developed and
released a variety of improved seed varieties to farmers for cultivation including four cassava varieties, two improved
varieties of pepper, one improved variety of garden egg were developed, two high-yielding varieties of cowpea,
two high-yielding, early-maturing, and bold - seeded varieties of soybean with tolerance to virus, anthracnose and
nematodes, and four high-yielding varieties of groundnut. Some potential uses of these varieties include improved
suitability for confectionery and pastries, for fodder and cover crop and for production of cooking oil, food and
drinks.


Animal Research
Institute (ARI)


ARI is mandated to develop and transfer technologies aimed at promoting sustainable animal agriculture, improving
livestock production and productivity to reduce poverty and enhance commercial production, while improving
natural resource management. The Institute offers advisory services to small, medium and large-scale farmers
in Ghana, and offers advice to Government on policies concerning the animal industry in Ghana. ARI’s recent
activities include developing production packages for small ruminants in rural Ghana, developing feed packages with
local foodstuffs and agro-industrial by-products, developing nutritional packages for livestock; developing treatment
strategies against the effects of animal disease, and developing herbal drugs for animal healthcare. Yet its efforts
are not fully integrated in the production and value chain of the country.


Institute of
Industrial
Research (IIR)


IIR is mandated to undertake research in process and product development and to promote technology transfer
to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the Ghanaian industry for sustained growth. In recent times, the
IIR has worked under the Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava, oil palm, salt, and textile. The Agriculture
Machinery Research Division conducted research into developing palm kernel shell separator, under a Competitive
Agricultural Research Grant Scheme (CARGS) project funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture (MoFA). The project was aimed to design and build a mechanized palm kernel shell separator and to
transfer the technology to micro-scale producers in the oil palm industry. This technology would replace the existing
traditional method of separation that uses sledge. There are other projects currently going on in agro-processing,
bio-sanitation and energy technologies. The overall impact of research done at this institute remains to be fully
realized and translated into practice.


Oil Palm
Research Institute
(OPRI)


The mandate of this institute is to carry out research and provide the needed technological and scientific support
to the oil palm and coconut industries in the country. It has the following divisions or unit: Breeding, Agronomy,
Entomology, and Pathology Divisions. As part of the commercialization program OPRI produced 3409.62 tonnes of
fresh fruit bunches, an increase of 18 % over 2003 production. In 2003, OPRI established 12 decentralized nurseries
under PSI on oil palm which has now become fully operational. These 12 nurseries produced about 870,000
transplantable seedlings with a market value of ¢13 billion in the year 2004. In 2004, eight new decentralized
nurseries were established, bringing the total number of nurseries to 20. The Institute continued its supervision,
monitoring and evaluation functions over all the 20 established nurseries. The effect and quality, yields and
processing capacity of the oil palm industry in general still remains to be fully exploited.


Savanna
Agricultural
Research Institute
(SARI)


The mandate of SARI is to conduct agricultural research and assist farmers in the three northern regions of Ghana
(Northern, Upper East and Upper West) with technologies to increase sustainable food production. SARI has been
working on crops improvement programs, such as groundnuts, sorghum, cowpea, and cassava. The institute’s
achievements include: five outstanding groundnut varieties developed and released to farmers. SARI has developed
four breeding lines of sorghum, namely, Sarsorg M16, Sarsorg EI, Sarsorg E8 and Sarsorg EII, throughout the
ecological regions under the Sorghum Improvement Program.
The launching of the President’s Special Initiative on cassava prompted further research into developing varieties
with high starch content that are suitable for the northern zone. It led to the development and release of three
improved varieties of cassava (Filindiakong, Eskamaye and Nyerikobya). One of the varieties has the highest starch
content of all the varieties of cassava released in the country. Additionally, the varieties are high-yielding. The
Institute is also developing a Participatory Integrated Pest Management (PIPM) for cotton in Ghana, as part of its
Cotton Improvement Program. While high starch yielding cassava is indeed desirable, yet the benefits to farmers and
processors from these improvements have not accrued to any significant level.




80 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Universities All the three oldest public universities – the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST), and University of Cape Coast (UCC) – have departments, colleges or schools of agriculture
where they train graduates in food and agriculture including agro-processing. For instance the University of Ghana
has a Department of Nutrition and Food Science. The major activities of the Department cover teaching and research
on problems relating to health, nutrition and food technology. The expertise of the department is sought after for
National Committees, Boards, and International meetings. The Department was also engaged in restructuring some
of its courses to meet the development needs of the country. KNUST and UCC on the other hand have an agricultural
college and a school of agriculture respectively that produce graduates in agriculture including food science and
technology. The University of Ghana has recently started a program in food process engineering.


Polytechnics There are 10 polytechnics in the country spread evenly in the 10 regional capitals, Accra, Cape Coast, Koforidua,
Kumasi, Ho, Tamale, Takoradi, Sunyani, Wa and Bolgatanga. These polytechnics provide the bulk of the country’s
middle-level manpower producing graduates obtaining the Higher National Diploma in engineering and management
studies. Some of the polytechnics have introduced first degree programs but have very limited programs on food
and agro-processing technologies.


Agricultural
Extension
Services (AES)


AES is the extension wing of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and is a publicly funded department.
Geographical reach is the biggest strength of AES. It has about 15 officers per district but the number is fewer for the
three northern regions with about 8 officers per district whilst down south, particularly in larger cities, the number is
higher. AES uses radio programs for public education and awareness creation. Of late, it has tried to reach the public
by entering into public-private partnerships with the private sector. For instance, under the Extension Development
Fund, AES gives part of its facilities to private concerns in collaborative public-private partnerships. An example is in
cocoa rehabilitation projects, particularly in the Suhum area, where AES collaborates with the private sector. In the
food production value chain, the AES collaborates with the CSIR to disseminate technologies generated by the latter
to farmers. Yet the impact factor of AES efforts remains generally low.


Safety, Standards,
and Regulatory
Bodies


There are many public and private institutions involved in aspects of food and agro-processing including the
following two more prominent boards. Ghana Standards Board (GSB) and Food and Drugs Board (FDB) are also
the two main bodies involved in safety and regulation of food processing. Since 2008, the Food Research Institute
is also involved in food certification. In 2008, the FRI got a South African ISO certification, which empowers the
institute to certify food export from or imports into the country. Below is a brief description of GSB and FDB. The
strength and weaknesses of the three food safety and regulatory institutions lies principally in their human and
financial resources, and laboratory equipment. The GSB for example has strength in general standards certification.
However, the FRI as a research institute, has advantage in research related certification for standards. In terms of
personnel, and laboratory equipment, the FDB is the least endowed. However, in terms of political clout, the FDB has
the edge. Currently, it is the most powerful of the three bodies.
The Ghana Standards Boards (GSB) was established in 1973 and is solely vested with the responsibility for
preparing standards for products and processes and for ensuring compliance with government policies on standards,
testing and quality assurance of both locally manufactured and imported products and services throughout the
country. For example in Section 2 (2) (e) the mandate is ‘to recommend to the Ministry responsible for Trade and
Industry to prohibit the importation into Ghana for the purposes of sale, use or human consumption of any goods,
unless same have been certified by the Board as complying with standards set up by the Board’. The role of GSB at
the ports is therefore to ensure compliance of imported goods with established technical standards/specifications
(conformity assessment) in order to prevent the importation/distribution of substandard products into the Ghanaian
market. The Ghana Standards Board in particular is equipped with facilities to control quality of locally manufactured
food and drugs.
The Food and Drugs Board was established under the Food and Drugs Law (PNDCL 305B). The Food Division
contributes to safeguarding public health and safety by ensuring that all food products meet the appropriate
standards of safety and quality by evaluating all samples submitted in the registration process, inspection, and
meeting labeling requirements. The Food Division is also mandated to undertake inspection of food or systems for
control of food, raw materials, processing and distribution, including in-process and finished product testing, in
order to verify conformance to Good Manufacturing Practices. Moreover, the Division ensures that all imported and
locally produced food products are of good quality and wholesome.


4.4. Public policy regime for food and agro-processing innovation
Ghana has a range of policies and programmes in
place to support innovation in the food and agro-
processing sector. In addition to the policies discussed
in this section that have an explicit effect on innovation,
many public policies have an implicit effect on inno-
vation. These include trade and investment policies,
food and agriculture sector policies, infrastructure
programmes, and others. Many of these implicit


policies have been reviewed and discussed at length
in existing agriculture reports.
With a view to promoting innovation, three areas of
policy should be examined:
a) Entrepreneurship and the business development
environment;
b) Technical workforce development; and
c) Incentives for innovation and R&D.




81CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


4.4.1. Entrepreneurship and the business
development environment


Innovation and entrepreneurship are efforts led
by private firms but influenced by the enabling
environment for business and innovation. This is
as much the case for agribusiness firms as it is for
firms in any other sector of the economy. Ghana has
made progress in its business environment in the
last decade (it ranked 87 out of 181 countries on the
World Bank’s 2009 Doing Business Indicators).13 It
trails some competitor countries (e.g. Malaysia which
ranked twentieth) and leads others (e.g. Nigeria at 118
and Costa Rica at 117).
In an attempt to attract foreign direct investment to
boost the country’s push for industrialization, the
Government of Ghana created export-processing
zones and established the Ghana Free Zones
Board, driven by the private sector, to oversee it. It
is an integrated programme designed to promote
the processing and manufacturing of goods and
to encourage the development of commercial and
services activities at seaport areas. Companies
operating in export-processing zones have incentives,
such as the exemption from payment of income tax
on profits for a period of 10 years, exemption from
dividend taxes and no import-licensing requirements.
Currently, there are over 190 approved enterprises
under the Ghana Free Zones Board, of which 58 are
food-processing companies. In terms of geographical
diversification, the number of food-processing
companies in these zones is not evenly spread.
Most of the companies, particularly those with high-
level science and engineering manpower and large
capital resources, are concentrated in the Accra-Tema
enclave, while the three northern regions have the
least number of companies. The Ghana Investment
Promotion Centre, central to the implementation
of these policies, was ranked average in a recent
benchmarking of global investment promotion
agencies.14
The Presidential Special Initiative is the Ghana
government body with oversight responsibility for
marketing of agro-processing products, with the
exception of cocoa products which to a large extent
come directly under the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Planning. There are a number of marketing
boards in the food-processing sector,15 among which
are the Cocoa Marketing Board, which handles cocoa,
coffee, and shea nut purchases and marketing.
Until recently when it contracted privately licensed


agencies to buy the produce on its behalf, the Board
was involved in all aspects of cocoa production and
marketing, even though the actual production of
cocoa has remained a private enterprise. The various
cocoa processing companies buy the cocoa beans
from the Board for their operation.
Perhaps the main characteristic of the overall economic
public policy is an orientation towards exports, which
is evident in the various sector-specific policies for
agriculture, trade and industry, rural development
and local government. Government initiatives
coming in the name of private-sector development
and presidential special initiatives are policies and
programmes aimed at boosting the country’s export
sector. Along with these policies, others are focused
on key strategies such as an export-free zone policy
and various programmes aimed at promoting non-
traditional exports. However, in view of the lagging
growth in agricultural and industrial productivity as well
as the limited evidence of value addition in agriculture,
the results of these programmes and policies can be
considered inadequate. Renewed and creative efforts
in developing food and agro-processing are clearly
necessary.
4.4.2. Technical workforce development
As noted above, several of Ghana’s universities,
for example, the University of Ghana, Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science And Technology
and the University of Cape Coast, provide training
in agricultural sciences and food-processing
engineering. A recent addition is the development of
the food-processing engineering programme at the
University of Ghana that is now turning out graduates.
This programme plans to introduce master’s level
degrees in the coming years.
The graduates from these university programmes offer
a natural source of entrepreneurs and skilled workers
for the agribusiness sector. However, challenges limit
the impact of these graduates on the sector. Deans
and professors of these programmes acknowledge
the lack of practical opportunities for their students.
This is for two reasons. Firstly, there is a lack of
modern equipment or a pilot plant at these universities
on which students could train. Secondly, only a very
few companies offer internship programmes for
students, perhaps the best opportunity for students
to gain hands-on experience in the food and agro-
processing business. Outside the private sector,
the Food Research Institute offers internships for




82 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


university students. However, the Institute faces the
problem of poor and outdated equipment, a shortage
of mentors and a limited number of projects in support
of the industrial sector.
The current situation is one in which graduates have
theoretical knowledge, but little practical experience.
Clearly, these students must be provided additional
opportunities for hands-on experience with modern
equipment and real-world projects.
4.4.3. Incentives for innovation
Overall, Ghana lacks meaningful policies encouraging
businesses to invest in innovation. Lowering barriers
to private-sector development is important, but
experience suggests that many successful innovation
efforts are often accompanied by government
support. For example, many countries provide a
tax credit allowing firms to deduct investments in
R&D. The government forgoes a small portion of
tax revenues with the hope that the R&D efforts will
lead to productivity and competitiveness gains that
generate additional profits, jobs, and government
tax revenues.16 Tax credits are just one of a variety of
policy tools available for incentivizing investment in
innovation.
Ghana’s intellectual property regime is a critical
aspect of putting in place an environment conducive
to innovation. Since 2001, Ghana has adopted new
legislation in most areas of intellectual property
rights with a view to being fully compliant with the
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights. Patents, copyrights and related
rights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical
indications, layout designs of integrated circuits and
undisclosed information are all legally recognized
and protected in Ghana.17 Compliance with the
Agreement may help attract foreign investment, as
it is reassuring to investors who bring proprietary
technologies into Ghana. However, other aspects
of intellectual property rights should be considered.
The assignment of intellectual property rights can
have meaningful effects on business development.
For example, a researcher in a government lab that
develops a new machine for processing fruit in Ghana
may not be able to license the machine or use it in his
or her business. Rather, the researcher must freely give
away the technology since it was developed under
a public research grant. Recently, many countries
have developed laws allowing researchers to profit
from the results of publicly funded research (often


set as a percentage of the licensing fees recovered
by the licensing institution). This has the potential to
encourage technology-based business spinoffs from
labs and universities. However, this type of legislation
should be carefully considered to both encourage
innovation and protect the public’s investment in
research.
Firm-led R&D into new and improved products
is a critical element for sustaining a vibrant agro-
processing industry. Countries such as Malaysia,
Brazil and New Zealand have benefited from
investments in applied R&D as part of a package
of measures that led to diversification into a variety
of high-value processed agricultural products.
Unfortunately Ghana lacks any significant support in
this area. In 2006, ¢1,670,000 from the public budget
went into supporting the agriculture-focused institutes
of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.18
However, only a small portion of these funds is used
for research activities (the largest portion goes to
salaries and upkeep of the institutes) and the few
research projects that do receive adequate support
are not generally projects targeting new product
development.19 Rather, most agriculture research
projects are geared towards increasing yields, quality,
and other aspects of on-farm production.
The recently completed Agricultural Services
Subsector Investment Project largely followed this
model. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with
loan funding from the World Bank, supported this
competitive agricultural research grants programme.
While providing much-needed support to research and
access to technology, it largely focused on production
agriculture. Specific aims of the programme’s
agricultural research component were (a) to improve
research governance, management and financial
accountability; (b) to introduce sustainable and
competitive research financing, including competitive
research grant schemes and voluntary contributions
from research users; (c) to mainstream gender and
equity considerations in extension services; and (d)
to forge strong linkages with sources of agricultural
technology.
Alternatively, the National Venture Capital Trust
Fund became operational in December 2005 and
is focused on enterprises. The purpose of the Fund
is to provide financial resources for the promotion
of venture-capital financing for small and medium-
sized enterprises in the economy and to stimulate the
emergence of a sustainable privately owned venture




83CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


capital industry in Ghana.20 However, it has had trouble
finding acceptable equity investments, is investing in
generally safe, rather than innovative ventures,21 and
is a limited source of capital of about $44 million.
The Science, Technology and Research Endowment
Fund was set up in 2008 with an initial fundraising
target of $500,000. The proceeds will fund research
on a competitive basis. However, even at an optimistic
10 per cent annual return, the Fund would yield only
$50,000 in new funding for research. This is clearly not
large enough to provide a sustained source of funding
for product research and experimentation in the agro-
processing or any other sector.
In the medium and long term, Ghana must encourage
multiple sources for funding agro-processing
innovation at all stages of product and business
development if it hopes to create a sustainable
pipeline of value-adding agribusinesses. In the short
term, at least one source of significant funding should
be created, whether it is a public or donor-supported
fund, an innovative loan, a venture financing scheme
or another option.


4.5. An innovation-based strategyfor development of the food and agro-processing sector
This study finds that while Ghana’s current efforts
to promote food and agro-processing are laudable,
they cannot bridge the gap between production
agriculture and the marketing of finished products
and cushion the economy against the vagaries of the
import markets and fluctuating food prices. Therefore,
to accelerate growth in its agro-processing sector,
successful and substantively new initiatives that can
transform economic activity and livelihoods over the
next decade are needed. Examining the approaches
taken by successful agribusiness economies of the
world, it is clear that the Ghanaian Government can
and must play a pivotal role in the sector.
Development of production agriculture and the
industrialization of food and agro-processing
industries must be viewed as a joint and continuum
process that generates an entirely new type of
industrial sector. It has proven to constitute a sector
that serves as an engine of aggregate growth of an
economy. Beyond providing the farmers the means
and new skills to process food crops post-harvest into
better value added and nutritionally superior products,
it will also generate new employment opportunities


with guaranteed income for the rural population.
Depending on the strategies and implementation
tactics used, concomitant developments in access
to markets, infrastructure, standards and capacity-
building would indeed have a multiplier effect on agro-
business profitability, as well as food security.
However, development of the food and agro-
processing sector as a business enterprise linked
to agriculture has often been overlooked by policy
planners. This has held back agriculture-based
industrialization of many developing countries and
Ghana is no exception. In many developing countries,
including Ghana, upstream food-processing
industries, such as cassava and flour milling, oil
pressing, and fish canning, prevail in their most
rudimentary form. However, sophisticated downstream
industrial processing with both forward and backward
linkages is needed. The multiplier effects throughout
the economy based on upstream and downstream
linkages in the food and agro-processing industry
can be observed in many developing and developed
countries, such as Chile, Argentina, Turkey and the
Netherlands.
A holistic approach to agriculture is needed that
includes the entire spectrum of the agricultural product
value-chain, from production through processing and
distribution to consumption (figure 4.8, page 85).
Aided by the latest innovations in science, technology
and engineering, and utilizing a diversity of resources
to ensure quality and safety of the products they
produce, many countries with established, as well
as emerging, economies have created a unique
competitive edge in lucrative markets for their
products. They have done it simply not on the basis
of lower labour costs but by capitalizing on state-of-
the-art technologies, logistics, market intelligence and
global alliances to manufacture and deliver products
in a timely, cost-effective way. However, countries
that have sought to promote value-addition projects
through state-owned enterprises have in many cases
ended up in creating white elephants. Often designed
by foreign consultants and funded by aid, such
projects are too frequently not commercially viable
because of a lack of technological capacity both in
terms of manpower as well as R&D within the country.
Box 4.1 offers some lessons, both positive and
negative, from a recent experience in Ghana with state
support to agribusiness. Today’s food processing is
relentlessly competitive and global. About 70–80 per
cent of the new products introduced in the market




84 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Box 4.1. The Ayensu Starch Company (ASCO) -- Positive and negative lessons on providing government support
for agribusiness


The Ayensu Starch Company (ASCO) was the first cassava production and starch processing company to be established
under the President’s Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava starch. At government’s initiative, the US$7 million processing
factory was established in 2001 in the Central region. A group of four banks were backed by the government to support
ASCO’s establishment. Other government assistance included support for research to produce cassava that produces
the highest possible yield in starch, resulting in Ghana’s cassava starch being acclaimed as top grade cassava starch.
Government also gave assistance to ordinary farmers with funds for clearing land, planting, maintaining machinery, and
for helping to evacuate cassava crops to the factory.
The company was built around what seemed to be a clear comparative advantage for Ghana in cassava growing. In
2000, total world cassava production stood at 175.6 million tons out of which Ghana produced about 8.1 million tons.
Nigeria produced 33.9 million tons, Thailand 18.8 million with Brazil producing about 23.8 million. The national average
yield of 12 tons per hectare was low and raised the question of whether Ghana could rely on cassava as a wealth-creating
crop. However, cassava has the highest output of all of Ghana’s crops with an annual production estimated at 12 million
tons and is grown in almost all the regions of Ghana and could therefore be a source of reducing the incidence of poverty
in rural areas if properly developed. Cassava annual production surpasses that of maize (1.4 million tons) and paddy rice
(280,000 tons). Cassava is the largest contributor to agricultural GDP at 23%.
Initially, the company was a success, recording $300,000 USD profits in its first year of operation. It boasted sales
agreements for further production with customers including Unilever, Nestle, Dera of the Czech Republic, and ELSA
Foods. The 7,000 contract farmers supplying cassava were guaranteed year-round purchase of their cassava crop.
However, things quickly turned for the worse after 2002. In fact, from 2006 to 2008 the factory operated at only 20%
of its installed capacity. ASCO blamed this on an inadequate supply of roots and low export prices obtained from the
European market. Many reasons, including low cassava yields, falling international starch prices, high perishability, and
a rising local demand for cassava for gari are said to be the major constraints bedeviling the company. The European
market, which is a major consumer of starch, proved hard to infiltrate. Dominated by potato and corn starch and highly
protected by high tariffs ASCO has managed to sell only about 2000 tons of cassava starch to the European market at
$200 per ton. This price falls short of the 1995 price of $358 per ton. In Asia too, Ghana’s starch was non-competitive
because Thailand, a commercial and low cost producer of cassava starch, has captured the market and is said to have
the advantage of closeness and high operational efficiency. Though ASCO’s starch has comparative advantage in the
ECOWAS sub-region, Nigeria, which has the largest market demand for starch in the region has also banned imports of
starch from Ghana.
Another major problem confronting the company is farmers’ dissatisfaction with prices they receive for their produce.
They threatened to stop supplies to the factory. The open market value for a 50kg bag of cassava was said to be higher
than the price the factory could afford, causing diversion to the parallel market for processing into gari.
By December 2008, the factory had reopened with new investment from the Export Development Investment Fund (EDIF).
A new nucleus farm was established to provide for 70% of the company’s raw material, to overcome the problems with
supply. Whether this new investment will finally prove the profitability of this government-backed venture or prove to be a
case of throwing good money after bad remains to be seen.
Lessons
The ASCO story demonstrates the difficult balancing act between supporting promising industries and keeping
government out of the way of private enterprise. Some key lessons from the ASCO case might include:



use and other restrictions


Is there an alternative model?
The actions proposed in this chapter offer an alternative model for incubating and scaling-up agribusiness. Instead
of supporting government conceived businesses, they seek to provide private entrepreneurs and existing businesses
access to the same ingredients the government provided to ASCO – research facilities and expertise, new technology,
opportunities to pilot new business ideas, and access to finance – along with additional support for accessing markets,
incubating businesses, and tools for working with farmers supplying the agribusiness with raw materials. Instead
of building state-sponsored businesses, the mechanisms proposed in this chapter aim to build local expertise and
institutional capacity so that these services can be readily provided to any business or entrepreneur that seeks them out.
Sources: Public Agenda, GhanaNews, personal interviews.




85CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


Box 4.2. Recommendations of the Food and Agro Processing Stakeholders’ Meeting
In July 2008, a food and agricultural processing stakeholders meeting was held in Accra, Ghana as part of the STIP
Review process. Participants were invited from the government of Ghana, academia, research institutes and the private
sector to deliberate on the role of science and technology in the development of a viable food and agricultural processing
sector in the Ghanaian economy. The following recommendations emerged from the meeting:


study and practice food and agro-processing innovation and entrepreneurship. These must have strong leadership,
transparency, and accountability. To maximize their utility, these should be located in areas of a suitable range of
crops maturing in different seasons and preferably within a university system with a strong track record of food and
agro-processing research and development that would carry out research and development alongside industry under
appropriate conditions in compliance with scientifically verifiable principles. The centers should also produce highly
trained students with hands-on experience and entrepreneurial skills that will expedite industrial development and will
become job creators, not job seekers.


!
food and agro-processing in the country.


"
#$%"


Competitive markets drive enterprises to scout for leading edge strategies, technologies and policies.
& ' ()


more integrated in the global food and agriculture system.
*+# "
&,(


chain activities to maximize investment returns.
"


Figure 4.8. Important Stages of the Value Chain


Source: the authors.


Non-existent
or rudimentary
in most developing
countries


Processing & Manufacturing
Distribution
Wholesaler
Retailer


Post-harvest
Handling
Sorting
Storage


Inputs FARMING


Domestic


Export


each year fail to survive for any significant length of
time. Value-added food products of today are the
results of major R&D efforts, as well as increasingly
sophisticated individual and collective preferences
regarding nutrition, health and the environment. Only
fiercely innovative products last longer before they,
too, become imitated and commoditized. To stay
ahead and maintain their market share, it becomes


necessary to continually move up the value chain
more innovatively.
Furthermore, agricultural raw materials are no longer
traded as commodities but rather as a stream of
value-added products and ingredients. As illustrated
in figure 4.9, unlike traditional processing of raw
agricultural commodities into a few staple foods,
numerous food and non-food ingredients are now




86 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


commonly produced from many of the crops of today.
Table 4.5 gives some examples of product streams
produced today from staple crops. This creates
a multiplier effect in terms of both profitability and
employment.
To achieve its objectives, Ghana will need to decisively
leverage its existing advantages in agriculture,
including strengths in production agriculture, by
bringing actors in government, industry and the
research sector together to promote innovation at
all stages of the value chain. A lack of processing
infrastructures and trained manpower are often the
most obvious missing elements in transforming the


raw commodities into value-added products. Short-
sighted national policies and the lack of commitments
for pertinent and adaptive R&D also hamper the
creation of partnerships with the private sector
of industrialized nations. Such linkages between
developing and industrialized economies have been
well documented as a means of accelerating economic
development and integration with the global trading
system in many parts of the world (World Bank, 2008).
Deliberate attempts are needed to improve science
and technology-based innovations throughout the
value chain.
Science, engineering, and technology institutions act
as a focal point for the translation of scientific and
technical knowledge into useful products, processes
and services. Agribusiness innovation centres help
accelerate commercialization of technologies for
the value chain. To meaningfully contribute to the
socioeconomic development plan of a country, a
virtuous circle of support for these institutions and
activities from various sources, both public and
private, is essential. It is schematically illustrated in
figure 4.10 (page 88). This strategy is effective to the
extent that all the identified elements are in place and
work in harmony.
The countries that invest and produce new scientific
knowledge in this fashion derive the most benefit from
its use by producing wealth and improving the quality
of life for their citizens. To date, examples of such
successful set-ups are mostly limited to developed
countries. However, developing countries such as
India, Malaysia, and Brazil that have made sustained
commitments to investment in science, engineering,


Figure 4.9. Illustration of traditional and new food and agro-processing strategies


Source: the authors, based on Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Private Sector Development (2008).


Farm Output
Farm Output


Consumers Consumers


Traditionalfood processing New food processing


P r o c e s s i n gP r o c e s s i n g


Commodity Derived Products
Maize Starch and Glucose (over 40 types)


Corn starch
Latex paint
Dyes
Beer
Chewing Gum
Aspirin
Wallboard


Fish Gelatin
Fish oil
Animal feed
Frozen fish


Oranges Oils
Manufacturing of plastics
Orange juice (fresh and frozen concentrate)
Jams and other foods
Cleaning agents
Teas
Animal feed


Source: the authors.


Table 4.5. Examples of commodity conversion into
multiple product streams




87CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


and technology have had increasing success in agro-
processing industries. The advanced processing
of palm oil in Malaysia and the growth through
innovation in the Brazilian ethanol industry provide
two examples of this success. New Zealand heavily
invested in science, engineering, and technology
to successfully grow its food-processing sector
into its largest export sector. It exports wines, meat
and other value-added products infused with better
Box 4.3. Stakeholders Input on Agribusiness Innovation Centers


A group of participants at the July 2008 Stakeholders Meeting (see box 4.2 above) focused and deliberated on the
desirability and feasibility of setting up Agribusiness Innovation Centers (AICs) and Incubators.
After a deliberation on the existing R&D capabilities in Ghana, the group observed that the capabilities and skills exist
to initiate AICs in Ghana immediately. Some of the reasons cited were that the Food Research Institute (FRI) already
operates as an innovation center that, despite a need for substantial strengthening, offers a model and lessons learned
for AICs. FRI has already pioneered a number of food products, for example the fufu convenience flour. Furthermore,
the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Ghana (UOG) at Legon have
been working on similar initiatives. It was stated that these institutions have qualified personnel to man the AIC initiative.
The University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale would possibly need some support in attracting more doctorate
level candidates and experienced food processing specialists to partake in food and agro-processing research and
development of relevance to the region. Nevertheless, nationwide there are a variety of tertiary institutions which could
supply sufficient number of well-trained personnel to initiate and man the proposed innovation centers.


Recommended Locations and Focus Commodities for Agribusiness Innovation Centers
The group suggested the feasibility of first starting the initiative by instituting and/or further strengthening the existing
innovation centers. It was recommended to kick-start the innovation centers initiative with three AICs distributed among
the three major regional zones in the country – South, Central, and North – and located at the premises of the existing
institutions as follows:
$ -*.+ /*.+012(/23(0


cereals (maize), roots and tubers products and processes.
4-56, 2$/562$014 .+ /4.+0


emphasis on roots and tubers, fats and oils (oil palm), cereals (soy), peanuts, cocoa, poultry
6-2! $ /2!$01$&.+ /$&.+0


cereals (sorghum and millet), shea butter, legumes, livestock.
The principal objective was to prioritize commodities that have the propensity to be processed into as many innovative
products as possible for optimal value-added and competitive access to local, regional and international markets. The
suggestions were based on a review of recent commodity prioritizations in Ghana’s main agricultural policy documents
that took into consideration current production levels, consumption levels, availability of consistent supply, and most
importantly, the existing potential for value addition.


Mandate of Agribusiness Innovation Centers
The group discussed the mandate of those innovation centers with regard to their functions and the services they would
provide. It was generally agreed that the AICs should first and foremost focus on research and development efforts
demanded by the private sector as well as on capacity building by providing “hands-on” experience to students and
opportunities for faculty and researchers to conduct product and process oriented work. Each of these centers must
also include a venture center for assisting new businesses and entrepreneurs by providing them technical and marketing
assistance. The AICs will need to be equipped with generic equipment for teaching and research of food processing
as well as specialized equipment required for experimentation with processing and value-addition of the commodities
commonly produced in their respective region.
For the AICs to be fully integrated in the existing food and agro-processing landscape in Ghana and to spearhead
innovation and technology transfer they must be mandated to cooperate and collaborate with all existing and potential
interested stakeholders and ongoing projects that seek to capitalize on the opportunities for further commercialization of
food processing in Ghana.23


flavours and characteristics valued by consumers
and produced with efficient, technologically
advanced production and processing techniques.22


The Government of Ghana and its policy makers have
recognized the potential of science, engineering,
and technology as an essential part of an effective
knowledge-based economy, but to date have not
been able to capture its full benefits, at least in the




88 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


food and agro-processing domain. This is partially
explained by the very serious lack of modern facilities
and infrastructures dedicated to the production of
knowledge-intensive, value-added products and
processes from agricultural commodities and the
very limited science and technical expertise within
the country to carry on cutting-edge innovations that
are globally competitive. However, Ghana has also
lacked a clear strategy and package of programmes
designed to comprehensively develop the sector.24


4.6. Recommendations
These recommendations are designed to raise
technological capacity and the overall level of
innovation in the national food and agro-industry.
The main recommendation is the establishment of
agricultural innovation centres fitted with equipment,
machines and instruments needed to improve
products and process technology and adapt these
technologies to the requirements of locally available
raw materials. These innovation centres have been
found to be an effective way of fostering sustainable
growth and stimulating entrepreneurship. There are
numerous examples from other countries where
these centres have helped launch new products
and processes from concept to commercialization.25
The science and technology innovation centres are
generally associated with universities and are often
established alongside business incubators for use
by individual entrepreneurs and cooperatives, start-
up businesses, existing small- and mid-sized food
companies, and retail and wholesale establishments.
A single firm or entrepreneur acting alone can rarely


produce successful technological innovation and
adaptation. Solving complex problems is often
beyond the capability of a single player and the
need for partnerships cannot be overemphasized.
However, effective partnerships are enabled by
institutionalized set-ups that help forge innovation and
entrepreneurship. The innovation centres embody this
institutional set-up that provides the facilities, network,
expertise, and manpower necessary to push forward
food and agro-processing innovation.
The recommendations in this report are based on
the study’s analysis as well as input from a meeting
of various Ghanaian food and agro-processing
stakeholders in July 2008. Boxes 4.2 (page 85) and
4.3 (page 87) describe the inputs from this group of
stakeholders.
1) Establish a network of two or three AICs
The creation of AICs is a promising route for the
translation of concepts to commercialization in a
systematic and expeditious manner. These centres
have proven to be effective in fostering sustainable
business growth and stimulating entrepreneurship,
while also providing a wide array of resources and
technologies for existing manufacturing groups and
food businesses. The centres offer start-ups and
more established enterprises a unique avenue for
developing an array of novel products for the value-
added market that provide socio-economic benefits.
While an innovation centre is a hub of R&D generally
associated with a university, it is sometimes coupled
with a business incubator that provides physical space
and business assistance from conceptualization
to commercialization of a product or process.


Figure 4.10. Schematic of contribution of SET-based enterprises to economic growth


Source: Essegbey (2008).


EconomicGrowth


New Profits


Startups


Licenses


Check-off Funds


New Revenues


Corporations


Government
(Federal, State)


New Jobs
New Products&Processes


InventionsDisclosurePatents
R & DInvestment




89CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


An AIC is used by individuals and cooperatives,
start-up food companies, existing small and mid-
sized food companies, and retail and food-service
establishments. It is essentially a physical entity
whose objective is to provide R&D facilities and high-
quality science, technology and business advisory
services in order to facilitate and accelerate new
business creation. The innovation centres also provide
training space for students and translational research
opportunities for faculty. An ideal innovation centre is
generally managed by and located in the vicinity of
an educational institution with strong programmes
in the science, technology and engineering aspects
of food and agriculture. Innovation centres are
dedicated to assisting agribusiness in the scale-
up and commercialization of new products and
technologies. Early stage business entrepreneurs
and the more established food organizations would
find the innovation centre and its campus of services
a unique avenue for developing and processing an
array of food products for the value-added market.
By creating AICs, Ghana could align efforts among
government, industry and academia; leverage its
unique strengths; create new, globally focused
advantages; and above all, help maintain a sustainable
value-addition food chain. The new facilities needed
to achieve these objectives and their interactions
are embodied in the following schematic illustration
(figure 4.11).
These centres could be established in regions of
Ghana active in agriculture production and processing
(see figures 4.3 and 4.4) with an appropriate
institutional partner such as a university. This would
allow each AIC to focus on the most promising set
of commodities produced in its geographic region.
Each AIC would house specialized equipment for
research, testing, packaging and processing regional
commodities. A network of two or three AICs would
allow for wider geographical coverage and provide
the benefits from both competition and cooperation
among them.
The objective of AICs would be to catalyse and support
new innovative business activity by offering firms an
environment to experiment, test and pilot product
innovations and business ideas. The translational
research done at an AIC is highly applied and focused
on improving products or services or piloting new
ones. For example, a small food-processing company
with an existing business in pineapple juice could
come to the innovation centre to develop sweeter or


more diluted varieties of juice and package a small
run of the new product for test marketing. The AIC
staff could provide assistance with designing the
test marketing process and connections to investors
and customer pools. The same processing company
could work further with AIC engineers on a product
concept utilizing the pineapple cores.
Each AIC would provide training space for students
and translational research opportunities for faculty
and research staff. An innovation centre is therefore
generally located in the vicinity of an educational
institution with strong programmes in the science,
technology and engineering aspects of the AIC focus
sector. The staff would provide a range of business
support services and sector-specific knowledge.
Business services could include connecting
businesses with international investors, providing
sector-specific marketing information, undertaking
technology demonstration projects and networking
entrepreneurs with collaborators at firms, universities
and research institutes.
2) Establish funding mechanisms for innovation and


market-oriented R&D
Currently, most agro-processing enterprises in
Ghana – apart from large multinationals – perform
little research and experimentation to improve their
Figure 4.11. Conceptual Framework for Agribusiness


Innovation Center and Business Incubator


Source: Essegbey (2008).


AgroProcessingBusinessIncubator


R & D


Research
community


Capitalization


State-of-the-art
specialized facilities


Intellectual
property


AgroProcessingBusinessIncubator
Marketing


Intelligence
Business


Development




90 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


products and processes and fill new market niches.26
This is not surprising, as the facilities and funding
mechanisms that support enterprise-led R&D in
Ghana are generally weak. As a result, there is little
innovation in firms, limited product differentiation and
firms with a competitive advantage lack the capacity
to keep their advantage when market conditions
change.27 The multinational agro-processors that
operate in Ghana, in contrast, do perform R&D to
improve their products and processes. However, the
vast majority of this R&D is carried out in the home
countries of transnational corporations. They operate
in isolation from the local Ghanaian agribusinesses
and have little interaction with local universities or
research centres. This limits the learning opportunities
for local firms, students, and workers. In other
words, the presence of agribusiness transnational
corporations has produced few spillovers and little
impetus for the development of a vibrant community
of local, Ghanaian SME agro-processors.
To overcome this weakness, it is necessary to
encourage viable funding sources for innovation
and market-oriented R&D. The sources of innovation
financing should be varied – for example, the firms
themselves, foreign and domestic investors, and public
R&D financing instruments.28 These funding sources
should be open to agribusinesses, including SMEs,
and entrepreneurs creating new agribusinesses.
Several possibilities are discussed below.
The notion of what constitutes an innovation should
be adapted to the realities and needs of Ghanaian
agribusinesses and might include (a) technological
innovations, such as installing capital equipment,
acquiring technology, conducting R&D to develop
new products and processes, and monitoring
technological developments in the sector; (b)
organizational innovations, such as introducing new
management models, implementing technical norms
and standards, and building managerial capabilities
to acquire and use new technologies; and (c) market
development activities, such as market intelligence
research, strategic planning or participation in
international trade fairs.
Agribusiness research and development and
innovation fund
The Science and Technology Research Endowment
Fund, or STREFund, is a source of funding for R&D
that potentially supports a wide range of research
priorities. While this fund is a useful first step towards


obtaining support for R&D, it is insufficient (distributing
only the annual investment proceeds from a $500,000
endowment). It also targets its funding at the public
research system rather than the R&D needs of the
private sector. A better alternative would be to set up
a fund for agribusiness innovation targeting SMEs,
which are critical to building a competitive sector
and linking farmers with regional and international
markets. The SME agribusiness innovation fund could
provide matching grants to SMEs working jointly with
technological service providers – local universities,
laboratories and AICs – to finance various innovation-
related activities.
The matching grants would be designed as an incentive
for SMEs and collaborating institutions, including
AICs. The grants would encourage SMEs to invest in
various forms of innovation. Further, the grants would
encourage research and educational institutions to
provide SMEs with technology transfer services, such
as staff training, laboratory testing capacity, applied
R&D and market studies. To improve the university-
to-industry linkages, universities could be encouraged
to establish special technological service centres with
technological facilitators as part of their staff. These
technological facilitators would visit interested SMEs,
provide them with a brief technological diagnosis and
help formulate proposals for new innovations. These
facilitators, in effect, would be the linkage mechanism
between SME agribusinesses and education and
research institutions.
Innovation investment credit
The Government should consider fiscal incentives
for investment in R&D and innovation by firms.29 An
innovation investment credit would allow firms to
recover some portion of spending on innovation.30 In
a developing country such as Ghana, where private
sector spending on R&D and innovation is especially
low, the credit should support investment in innovation
using a broad definition as described above. The credit
should seek to attract foreign and large investors to
partner with local SMEs by providing these firms with
credit for innovation pursued in collaboration with
local SMEs.
Check-off fees and other industry-managed R&D
funding
Ghanaian industry should consider setting up collec-
tive mechanisms for self-financing R&D and business
development. Producer check-off fees that collect a
small tax for each commodity sold at market offer a




91CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


Box 4.4. Ghana’s Experience with Marketing Agencies
In some countries, commodity marketing agencies have served as the mechanism to fund a large share of market-
oriented agricultural research and development (e.g. Malaysia, United States, New Zealand). Outside of the well-
established Ghana Cocoa Board (known as COCOBOD),31 Ghana has had limited experience or success in establishing
marketing agencies for its leading commodities.32 Marketing agencies, when organized as an instrument for state control
of a sub-sector, can lead to well-known market distortions. The World Bank has in many instances recommended the
elimination of such agencies or boards in many countries, arguing that a liberalized agriculture sector offers farmers
and other operators in the value chain fairer compensation for their goods and services. However, marketing agencies
properly organized to limit market distortions, have served an important role in agro processing in some countries by
supporting new business development, the marketing of products, organization and extension services for producers,
and, as mentioned above, funding of research, development, and piloting of new products derived from the commodity.
Good international practice can be looked to for models on which to base new or reformed marketing agencies in
Ghana.33 In general, these successful marketing agencies are industry owned and managed, are sustainably funded
through producer fees, have some limited legislative power to ensure producer conformity to quality and standards,
and offer a full range of marketing, product development, and promotion services rather than only one or two services.
These agencies are governed by the stakeholders (especially producers and processors) that would benefit from further
development of the commodity into various processed bio-products. These agencies are not involved in the ownership
of processing companies. While government might have provided some initial funding for the agencies, they are rapidly
transitioned to a sustainable private model of financing.
Various organizations in Ghana (including private businesses in some cases) now perform a limited range of the functions
normally ascribed to commodity marketing agencies. Box table 4.4.1 provides a non-exhaustive list of these organizations.
In addition, a number of failed attempts at establishing marketing agencies have been recorded. Among others, the
failures include the meat marketing board (known as the Food Distribution Company), the poultry board, and agencies
for yam, rice, and pineapple. These failures can be attributed to various causes often including excessive government
interference in the activities of the agencies leading to management inefficiencies and a failed business model. In other
cases, the marketing agencies functioned as owners of processing businesses that became unsuccessful.


Commodity Marketing Organization Ownership Structure Activities
Wheat and flour West Africa Mills, market traders Wholly private Organization of producers
Maize (grain and flour) Market Women Wholly private Organization of producers
Rice Ghana Rice Interprofessional


Body,
CCTC, Market Women


Wholly private Organization of
producers


Chicken Kwabena Darko, Sydal Farms,
others


Wholly private Organization of
producers


Pineapple Milani, Bomart, Jei Rivers Wholly private Organization of producers
Mango Producer Associations Wholly private Organization of producers
Vegetables Market Traders Wholly private Organization of producers
Yam Producer Associations Wholly private Organization of producers
Banana VREL, Golden Exotics Wholly private Organization of producers
Cashew Olam, Cashew Nut Producer


Association
Wholly private Organization of producers


Cocoa Cocobod, Licensed Buying
Companies (LBCs)


Public-Private: Private
LBCs carry out internal
purchasing, publicly-owned
Cocobod carries out
external marketing activities


R&D, quality control,
extension, purchasing,
market research, promote
and regulate sales, export
price stabilization


Shea nut Cocobod, Olam, Kasadjan Public-Private Quality control, purchasing,
market research, promote
sales


Box table 4.4.1. Existing Marketing Organizations in Ghana




92 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


means to collect industry funding. In many countries,
these collective funding mechanisms are managed
by marketing agencies for particular commodities that
serve to provide a sustainable source of funding for
agribusiness research and product development.34
These agencies ideally work for the benefit of produc-
ers by promoting innovative uses of the commodity
they represent.
As described in box 4.4, Ghana has had both positive
and negative experiences with marketing agencies or
boards; therefore, it should cautiously consider mar-
keting agencies among other possibilities to collec-
tively fund market-oriented R&D. The agencies would
complement the development of AICs by supporting
entrepreneurs, investors, engineers and students in
undertaking new product development and test mar-
keting of products based on each marketing agency’s
commodity. Marketing agency support to R&D should
be market driven and aimed at attracting co-funding
by local and foreign businesses interested in devel-
oping new bio-products. Research and development
would generally take two forms. Firstly, targeted R&D
projects carried out at research institutes or universi-
ties could aim to develop technologies that are ben-
eficial to the industry as a whole, for example, novel
technologies funded by the fish marketing agency for
recovering omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Secondly,
a competitive grants scheme could be managed by
each agency to fund promising R&D projects initiated
by firms. The scheme should fund only those pro-


jects that offer the highest probability of success in
the market based on a quality business or marketing
plan, the availability of co-financing, proven market
access, or the innovativeness of the technologies
or products pursued. The objective would be to
fund those projects that could provide the greatest
short- and long-term benefit to the stakeholders
of the marketing agency, that is, the farmers and
agribusinesses supporting the marketing agency.
3) Set up an industry advisory group, composed


of government, university, research institute
and industry representatives, to guide the
development of the food and agro-processing
industry.


The coordination of food and agro-processing in
Ghana will require an organizational framework
that brings the Government, the national research
system, and the private sector together to work
towards the success of the industry. Participants in
the food and agro-processing stakeholders meeting
of July 2008, which was organized in preparation of
the Review, recommended the establishment of the
Industry Advisory Group, which would seek to provide
coordination, direction and practical and systemic
solutions for developing the food and agro-processing
industry in the country. The Group would help create
a climate hospitable to the kinds of private enterprises
that can stimulate change from a subsistence-
farming economy to an integrated, market-oriented,
agricultural-based economy.
The mandate of the Industry Advisory Group would be
to (a) define a strategy for building national capacity
for agro-processing in Ghana and enhancing the
growth and performance of industries in the sector;
(b) define the roles of the Government, universities
and research institutes, and industry to enable the
achievement of the sector’s goals and objectives; and
(c) work with the hosting institutions to establish the
AICs and create plans to ensure the sustainability of
the innovation centres and incubators.
The Stakeholders Group recommended that the
Industry Advisory Group should (a) be located in
the Office of the President in order to endow the
Industry Advisory Group with cross-ministerial clout;
(b) provide guidance on the establishment of AICs in
broad terms, including establishing the management
boards and the geographical distribution; and (c)
have representation from organizations of the key
stakeholder categories: universities and research
institutions, government and industry.35


Box 4.4. Ghana’s Experience with Marketing Agencies (Cont.)
However, few of these organizations support the full range
of marketing activities generally performed by commodity
marketing agencies. Many of the organizations only
provide basic organization of producers (producer
associations). Particularly few of the established
agencies support research and development to
ensure the current and future competitiveness
of processing activities. The main exception is
COCOBOD that oversees cocoa and, until recently,
shea nut.
COCOBOD has successes to its credit, particularly
in providing extension services, ensuring quality, and
ensuring consistent market access. However, the
Cocoa Board model of price setting has periodically
led to difficulties in ensuring stable and fair purchase
prices. This should serve as a warning to the usefulness
of simply replicating the cocoa board across other
commodities.
Sources: Participants in July 2008 Agro Processing
Stakeholders Meeting at STEPRI-CSIR, Accra.




93CHAPTER IV: GHANA’S FOOD AND AGRO-PROCESSING SECTOR


NOTES
1 Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2007).
2 Association of Ghana Industries (2007).
3 As one example, the Ministry of Agriculture reports that Ghana produces 8.17 million tons of cassava annually but only


consumes 3.4 million tons domestically. See http://blogs.myjoyonline.com/sms/2008/04/16/are-we-safe-from-the-world-
food-crises/.


4 In advanced economies, over 80 per cent of the value in agriculture is captured by post-harvest activities (Rizvi 2008).
5 Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2007).
6 Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Private Sector Development (2008).
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 Essegbey (2008).
10 Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
11 See World Bank (2008a) for a complete picture of recent trends in the horticulture sector.
12 Essegbey (2008).
13 See www.doingbusiness.org.
14 https://www.fdipromotion.com/ipaperf09/pdf/AppendixA.pdf.
15 Ghana’s experience with marketing boards is discussed later in this chapter in box 4.4.
16 The success rate and optimal design of R&D tax incentives is controversial. However, many governments continue to


support these incentives, despite limited success in measuring the results of these efforts.
17 See chapter 2, 2.4.2, for a more detailed discussion of Ghana’s intellectual property regime.
18 See table 3.3.
19 See chapter 3, Ghana’s Research and Development System
20 http://venturecapitalghana.com.gh/.
21 Based on discussions with the Managing Director of the Fund.
22 For an overview of New Zealand’s science- and technology-based progress in food and agro-processing, see Development


Outreach, http://www.devoutreach.com/SpecialReportScaling/tabid/75/Default.aspx.
23 A list of projects related to agro-processing would include the Millennium Development Authority, the Federation of


Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme, the West Africa Agriculture
Productivity Programme, the Inland Valley Rice Project, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa, the Rural Enterprise Project, Africa
Knowledge and Transfer Partnerships, the Energy Centre at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and
private-sector entities involved in outgrower schemes and contract farming.


24 The National Development Planning Commission’s medium-term strategy attempts to rectify this shortcoming, by planning
agricultural development along the entire value chain.


25 Examples of innovation centres for food processing include the Rutgers Food Innovation Center (http://www.foodinnovation.
rutgers.edu/incubatoroverview.html#shared) and the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center: http://fpc.unl.edu/ .
The Rutgers facility “is designed for use by farmers and cooperatives, startup food companies, existing small and mid-
sized food companies, and retail and foodservice establishments who are assisted from concept to commercialization,
and enabled to have new product prototypes tested and evaluated, and to literally have their products produced in a state-
of-the-art food-processing facility that meets the regulatory standards of local, state and federal (both FDA and USDA)
agencies.” (Rutgers Food Innovation Center website).


26 See World Bank (2007a, 2008d).
27 Ibid.
28 Some R&D should be expected to be financed by firms themselves. However, as demonstrated in countries with successful


food-processing sectors, additional sources of applied R&D financing are critical to product and business development.




94 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Pre-commercial R&D as well as start-up capital is critical for businesses working at the pilot stage of new ideas. R&D
funding sources to support the industry might include public R&D funds, commodity check-off fees, and private investors.


29 Fiscal incentives consist of a favorable tax treatment to R&D expenditure and may take the form of accelerated depreciation,
tax credits, tax holidays or import tariff exemptions. Financial incentives refer to the direct funding of enterprise R&D
projects by the Government through grants or subsidies, preferential loans (including interest allowances) or equity stakes
(Mudambi, 1999).


30 R&D tax credits are widely used in member countries of the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) to
overcome a well-established market failure leading to underinvestment by firms in pre-commercial R&D. See, for example,
OECD (2003). The credit could be adapted for the realities and needs of Ghana’s private sector.


31 For example, Malaysia’s palm oil industry finances nearly $200 million of R&D annually from a production tariff.
32 More information on the Ghana Cocoa Board can be found at: http://www.cocobod.gh.
33 Many of the judgments and recommendations in this section are based on the marketing agencies group formed for the


Ghana Food and Agro-processing Stakeholders meeting held on 14 July 2008 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research’s Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI-CSIR) in Accra.


34 Examples of well-functioning marketing agencies might include the soybean and corn boards in the United States, various
agencies in New Zealand and Australia that promote dairy, apple, pear, kiwi fruit, horticulture, meat and wool products, and
agencies in the United Kingdom that promote milk, potatoes and bacon.


35 The stakeholders recommended a nine-person board, with members serving a four-year term and representing the following
bodies: industry (chairman); the Government of Ghana (rotating between the Office of the President, the Ministry of Trade
and Industry, and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Association of
Ghana Industries, research institutions, universities (e.g. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology), innovation
centres, international experts and the financial sector (e.g. Bank of Ghana).




Promoting innovation in the traditional and herbal medicines sector




96 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


5.1 Introduction
Ghana has a long tradition of valuing and supporting
the development of traditional medicine. Traditional
medicine (TM), for the purposes of this report, is
defined as “the sum total of the knowledge, skills and
practices based on theories, beliefs and experiences
indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or
not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in
the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment
of physical and mental illnesses” (MOH-GNDP, 2002).
Traditional herbal medicine (THM) is one aspect of
traditional medicine, and relates specifically to the use
of plants, plant parts and plant products as medicinal
remedies. The terms “complementary medicine”
and “alternative medicine” (as opposed to Ghanaian
traditional medicine) are used to denote traditional
medicine practices and products imported from
outside Ghana, such as Chinese traditional medicine
and Ayurvedic medicine. In this report, however, the
term “traditional herbal medicines” – that is to say, the
products, as opposed to the practice of traditional
medicine – will also be used occasionally to include
imported medicines.
Traditional medicine practitioners and traditional
herbal medicines remain key elements in the provision
of healthcare to around 60 per cent of the population,1
but these still operate outside the public sector health
system, despite long-held expectations that the two
could be integrated. The domestic market is therefore
viewed as potentially large, and represents an
important source of income for deprived communities
which depend on indigenous knowledge systems
and plant resources for their livelihood. At the same
time, Ghana is trying to diversify its export base and
promote the development of non-traditional export
products. In this area, traditional herbal medicine is
perceived to have significant growth potential with the
development of plant-based medicines for export.
Government efforts at the policy level to promote and
mainstream traditional herbal medicine in Ghana have
intensified in recent years. Science, technology and
innovation are seen as key factors in the development
of THM, and have been given prominence in current


policy objectives. This review provides an opportunity
to assess the progress to date, and to reflect on
what policy objectives and measures might warrant
review and adjustment in the face of prevailing
bottlenecks and barriers to future progress. This
chapter concentrates on packaged traditional herbal
medicines. It is particularly concerned with innovations
in THM, and with the application of science and
technology to support innovation in this area.


5.2 The potential role of traditional herbal medicine
Traditional medicine offers a range of healthcare
treatment, including psychiatric care, which is
similar to that offered by allopathic (i.e. orthodox)
medicine. Practitioners of traditional medicine tend
to be specialists, either in particular areas of disease
management, or in other types of healthcare. The
latter group includes psychic and spiritual healers,
bonesetters (who specialize in treating bone fractures),
and traditional birth attendants.2 A Green Paper on
health issued in 2001 refers to a “large but unknown
number” of traditional healers in Ghana (MOH, 2001).
Estimates range from 45,000 to 100,000.3 A census
carried out in 2001 found some 20,000 indigenous
traditional healers resident in local communities,
and approximately 40,000 to 50,000 people claiming
involvement in the practice of traditional medicine.4
Based on a population estimate of 22.1 million, the
ratio of traditional medicine practitioners to general
population in Ghana can be estimated to be between
1:491 and 1:221. Using the 2001 census data and
taking 45,000 as an estimate, the ratio is closer to
1:400 or 1:500. The latest available figures indicate
that there are 1,400 registered pharmacists in
Ghana,5 and around 7,000 chemical/drug sellers,6
the latter being restricted to sales of over-the-counter
medicines, including herbal remedies. In comparison,
recent data presented in UNDP’s global Human
Development Report estimate that the number of
physicians per 100,000 people is approximately
15,7 giving a ratio of physicians to population of
1:6667 (which compares favourably with most other
countries in sub-Saharan Africa) and an approximate
total number of physicians in the country of 3,300.
Simply in terms of access, these figures demonstrate
the importance of traditional medicine to healthcare
provision in Ghana.
The Ministry of Health estimates that about 60 per
cent of Ghanaians use traditional and alternative




97CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


medicine,8 and that those living in rural areas are
especially likely to use traditional and alternative
medicine (MOH, 2007). However, the proportion that
uses herbal medicines – including people that self-
diagnose and buy directly from retailers, including
pharmacies and drug sellers – may be much higher. In
the national strategic plan for traditional and alternative
medicine development in Ghana, it was estimated
that around 80 per cent of rural and peri-urban people
sought traditional remedies or practitioners for their
health needs (MOH-TAMD, 2005). At the policy level,
the Government of Ghana has long been active in
promoting and supporting maintenance of the cultural
traditions represented by traditional medicine, and in
developing the potential to incorporate it into public-
sector health service provision.


5.3 Traditional herbal medicine: practice, products and knowledge
In terms of integrating traditional herbal medicine
into orthodox (i.e. allopathic) medicine, there are
three distinct (though overlapping) elements to be
considered: (a) the practice of traditional medicine;
(b) the medicinal products themselves; and (c)
the traditional indigenous knowledge which is
embodied in both the practices and the products of
traditional medicine, and which can be used as the
basis for generating new knowledge and products
commensurate with the scientific standards and norms
of allopathic medicine. Each of these three aspects
involves different – although, again, overlapping –
sets of stakeholders, policy issues and objectives,
technical problems, and potential contributions
to healthcare provision and the economy (see
figure 5.1).


Increased access to quality healthcare


Domestic markets Export markets


Development
of new products


IPRs


Mass production of herbal medicines New scientific knowledge


PRACTICE


KNOWLEDGEPRODUCTS


Figure 5.1 Key elements of traditional herbal medicine


Source: the author’s elaboration.




98 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


As figure 5.2 shows, there are two ways in which
new products may emerge. The first – and quickest
– route is through the adaption, improvement and
commercialization of existing traditional herbal
medicines for mass markets. This is particularly
important in that there is already a domestic market
for these products. Furthermore, the health service
delivery system anticipates that these products could
increase access to affordable medicines in Ghana. The
second route, which uses knowledge about traditional
herbal medicines as the basis for new allopathic
drugs, is less direct, more science-intensive, has a
longer time-lag for the development of a new product,
and has potentially higher risk in terms of the benefits
it would bring to healthcare provision in Ghana. 9
The potential for the large-scale manufacture of
packaged products will be dependent upon, and
perhaps constrained by, operations both upstream
and downstream along the value chain. Therefore,
the following sections will review STI activities,
related policies and regulations, the actors involved
in the supply of raw materials, and the commercial
diffusion of packaged products. Figure 5.2 shows a
simple schematic of this approach, with the arrows
representing influences on and linkages between the
various elements in the “innovation system” that will
be considered.


5.4 Institutional and policy framework
There are two broad areas of mandate under the
Ministry of Health. The first is health policy, which is
directly under the Ministry’s remit. The other is health
service delivery, which is under the auspices of the


Ghana Health Service (GHS). Other key functions that
are directly relevant to TM development are regulation,
R&D, and education. The key elements and entities
that make up the institutional and policy framework for
TM in Ghana are shown in figure 5.3.
5.4.1 Overall policy for traditional medicine
While there has been a directorate for traditional me-
dicine within the Ministry of Health since 1991, the Mi-
nistry of Health acknowledges that, for many years,
the health sector has placed emphasis on the provi-
sion of allopathic medicine, and that traditional and
alternative medicine have been relatively neglected.10
The Ministry has now begun to intensify its efforts to
support the development of TM in Ghana and to incor-
porate both practices and products into health service
delivery. The key recent initiatives are:
The establishment of a full Traditional and


Alternative Medicine Directorate (TAMD) within
the Ministry, whose role is to coordinate policies
for TM development;


The setting up of the Traditional Medicine
Practice Council Secretariat, to register TM
practitioners, monitor their practices, and act as
a key collaborator in the regulation of practices in
herbal medicine and the sale of products;


Supporting capacity-building at the Centre for
Scientific Research into Plant Medicine to carry
out assessment and testing of traditional herbal
medicines, including clinical trials;


Encouraging the introduction of a programme on
herbal medicine within the School of Pharmacy at
the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology.


REGULATION AND POLICIES


ENABLING ENVIRONMENT(natura ressources, S&T, tacit knowledge, finance, infracstructure, IPRs)


Supply of rawmaterials Manufacture of packaged products
Diffusion intocommercialmarkets


Figure 5.2. Manufacture of traditional herbal medicine products in Ghana


Source: the author’s elaboration.




99CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


5.4.2 Traditional and Alternative Medicine
Directorate


Originally, the activities of the Traditional and Alter-
native Medicine Directorate (TAMD) concentrated on
capacity-building related to education and training for
traditional healers, and improving the quality of prac-
tices by traditional healers.11 Its mission is to nurture
the development of TM products and services to the
level of quality where they can be safely integrated
into national healthcare programmes. Its functions
are, essentially:
Policy initiation and the development of imple-


mentation guidelines for legal and administrative
frameworks;


Coordinating information and strategic planning
related to TM development; and


Fostering collaboration with stakeholders, includ-
ing allopathic practice, through education and
information-sharing.


Its policy thrust is continuous R&D of products and
services, sustainable conservation of medicinal plant
resources, and technology transfer for large-scale
production of herbal medicines. An overall objective
for the development of TM, as stated in the TAMD
strategic development plan for 2005–2009, is – by
means of “rigorous research” – “improving [traditional
health care] to acceptable standards and making it
marketable to a wider group of people, including ex-
port markets.”
The plan highlights two broad goals:
The health goal is to increase access to accept-


able standards of traditional healthcare so as to
improve the health status of all Ghanaians; and


The economic goal is to develop Ghanaian tra-
ditional and alternative medicine practices and
products to international standards.


The objectives laid out in the strategic plan, taken col-
lectively, reflect a systemic approach to planning for
the integration of TM. As a broad framework for the
development of TM in Ghana, the strategic action plan
is a useful steering document. Nevertheless, its imple-
mentation is likely to require the building of comple-
mentary policies, programmes and activities in a wide
variety of ministries and public sector organizations.


5.4.3 Health service delivery
Health service delivery in Ghana comprises the
government health service, private-sector and
NGO/mission health facilities, traditional medicine
practitioners, and pharmacies and drug sellers.
The public-sector health system is administered
by the Ghana Health Service (GHS). The GHS is
responsible for healthcare facilities, the engagement
of healthcare professionals, and the procurement of
drugs and medicines for public-sector use. Therefore,
the GHS has the main operational role to play in the
incorporation of traditional medicine – both practices
and products. Constraints on access to healthcare
services in Ghana are twofold, i.e. both geographic
and financial. There are two key policy objectives to
be met: (a) to increase access to healthcare services;
and (b) to increase access to affordable medicines.
In recent years, the main focus of the efforts to
meet these objectives has been the expansion of
allopathic health facilities within the public health
system, together with a major change in the way
that healthcare is financed, and the restructuring of
the procurement and supply system for drugs and
other medical supplies. To date, progress towards
the integration of traditional medicine practice in the
GHS system, at a formal national level, has been
slow, although in some areas TM practitioners and
physicians cooperate informally at the local level.
The GHS does not yet have a clearly defined plan for
the integration of traditional medicine practice into
its service provision at the present time, although
policymakers are reported to currently be considering
four options for promoting integration, based upon
ideas from a survey of stakeholders.12 The inclusion of
traditional herbal medicine products into GHS service
delivery is, at present, subject to the provisions of the
National Drugs Policy, which is under the auspices of
the Ghana National Drugs Programme.
5.4.4 Ghana National Drugs Programme
The Ghana National Drugs Programme (GNDP) was
introduced in 1997 as part of the first five-year medium-
term strategic framework (1997–2001), with the
intention of improving access to essential medicines.
The programme initially included the development
of a national drug policy, and subsequently also the
following: legislation, procurement and distribution of
drugs, financial management of revolving funds for
drugs, and issues related to the quality and rational
use of drugs (MOH-GNDP, 2002).




100 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Fig
ure


5.3
. K


ey
Ele


me
nts


of
the


Ins
titu


tion
al F


ram
ew


ork
for


TH
M


So
urc


e:
the


au
tho


r’s
ela


bo
rat


ion
.


Foo
d a


nd
Dru


gs
Bo


ard
GH


AN
A H


EA
LTH


SE
RV


ICE


Ph
arm


aci
es


and
dr


ug
sel


ler
s


Tra
diti


ona
l m


edi
cin


e
pra


ctit
ion


ers


Tra
diti


ona
l


and
Al


ter
nat


ive


Me
dic


ine
Dir


ect
ora


te


Gh
ana


St
and


ard
s B


oar
d


Ph
arm


acy
Co


unc
il


Tra
diti


ona
l M


edi
cin


e
Pra


ctit
ion


ers
Co


unc
il


Me
dic


al E
thic


s C
oun


cil
Fie


ld R
ese


arc
h S


tat
ion


s


Pri
vat


e s
ect


or
Sch


ool
s


C.S
.I.R


CS
RP


M


NM
IM


R
Un


ive
rsi


ties
GA


EC


MI
NIS


TR
Y O


F H
EA


LTH


HE
ALT


H P
OL


ICY
ED


UC
ATI


ON
PO


LIC
Y


MI
NIS


TR
Y O


F E
DU


CA
TIO


N,
SC


IEN
CE


AN
D S


PO
RT


S


Pri
vat


e h
osp


ital
s,


hea
lth


cen
tre


s,
ma


ter
nity


ho
me


s, e
tc


RE
GU


LAT
OR


Y
OV


ER
SIG


HT
RE


GU
LAT


OR
Y


OV
ER


SIG
HT


HE
ALT


H
R&


D
HE


ALT
H R


&D


CO
OR


DIN
ATI


ON


Ho
spi


tals
, he


alth
ce


ntr
es,


ma
ter


nity
ho


me
s, e


tc
Gh


ana
Na


tion
al D


rug
s


Pro
gra


mm
e


Un
ive


rsi
ties


and
oth


er
ter


tiar
y


ins
titu


tion
s


He
alth


Re
sea


rch
Un


it




101CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


There are significant barriers to introducing traditional
herbal medicines into the public health system. Ad-
ministration of drugs and medicines within the public
sector health system conforms to nationally published
standard treatment guidelines, which, in turn, form the
basis for publication of the national Essential Medici-
nes List (EML) – this is sometimes also referred to in
documents as the Essential Drugs List (EDL). Ghana
has implemented the “essential medicines” concept
since 1988, and produced its first EML in 1993. There
are currently no traditional or alternative herbal medi-
cines on the EML. Prescription of drugs within the pu-
blic healthcare system is restricted to those medicines
identified in the EML. One proposal made has been to
introduce a separate EML in Ghana for THM.
Like the strategic plan for the development of tradi-
tional and alternative medicine in Ghana, the GNDP
identifies a wide range of interrelated, cross-sectoral
activities, covering scientific research, cultivation of
medicinal plants, and the development of manufactu-
ring. However, the main thrust of the current activities
– which is in line with the national strategic plan for
traditional and alternative medicine – is the regulation
of traditional medicine practice and THM.
5.4.5 Regulation
The three key regulatory aspects of traditional medi-
cine relate to quality, safety and efficacy. Other impor-
tant regulatory aspects include drug advertisements,
standards of practice for drug outlets, post-marketing
surveillance, and pharmocovigilance.13 The main bo-
dies responsible for regulatory oversight in relation to
traditional medicine are:
the Traditional Medicine Practice Council;
the Food and Drugs Board; and
the Ghana Standards Board.
In addition, the Pharmacy Council is responsible for
licensing drug outlets, including pharmacies and drug
sellers, and the Medical Ethics Council is responsi-
ble for approving the conduct of clinical trials into all
medicinal products. For this review, the key pieces of
legislation that establish regulatory mechanisms for
traditional medicine were identified as the Traditional
Medicine Practice Act and the Food and Drugs Law.
5.4.6 Traditional Medicine Practice Act
Under the terms of the Traditional Medicine Practice
Act 2000,14 all traditional medicine practitioners must
be registered and all traditional medicine practices


must be licensed. This is the key role of the Traditional
Medicine Practitioners Council (TMPC). The TMPC
determines whether an applicant for registration has
“adequate proficiency” in the practice before awarding
registration. The application must first be endorsed by
two representatives from three specified authorities in
the district and/or community where the practitioner
is based (Government of Ghana, 2000). The TMPC is
also mandated to monitor the activities of practitioners
to “ensure that they conform to safety standards and
the aims of the National Drugs Programme” (MOH-
TAMD 2005). Registration must be renewed on an
annual basis. Also under this Act, herbalists who
produce herbal medicines for sale must be registered
with the Food and Drugs Board (FDB).
5.4.7 Food and Drugs Law
Under the Food and Drugs Law 1992, all herbal
medicines and homeopathic drugs that are
manufactured, prepared, sold, supplied, exported, or
imported into Ghana must be registered with the FDB.
The FDB was established in Ghana as a result of the
introduction of the Food and Drugs Law 1992, and
became operational in 1997. The FDB is responsible
for the approval and registration of food products,
drugs, medical devices, household chemicals and
cosmetics, whether intended for sale or distribution
in Ghana, for export or import. Before 1997, herbal
medicines were not regulated in Ghana. Depending
on their characteristics and intended use, some
traditional herbal products are suitable for registration
as food supplements rather than as drugs, as is
the case in many other countries. Where this is not
appropriate, herbal medicines are subject to the FDB’s
“Guidelines for the registration of herbal/homeopathic
drugs in Ghana”. However, full implementation of the
regulatory procedures is being phased in for herbal
medicines.
Registration requires that herbal products successfully
undergo acute toxicity testing and that the proposed
product labels be submitted for the FDB’s approval.
From the year 2000, FDB approval has also depended
on passing an FDB inspection of the manufacturing
facilities used in the production of the herbal product.
Advertisements for the herbal products in the mass
media must also be approved by the FDB. Since
2003, it has also been a requirement that the product
labels include the name of the active ingredient – or,
at least, the name of the plant(s) used. The botanical
name of the plant is required, rather than local names
(which may differ between regions and indigenous




102 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


languages). Following registration, the FDB carries
out regular quality and safety monitoring of samples
of registered products that are on sale at pharmacies
and other retail outlets. According to the FDB, labelling
and other advertising activities have proved to be the
key challenges in the registration process.
5.4.8 Health R&D
Ghana does not have an S&T policy or innovation po-
licy for the health sector. For the most part, STI policy
is expressed in terms of R&D needs that are related
to the implementation of broader policies, such as the
National Drugs Policy. Scientific research into medici-
nal plants and herbal medicines is carried out mainly
in public-sector research institutions and universities.
The main centres of R&D into plant medicine products
in Ghana are the:
Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine;
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research;


and
School of Pharmacy, Kwame Nkrumah University


of Science and Technology.
In addition, several other university departments carry
out research related to medicinal plants, including
the botany, chemistry and biochemistry departments
at the University of Ghana Legon, and the chemistry
department at the University of Cape Coast.
R&D in most pharmaceutical firms in Ghana relates to
quality-control issues rather than to the development
of new products, and most of these firms are not
manufacturing traditional herbal medicines. One
notable exception is Phyto-Riker Pharmaceuticals,
which has two herbal medicines in their product
range. The R&D activities of individual herbalists
are not documented, well known, or even explicitly
acknowledged at the policy level.
5.4.9 Centre for Scientific Research into Plant


Medicine
The Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine
(CSRPM) was established in 1975, under the Ministry
of Health, and is based at Mampong-Akuapem in the
Eastern Region of Ghana. Its original mandate covers:
Scientific research into plant medicine, specifically


relating to its improvement;
The establishment and maintenance of botanical


gardens for medicinal plants;
Cooperation with, and liaison between, traditional


medicine practitioners, other research institutions,


and commercial organizations, in the area of
plant medicine; and


Collation and dissemination of information.
The Centre is now also involved in the production
and sale of its own range of herbal medicines, and
carries out toxicological testing to support registration
of herbal medicines with the FDB. CSRPM is a World
Health Organization (WHO) “collaborating centre” in
the area of plant medicine.
5.4.10 Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical


Research
The Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research
(NMIMR) was set up as a semi-autonomous research
institute in 1979, under the overall auspices of, and on
the campus of, the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.
Plant medicine is not a major area of research at the
NMIMR. The plant medicine programme at the institute
is in its early stages, though some of the current staff
had carried out research on herbal products earlier.
The Institute’s recent increase in activity in this area
is important, as it arguably has the best facilities for
advanced scientific research in Ghana.
5.4.11 KNUST Faculty of Pharmacy
Research in a range of issues related to herbal
medicines is carried out at the Faculty of Pharmacy,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology, in Kumasi. The key departments are
Pharmacognosy, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics.
Most of the research carried out is done with internal
university resources, and very few projects receive
significant research funding from external sources.
Perhaps as a result, the laboratory facilities are not
well equipped by academic standards. The screening
and chemical analysis of medicinal plants is the single
largest research area, with less work being undertaken
on existing herbal products. Individual researchers are
also working on projects in microbiology (relating to
potential anti-microbials derived from plant sources)
and tissue culture for medicinal plants.
5.4.12 The coordination of R&D in health
Responsibility for the coordination of health research
in Ghana had been under the Deputy Director-General
of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
(CSIR). The CSIR itself is responsible for 13 public-
sector research institutes (none of which are directly
concerned with research either into medicines or
health issues, as these are under the mandate of the
Ministry of Health).15 The CSIR operates under the




103CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.
However, coordination under the Deputy Director-
General has ceased, and therefore the CSIR’s role in
the coordination of research is not entirely clear. It has
no policy development remit, nor does it administer
any research funding for health. The Deputy Director-
General in charge of this remit is on the Governing
Council of the CSRPM.
5.4.13 Education and training
Education and training related to THM can be seen
from two perspectives. The first relates to the training
of TM practitioners, which has traditionally been
carried out under apprenticeship systems. The second
is concerned with provisions under the mandate of
government ministries, which includes:
Education and training within the formal education


system; and
Training offered to TM practitioners and herbal


product manufacturers by public organizations.
Current policy deals only with the second type of
education and training; the linkages with traditional
training appear to be absent. The aim of the existing
training for practitioners of traditional medicine is to
enhance their services/treatment through introduction
to modern medical knowledge and methods.
Policy in the formal education system is under the
Ministry of Education, although the universities
tend to have autonomy in designing their curricula.
Tertiary education in areas related to plant medicine
is carried out in the university departments that were
listed in section 5.4.8. The only specific programme in
herbal medicine is a BSc at the School of Pharmacy,
KNUST, which started in 2001. The integration of
herbal medicine into the curricula of Ghana’s Medical
Schools has not yet taken place.


5.5 STI activities and challenges
The main activities and challenges in THM in Ghana
relate to R&D, the manufacture of THM products, the
supply of raw materials, and regulation. These are
considered here within the context of the potential
development of a herbal medicines industry.
5.5.1 Research and development
There are no accurate and comprehensive national
data on the number of plants used in traditional
herbal medicine, but there is mounting evidence that
some species with known medicinal properties are


becoming increasingly difficult to find, suggesting that
they may be under threat of disappearing altogether
in some areas of Ghana. R&D to support the stock of
data on plants of medicinal importance, together with
their sustainable use in herbal medicines, is identified
as a policy priority in Ghana.
The scientific community in Ghana has been working
for many decades to build up documented knowledge
about the national stock of plant genetic resources,
including those known or believed to be of medicinal
relevance. The main institutions undertaking scientific
research to build the stock of knowledge on plant
genetic resources, and/or maintaining germplasm
collections, are the:
Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine


(CSRPM), particularly the Plant Development
Department, and to a lesser extent, the
Phytochemistry and Production Departments;


University of Ghana, Legon (Departments of
Chemistry, Botany and Biochemistry);


Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST), Kumasi (Departments
of Pharmocology, Pharmocognosy and
Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy);


University of Cape Coast (Department of
Chemistry);


Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
(NMIMR);


Botanical gardens, including those at Aburi in the
Eastern Region (located close to the CSRPM);


Plant Genetic Resource Centre (PGRC), an
institute of the CSIR;


Science and Technology Policy Research Institute
(STEPRI) of CSIR – publishers of the Ghana
Herbal Pharmacopeia.


All the academic/research institutions have
sufficiently equipped laboratories to carry out work
in phytochemistry and/or microbiology, though
only NMIMR has well-equipped molecular biology
laboratories.
The goals can be divided into three types:
a) Adding to the national knowledge base on local


medicinal plants in order to identify potential and
priorities for:
i) the development of products; and/or




104 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ii) conservation initiatives to protect plants of
medicinal value;


b) The development of new allopathic drugs;
c) The development or improvement of herbal


medicines.
To date, in Ghana, no new allopathic drugs have been
developed as a result of research into plant medicine.
This situation is common across Africa. In the field of
drug development, researchers – and SMEs – face
formidable barriers to doing so. These barriers relate
to the investment needed for prolonged, science-
intensive developmental work, but more especially to
the costs of controlled clinical trials.16
One option to overcome these barriers to the
development of new allopathic drugs based on
medicinal plants is to undertake R&D only to the
stage where the product under development can be
patented, with the objective of gaining the benefits
from licensing fees and royalties. This is, at present,
a key objective of the plant medicine research
programme under way at the NMIMR.17 There may
also be some potential to forming partnerships with
foreign organizations or consortiums to develop plant
medicines from local plants, although this has not
yet been done in Ghana. Both of these options raise
issues about the local capacity to undertake patenting
activities, not just in Ghana, but also in potential
export-market countries.
The only new commercial products that have emerged
from public-sector scientific research in plant medicine
in Ghana have been the herbal medicines produced
at the CSRPM. A private sector firm, Phyto-Riker,
has developed and now manufactures two herbal
medicinal products. Some herbalists are themselves
scientists – in the sense of being formally trained in,
for example, pharmacology – and carry out some
“formal” R&D on their own products. With regard to
the testing, evaluation and improvement of herbal
products, relationships do exist between the public
and private sectors. For example, CSRPM, NMIMR
and the Faculty of Pharmacy at KNUST have carried
out testing on traditional herbal medicines to treat
malaria and HIV/AIDS – two diseases that have been
particularly highlighted by current policies as priorities
for the development of herbal medicines. However,
these relationships bring the question of intellectual
property protection for traditional knowledge to the
fore. In terms of intellectual property rights protection,
Ghana has a Patents Act, and an intellectual property


rights guideline document has reportedly been
developed between the agriculture, forestry and
health ministries for the protection and sustainable
development of plant genetic resources and the
related indigenous knowledge for health, agriculture
and industry. Ghana has been represented in WHO
forums related to the production of a strategy on IPR,
indigenous knowledge, and public health innovations.
Nevertheless, while a certain level of trust has been
built between the research institutions (particularly
CSRPM) and some Ghanaian herbalists, THM is still
shrouded in secrecy to a large extent.
5.5.2 The production of herbal medicines
Traditional herbal medicines come in various forms,
depending on the degree to which they have
been processed by a herbalist. The prevalence of
manufactured decoctions and tinctures, together
with packaged dried herbs for home preparations,
on the domestic market in Ghana may be seen as
an indication of the dominance of small-scale low-
tech production systems in THM manufacturing. The
introduction of automated production and a trend
towards THMs in solid dosage forms, where possible
and appropriate, has advantages for the development
of improved products in respect of quality. Uniformity
(particularly in respect of dosage), longer shelf life,
and easier transport and storage are key potential
benefits from the supply side. In turn, these benefits
could make it easier to meet the quality requirements
of the regulatory system. The introduction of new
technologies can also help address standards related
to Good Manufacturing Practice. However, most
herbalists in Ghana lack the capacity to make this
transition in production methods without significant
investment in the acquisition and absorption of new
technologies.
There is a need to move towards production methods
that are more suited to large-scale production,
although this means a need for technological
upgrading by small-scale herbalists.
5.5.3 Supply and cultivation of medicinal plants
A crucial issue that is raised by the potential expan-
sion of THM production in Ghana is the supply of raw
plant materials. At present, there is relatively little cul-
tivation of medicinal plants for use in herbal products.
Most plants are gathered from the wild, and there is
evidence that some medicinal plants that are already
used by herbalists are becoming more difficult to find
in some localities. The strategic plan for the develop-




105CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


ment of THM covering the period 2005–2009 propo-
sed that a national survey be carried out to identify
medicinal plants that are endangered and/or of com-
mercial interest in Ghana.
The dominance of trees as raw material for traditional
herbal medicines has significant implications for
sustainability of supply, given their relatively slow
growth and high land requirements. The prevalence
of forest tree species in the mix of medicinal plants
used by herbalists, if indicative of the overall use of
plants in THM, presents significant problems for the
introduction of mass cultivation. These problems
include the land requirements, the time lag between
planting and harvesting, and the potential loss of
potency or other undesirable alteration of a plant’s
characteristics when grown outside the natural habitat.
A potential limitation on the long-term commercial via-
bility of medicinal plant farming is the lack of easily
deployed techniques for the propagation of mass uni-
form planting material. Collection of seed or material
for vegetative propagation from the wild is unlikely to
be viable in this respect. Work to develop tissue cultu-
re18 for the mass propagation of medicinal plants was
identified as a priority at the national level some years
ago,19 but little has been accomplished to date.
5.5.4 Regulatory science
By the end of 2007, a total of 1,068 herbal medicines
had been registered at the FDB since compulsory
registration began in 1998. The FDB reports that, up to
and including 2004, around 40 per cent of registered
products were produced by Ghanaian manufacturers
(see fig. 5.4).20 The total number of registered products
has grown substantially since then. However, the
current total represents a relatively small proportion
of the traditional herbal medicines used throughout
Ghana. Moreover, according to the FDB, the majority
of the registered herbal medicines to date come from
the Greater Accra or Asante regions.21 The registration
process itself is proving to be a difficult barrier for
herbalists to overcome, despite the relatively relaxed
scientific testing and evaluation regulations.
The three criteria by which medicines are evaluated
are safety, quality and efficacy. Under the present
FDB requirements, acute toxicity testing is the only
prerequisite for applying for registration of a herbal
medicine. Capacity to undertake the testing already
exists, though additional capacity would be needed
should a regulated herbal medicines industry be
developed on a large scale. An unknown number of


herbal products that are unregistered and untested
(by “scientific methods”) are being used throughout
Ghana, although they are now illegal. Current policy
favours increased regulation and more comprehensive
testing of THMs, with the expectation that this would
drive unsafe and/or ineffective herbal products off the
market. However, it does seem that the realities of the
regulatory situation – i.e. the small number of testing
centres located only in the southern half of the country,
the costs to herbalists of testing and registration, the
mandatory disclosure of their trade secrets, and the
lack of enforcement of the law – serve to obscure the
possible range of impacts of this policy.
5.5.5 Development of a traditional herbal medicine


industry
There are a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing
companies in Ghana, but only one of these – Phyto-
Riker Pharmaceuticals – produces herbal medicines.
The exact number of herbalists that are producing
traditional medicines for sale in Ghana is not known.
Grupper et al. (2005) report only 36 local herbalists and
a further 22 foreign herbal medicine manufacturers,
however the current figure is higher according to
TAMD, with 140 small-scale manufacturers listed at
the middle of 2008. According to the TAMD, recent
growth in the “formal” herbal medicine industry in
Ghana is being driven largely by business people,
and to some extent by plant growers, rather than by
the traditional medicine practitioners and herbalists
themselves.22
The domestic over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
market is the industry’s main target market; and
indeed, for most firms, it is the only target market. The
FDB reports that it has received a small number of
requests for certification of registered herbal products
for export: all of these were for exports to other countries
in the West Africa subregion.23 Together with the two
main unresolved issues of raw materials supply and
regulatory requirements, the characteristics of these
three existing and potential markets will determine the
future of the herbal medicine industry. Individual firms
within the industry face the challenges of developing
capacities to upgrade their production methods, meet
changing regulatory standards, and package and
market their products, according to the demands of
the different markets.
The size of the potential markets for THMs is unknown,
and this makes it very difficult to prioritize interventions.24
However, data from the pharmaceuticals markets in




106 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Ghana indicate that the public sector accounts for
a relatively small proportion of the retail sales value
of imported and locally produced pharmaceuticals
(table 5.1).
5.5.6 THM for the public sector health system
The conventional view on the potential of locally
manufactured medicines, including traditional herbal
medicines, from the health system’s perspective,
has been that access to quality medicines could be
expanded while at the same time making foreign
exchange savings through import substitution. This
expectation has not been met by the pharmaceutical
sector in Ghana. Current procurement procedures in
the GHS are based on annual international competitive
bids, and local manufacturers have generally found
themselves unable to compete with imports on ex-
factory prices. In the Ghanaian pharmaceutical
industry’s case, this appears to be due primarily to
economies of scale. It is noted that pharmaceutical
firms in Ghana do not produce any “innovator”
allopathic medicines – i.e. medicines that have
been developed in-house.25 Therefore, all products
manufactured locally are competing with often very
large-scale foreign manufacturers. Moreover, the
annual bidding process has deterred some local
manufacturers from producing for the public sector
market altogether, as margins are low and there is
no long-term contractual security under the present
system. Rather, their production is geared towards the
domestic OTC market (Grupper et al., 2005).
Given the relatively small size of the market, the uncer-
tainties of annual competitive bidding, and the regu-
latory hurdles involved, the GHS may not be the most


attractive market for the commercial manufacture of
traditional herbal products.
5.5.7 Ghana’s domestic over-the-counter market for


THM
The domestic market for OTC herbal products is still
not well understood. The size of the market is not
clear, and the factors driving consumer behaviour
in respect of OTC herbal medicines have not been
precisely identified. The two factors that are most
closely identified with consumer purchases of herbal
medicines are greater accessibility and lower cost
relative to health service facilities and prescription
medicines. In Ghana, as in many other countries, TM
has always been seen as critical for the provision of
low-cost and accessible healthcare, predominantly
for the poorest segment of the population, who not
only have low incomes but also very often live far
from modern medical facilities. Should the cost of
OTC remedies increase significantly due to the cost
to manufacturers of stricter regulation, the segment
of the market for whom cost is the main factor
determining consumer choice may diminish greatly.
Perhaps most significantly, it may be that the impacts
of current improvements in state healthcare provision,
involving the establishment of new hospitals and cli-
nics, and the implementation of the National Health In-
surance Scheme, will be of overriding importance for
the future of the domestic OTC market. The ongoing
improvement in accessibility of modern clinics and
hospitals in rural areas of Ghana, and the provisions
of the National Health Insurance Scheme that enable
modern medicines to be prescribed at little or no cost
to poor consumers – while, of course, extremely desi-
rable – are likely to significantly reduce the existing
and potential market for OTC herbal products.
5.5.8 Export markets
Anecdotal evidence suggests that THMs are
sometimes exported in small batches through


0


50


100


150


200


250


1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Total Ghanaian


Figure 5.4. Traditional and Alternative Medicines
Registered with the FDB, by year


Source: FDB, December 2007


Retail sales
value


US$ millions
% of total
consumer


market
Public sector imports 17 7
Private sector imports 106 42
Private sector local
manufacture 127 51
Totals 250 100


Table 5.1 Public and private sector markets for
pharmaceuticals in Ghana, 2004




107CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


Ghanaian expatriates, and, occasionally, by
foreigners who have used THMs while temporarily
visiting the country. The FDB reports that few
requests from herbal manufacturers for export
approval certificates have been received.26 Those
that did request formal approval were exporting
to other countries in the West Africa region. Little
has been done to assess the location and size of
potential export markets for Ghanaian THMs. Access
to foreign markets where local traditional medicines
are already entrenched, such as China and India, is
likely to be extremely difficult. This may also be the
case within sub-Saharan Africa, especially where the
competitiveness of Ghanaian products in markets
outside the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) is reduced as a result of other
regional free trade arrangements (particularly the
Southern African Development Community (SADC)).
With regard to Ghana’s main potential markets
outside Africa – Europe and the United States – there
are regulatory barriers that will limit the potential for
exports, and different consumer preferences that
may require innovative approaches to packaging and
marketing.
Until the introduction of a new European Union directive
on traditional herbal products in 2004, Ghanaian herbal
products may have been able to enter the market in
some European countries. The regulatory regimes
varied in strictness between different countries. In the
United Kingdom, for example, some herbal medicines
could be exempted from registration altogether.27 In
France, the registration procedure for traditionally
used products (as evidenced by a simple statement
of their traditional use) was very straightforward.
A list of plants and indications was required on the
label, but most products did not require any safety
or efficacy studies to be undertaken. The laws in
Germany were a little stricter; efficacy was considered
to be proven by long-term use (as in France), but
product safety tests were required (Steinhoff, 2002).
The new directive, which was designed to harmonize
regulation of herbal products across the European
Union, affords significant advantages to products
used traditionally in the region. Now, proof of efficacy
can be based on evidence of their use for a minimum
of 30 years, as per WHO recommendations, but
with the additional caveat that at least 15 of these
years must relate to use within the European Union.
New products from outside the region must now
undergo more comprehensive efficacy assessment.
In addition, the new requirements for quality testing


under the directive are stricter than was the case in
most European countries prior to 2004. The directive,
which is being phased in over several years, is
causing concern even for well-established exporters
of Chinese, Ayurvedic and other herbal medicines,28
as many of their products do not meet the requirement
for 15 years existing use in the EU, and this would, of
course, also apply to potential exports from Ghana.
Under the existing regulatory system in the United
States, herbal products can either be registered as
food supplements or as drugs; there is no specific
regime for herbal medicines.29 The regulatory process
for drugs is, of course, prohibitively costly. Therefore,
only those Ghanaian herbal products that can meet
the regulatory standards for allopathic medicines, or
those that can be registered as food supplements,30
have potential for being exported to the United States.
While the labelling requirements are stricter than
those in force in Ghana at present (e.g. all ingredients
must be listed on the label), the dietary supplements
market is relatively lightly regulated and monitored.
Approval from the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) for a new product on the market is required only
if it contains a “new dietary ingredient”,31 and while
the FDA is responsible for oversight, and investigates
complaints, very little routine monitoring is undertaken.
The FDA largely puts the onus on manufacturers to
self-regulate in the dietary supplements market (FDA,
2001).
In fact, in both the United States and Europe,
traditional herbal products are most commonly
registered as food supplements. Anecdotal evidence
from the United Kingdom indicates that around 80
per cent of the herbal products sold through the
country’s leading chain of alternative/complementary
healthcare stores are sold as food supplements, with
only about 20 per cent being registered as herbal
medicines. On this basis, the labelling regulations
prohibit any mention of indications or any other
description of the products’ usages, other than the
recommended dosage. For consumers, matching
their needs to specific products relies on the
advice of the herbalists or store staff, or on general
consumer awareness about the most common use(s)
of particular herbs. Therefore, herbal manufacturers
in Ghana who aim to develop products for export to
the United States or Europe (as food supplements)
may also need to engage in extensive awareness-
raising and promotional activities in order to attract
customers to unfamiliar herbal products.




108 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


5.6 Recommendations
Ghana is a leading example in sub-Saharan Africa
of policy and institutional development in traditional
herbal medicine. The Ministry of Health’s recognition
of – and efforts to develop and apply – the concepts
of a “health industry” and “health innovation” are
extremely progressive, and it is hoped that this STIP
Review will be a useful contribution to the policy
planning now being carried out. The MOH and the
Ministry of Trade and Industry are well poised to
overcome the conventional (but often only notional)
hierarchical barriers that have separated development
initiatives in “science” from those to support
“innovation”. Ghana now has a clear advantage over
many other countries in relation to development of
African traditional herbal medicine. If efforts to bring
about the commercialization of safe and effective
packaged herbal products – either as medicines or
food supplements – can be intensified, the country
could set the standards for the integration of THM into
both healthcare and the wider economy. A “big push”
along these lines might give Ghana a competitive
edge in foreign markets, as well as fulfilling the long-
standing goals of the healthcare system.
However, accessing and successfully penetrating
overseas markets will require intensive and persistent
learning on the part of exporters and potential expor-
ters, policymakers, and regulatory bodies. In this,
learning experiences from the development of policy
and activities to support other non-traditional exports
might be explored, and applied appropriately in the
area of THM development. Within Ghana, the value of
the domestic market has not been accurately asses-
sed. Nevertheless, it appears that there is a high level
of demand for traditional herbal medicine.
The STIP Review finds that, broadly speaking, activi-
ties related to THM that could be carried out within the
boundaries of the MOH mandate, and also those in-
volving the scientific research institutions, have been
progressing more successfully than those that cross
the boundaries between health, trade and industry,
agriculture, and the environment. In its 2007 Program-
me of Work, the MOH admitted that, while intersecto-
ral collaboration had been highlighted as a key factor
in the achievement of “optimal health outcomes within
the sector”, relatively little had actually been achieved
so far. On that basis, the MOH indicated an intention
to “adopt a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder ap-
proach for policy dialogue, coordination, planning,
resource mobilization and allocation” (MOH, 2007).


Efforts at the MOH, and elsewhere, that support
the development of joint resource mobilization and
allocation are very much to the Ministry’s credit,
and it is hoped that international partners and other
government ministries will also be active in bringing
about new funding mechanisms for cross-sectoral
programmes.
The following have been identified as gaps, barriers
and bottlenecks that are major factors in limiting
effective implementation of the strategic action plan:
A lack of guaranteed funding from identified


sources for the proposed activities;
Limited or no progress in cross-sectoral activities;
Insufficiently detailed specification of priority


measures/actions/projects within and between
activities proposed in the plan;


The concentration of activities in Greater Accra,
Kumasi, and to a lesser extent, the Eastern
Region;


Imbalances between the rates of progress in key
areas of development, particularly, cultivation of
medicinal plants, private-sector development,
and regulatory oversight; and


A lack of relevant information on which to base,
and prioritize, proposed activities.


Of these, the lack of data to inform policy is perhaps
the most pressing issue for THM. Popular assumptions
exist – in Ghana, and elsewhere – that local production
of both pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines would
increase access to affordable medicines. Grupper
et al. (2005) indicate that this would not necessarily
be so for pharmaceutical drugs in Ghana, which are
often unable to compete on price with imports. It is
also assumed that herbal medicines are generally
less expensive that their allopathic alternatives, yet
evidence from South Africa proves this also to be an
incorrect assumption (Mander et al., 2007). Discussion
has been ongoing on priority areas for action, and
some progress has been made in identifying several
specific work programmes for THM. However, there
is still a pressing need for clearer information about
existing and future potential markets for THM, in
order to identify, justify and prioritize specific strategic
directions, goals and activities.
Following from this, building effective “learning”
relationships between regulation, regulatory
science, scientific research, indigenous knowledge,
manufacturing, and markets is crucial in order to




109CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


ensure that cohesion between goals (both short- and
long-term) and activities is sustained as part of policy
implementation. The key imbalance at the moment
appears to be between the development of regulation
and regulatory science on the one hand, and private-
sector development (including individual herbalists
and their traditional knowledge) on the other. The
planned development of THM in Ghana is, arguably,
a major paradigm shift – as such, more intervention is
warranted than current policy affords. This relates not
only to capacity-building in manufacturing, but also
to incentives for the establishment of plantations and
private-sector R&D, and for the provision of relevant
information (e.g. on the best available technologies,
and access to foreign markets).
As a result of the STIP Review’s findings, priority
policy recommendations for the future development
of THM in Ghana are divided into three categories: (a)
information-based policy development for the THM
industry; (b) regulation; and (c) R&D coordination to
support these.
Information-based policy development for the THM
industry
1) A set of studies/meetings to evaluate – both qualitatively


and quantitatively – the potential markets for THM
should be given the highest priority in plans to develop
the THM industry.


It is suggested that these activities include:
An assessment of potential THM export markets.


This might best take the form of a broad study
of THM regulations, import barriers, market
value, and most popular products (including
their characteristics and marketing) in selected
countries within and outside sub-Saharan Africa;


A more detailed survey of the OTC market for
herbal products in Ghana, along the lines of the
2004 MOH-DFID survey undertaken on local
production of medicines in Ghana (Grupper et
al., 2005), but with a particular focus on factors
guiding consumer behaviour in respect of seeking
advice and purchasing medicinal products;


A review of goals and priorities for the integration
of THM into the public-sector health service
delivery system. This review should take place at
a stakeholder meeting designed to:
(i) identify and evaluate key areas of progress,
as well as bottlenecks and barriers that have
constrained progress to date;


(ii) reaffirm or adjust goals for future progress;
(iii) set realistic priorities and schedules for the
achievement of specific goals; and


A study of the net contribution of TM to the
Ghanaian economy.


Following on from these initial activities, strategic op-
tions to support the future development of the THM
industry need to be debated and a firm strategic di-
rection established.
In the absence of accurate data on market potential,
the ministries might concentrate initially on evaluations
of existing capacity, the design of incentive
mechanisms, and piloting a small number of initiatives
to test potential models for future development. Here,
it is recommended that two key areas be investigated,
and supported, as appropriate. The first is the
potential to exploit the spare production capacity
and tacit knowledge of the existing pharmaceutical
firms. The second is to consider – and perhaps pilot
– a strategy of developing “clusters” around THM
production activities.
2) Develop a clearly articulated strategy to support micro


and small-scale THM enterprises.
Initial activities to support the development of
appropriate incentive mechanisms would involve:
Assessing the potential for one or more herbalists


to partner with existing pharmaceutical firms with a
view to utilizing the spare production capacity (as
reported in Grupper et al. (2005) and reiterated in
MOH (2007)) and the associated tacit knowledge
in these firms. Different types of partnership are
possible, including mergers, joint ventures, and
production contracts;


Evaluating the existing initiative to share
dedicated production facilities in Kumasi, and
developing this as a model for supporting the
establishment of THM production clusters –
including the cultivation of plant materials, as
well as manufacturing activities – in other areas.
The model could be extended to include joint
purchasing contracts (e.g. of raw materials
and packaging materials) and joint marketing
activities.


Inclusive regulation
Regulation of traditional herbal medicines is an area
in which very visible progress is now being made.
However, given the dynamic and systemic nature of




110 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


technical change, this raises some concerns about
whether the development of the regulatory system
is moving at a pace that will drive THM development
in the desired direction, or constrain its development
potential. On the other hand, while the flexible phase-
in for the implementation of regulations is designed
to ameliorate potential problems in this regard, it also
creates uncertainty for THM enterprises.
Taking into account the very varied capacities
among producers of traditional herbal medicines, it
is suggested that the “all or nothing” (i.e. registered
drugs are legal, all others are illegal) registration
process be adjusted so that: (a) leaders in the THM
industry can progress to internationally acceptable
and recognized standards within the Ghanaian
regulatory system; but also that (b) micro-enterprises
involved in the production of herbal medicines can
enter and progress through the registration process
according to their existing capacities, and their ability
to invest in a gradual build-up of new capacities.
However, maximum time limits should be applied for
each phase of the system to discourage complacency
– that is to say, where producers might be tempted to
achieve legality for their products but not go beyond
this.
3) Consideration should be given to the introduction of a


more gradual and inclusive process of herbal medicine
registration, but with fixed phase-in schedules.


A suggested outline for this system (to be debated
and/or “fleshed out”) might include:
An initial notification procedure, as suggested


by WHO,32 which could be done at the district
level, perhaps through the TM desks that are
proposed to be set up in the district assemblies.
Each notified product would be given a unique
identifier and its details would be included in a
confidential compendium (the compendium
has been proposed already). Notification would
be the official start of a regulatory process with
a schedule of fixed (maximum) deadlines,
and would also give herbalists a basis for later
claims for IPR protection, once the IPR regime for
indigenous traditional knowledge is in place.


The further stages of the regulatory and
registration process could be associated with:
(i) progressive deadlines for acute toxicity testing,
and a series of future assessments (including
efficacy assessments, quality tests, and chronic


toxicity tests), each of which confers an enhanced
approval rating for the product. This might be, for
example, a “star” system (with the scale running
from 1 to 3, or from 1 to 5), with acute toxicity
leading to a 1-star rating, and so on. The original
notification identifier would be used in place of the
existing FDB registration number for all products
until they reached the required stage for full
registration; and
(ii) the establishment of different regulatory
pathways for different types of products from
the early stages of testing – for example, some
products could be recommended for registration
as food supplements rather than herbal
medicines, as is now done at the FDB; others
might be eligible for a government-supported “fast
tracking” system (such as medicinal products
used to treat malaria), depending on the MOH’s
urgent priorities.


It must be noted that, if the registration of herbal
products is to become an enforceable legal
requirement, associated with a fixed schedule, the
capacity of the FDB and testing institutions to handle
a large (but so far unmeasured) increase in the
number of applications for regulatory approval needs
to be enhanced – irrespective of whether a more
complex system, such as this, is implemented. The
time needed should not be underestimated. In the
European Union, for example, the phase-in period
for implementation of the new regulations is 7 years –
and this is for countries that already have substantial
regulatory and scientific capacity for implementation.
The GNDP has funded activities in both the FDB
and the Pharmacy Council to improve on regulatory
implementation, including the establishment of a
National Pharmocovigilance Centre (MOH-GNDP,
2004). However, the role of the Pharmacy Council in
education, training and information dissemination to
support THM could be extended. This would require
that the capacity of the Pharmacy Council should be
strengthened to include more training and information
to pharmacists and – particularly – chemical sellers,
with a view their effective participation in enforcement
of the Food and Drugs Law (in respect of unregistered
herbal products).
4) Strengthen the role of the Pharmacy Council to support


regulatory compliance through pharmacists and
chemical sellers, the capacity of the FDB to handle a
large increase in applications for THMs (both as food




111CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


supplements and herbal medicines) and the capacity
of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council to act as
a key collaborator in the regulation of herbal medicine
practice and sales.


Weak capacity to enforce registration and the absence
of a legal regime for the protection of indigenous
knowledge act as disincentives for producers of
traditional herbal products to submit their products
for testing and disclose their trade secrets. On a
personal or local level, trust has been built up between
some herbalists and some scientific researchers and
research institutions. However, where an expansion of
registration applications is anticipated from herbalists
that do not already have good relationships with
approved testing centres, testing of products on trust
is less likely. While the present situation persists –
and, realistically, this may be for some years to come
– some form of low-cost interim solution would be
appropriate.
5) Alleviate the potential distrust of regulatory science on


the part of THM producers through standard letters of
contract produced and signed by scientific institutions
that carry out regulatory testing.


A standard letter of contract between herbalists and
scientific institutions carrying out safety, quality and
efficacy testing should be designed, and distributed
to the testing centres. Such a letter should give legal
assurance to herbalists that the testing centres will not
use disclosed information for potentially commercial
purposes (including R&D that goes beyond what is
necessary for regulatory testing) without the further
agreement and consent of the herbalists.
R&D support and coordination
The National Drug Policy emphasizes the need for
a “well-coordinated research programme”. Current
policy for THM is clear about some of the key needs,
and the potential stakeholders in the scientific and
policy communities. However, specific mechanisms
to ensure coordinated research are lacking at the
moment, and the potential roles of private sector
stakeholders are not always fully articulated. As
was mentioned in section 3, it is the case in Ghana,
as elsewhere, that R&D is more focused on the
properties of medicinal plants and products than on
their cultivation, harvesting and processing. However,
institutional responsibilities in these last areas are
not as clear-cut as for medicinal plants and/or herbal
products. Medicinal plants are an area of interest
to several ministries, but not a priority issue for any


one ministry.33 Few policies exist that are designed
to promote the cultivation and sustainable use of
medicinal plants for either social or commercial
benefits, and there appear to be weak links between
the different ministerial mandates and activities in
this field. The Ministry of Health has the clearest
and strongest links between existing policy and the
activities of the scientific community.
The first issue is to build a coordination mechanism
for government-sponsored research related to plant
medicines and herbal products (where funding comes
directly from government resources, but also including
donor funding that is channelled through ministries).
Knowledge flows and collaborative learning within the
scientific community are generally good. The number
of institutions working in the area of plant medicine is
relatively small, meaning that the epistemic community
is quite small, and its members often know each other
through long-established informal as well as formal
links. Therefore, despite the disparate ministerial
mandates under which the various institutions operate,
and their wide geographic dispersal, the informal
links have historically provided channels through
which learning can take place. Formal collaborations
are now more common in research projects, and
the CSRPM is well set up as the hub of information
flows within the community. Furthermore, the CSRPM
has constituted a permanent Research Committee for
the Centre, whose members include representatives
from the three oldest universities (University of Ghana,
KNUST, and University of Cape Coast), and from
the Ministry of Health, the CSIR, and the NMIMR.
This is one potential mechanism for facilitating the
coordination of research activities in plant medicine.
Achieving an adequate degree of inter-agency and
cross-sectoral participation is nevertheless desirable.
The proposed National STI Implementation Agency
might also represent a potential coordinating
mechanism.
6) Strengthen the capacity of the Research Committee at


the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine to
coordinate, with inter-agency participation, government-
sponsored multi-disciplinary research programmes into
traditional herbal medicine.


Next, it has been noted by the MOH that the health
system, in general, has in the past been “supply driven”,
and that the time has come for a more “demand driven”
approach. Given the wide range of potential research
needs, the limited research resources available,
and funding constraints, there is a need to be very




112 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


precise in identifying key priorities. This cannot and
should not be left to scientific researchers to decide,
either individually or as a group. In respect of R&D in
herbal medicine products, demand comes from two
very different sets of actors. The first is, of course, the
Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, in
relation to health service delivery. The second set is
the producers of both commercially grown medicinal
plants and manufactured herbal products.
In order for R&D to meet health-sector needs, the
MOH – with the GNDP, GHS, TAMD and the regulatory
bodies – should identify priorities. These priorities
could be in terms of, for example, key diseases or
other health problems that might be treated with
herbal products, or individual products that have
already been identified as having substantial promise
to meet key needs. All the R&D needs in the areas of
developing identified products or ranges of products
(including sustainable cultivation, the harvesting and
processing of plants, and meeting FDB registration
requirements)34 would collectively form a research
programme. The programme could be coordinated
by the CSRPM Research Committee. Pre-assured
funding to cover at least one programme should be
made available by the MOH, or through a joint fund
with other ministries, or through foreign development
partners.
7) The MOH should establish a mechanism, on an ongoing


basis, for identifying and prioritizing public sector R&D
efforts to support the development of herbal products
of interest to the MOH, and elaborate specific R&D
programmes around key priorities. Funding should
be allocated to whole programmes only, on the basis
that any single programme that is dependent on non-
assured funding resources may not be carried out
effectively, if at all. It is suggested that this mechanism
should involve relevant ministries (assuring inter-


agency participation), the private sector, and other key
stakeholders, and be administered by an independent
body, such as the proposed National STI Implementation
Agency.


All other government-funded or government-
supported R&D for THM should be commissioned
or carried out by the private sector, which includes
growers, manufacturers of herbal products, co-
operatives of each of these, and representative
associations. This funding should be separate from
the funding allocated to the public sector. A variety
of mechanisms could be used to invest government
R&D funds in this way, according to the specific
circumstances of the enterprises and associations
involved. These mechanisms include (a) tax relief
on R&D investment; (b) customs duty reductions
or waivers for hardware and consumable materials
dedicated to R&D activities; and (c) grant funding
for R&D commissioned from public-sector research
institutions (on the basis that results will be shared
among stakeholders with common interests). It should
be noted that R&D relevant to the development of
herbal products will inevitably cover areas that are
outside the strict remit of the MOH. These areas
might include, for example, cultivation techniques for
medicinal plants, whether tablets/capsules/liquids
etc. are used, and manufacturing methods. Therefore,
a special fund is needed for allocation to private
sector R&D.
8) Consideration should be given to establishing a THM


development fund with the cooperation and participation
of the MOTI, MOH and MOFA. A proportion of the fund
should be ring-fenced for demand-driven R&D activities
that are carried out, or commissioned by, the private
sector. Management of this fund should be carried out
by the proposed National STI Implementation Agency or
by an appropriate ministry department.




113CHAPTER V: PROMOTING INNOVATION IN THE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL MEDICINES SECTOR


NOTES
1 According to a recent Ministry of Health estimate (MOH, 2007).
2 It should be noted that some traditional medicine practitioners in Ghana are simply herbalists, who do not claim any spiritual


influence in their practices (Tsey, 1997).
3 See, for example, Romero-Daza (2003) and Nyarko (2007).
4 Communication from the Director of the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate, May 2009. An estimated 100,000


people are employed in the industry, including retailers, itinerant vendors, manufacturers and canvassers.
5 MOH-GNDP (2002).
6 Grupper et al. (2005).
7 UNDP (2007).
8 The terms “complementary medicine” and “alternative medicine” are used to distinguish between Ghanaian TM and


imported traditional medicine practices and products from outside the country such as Chinese TM and Ayurvedic medicine.
In this report, however, the term “traditional herbal medicines” – that is, the products, as opposed to the practice of traditional
herbal medicine – will also be used occasionally to include imported medicines.


9 However, there could be substantial benefits from the research process itself, including substantial additions to the stock of
national knowledge about the country’s plant genetic resources.


10 MOH (2007).
11 Interview with the Director of TAMD, December 2007.
12 Based upon communication from TAMD, May 2009.
13 Pharmacovigilance involves quality checks and testing of medicinal products at (or taken from, under authority) points of


sale.
14 Complementary and Alternative Medicine is governed by a separate Act – the Alternative Medicine Act.
15 The distinction being made here is between health R&D as related directly to those areas under the MOH’s remit such


as diseases and medicines; health-related R&D into (for example) food safety, which is carried out at the CSIR’s Food
Research Institute; and the conservation of medicinal plants, which is part of the work done at the CSIR’s Plant Genetic
Resources Research Institute. The CSIR’s Forestry Research Institute of Ghana is another research institute that has direct
relevance to work on medicinal plants.


16 At a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) workshop on IPRs for pharmaceuticals, held in Geneva in November
2006, a representative of the pharmaceutical industry estimated that, worldwide, around 50 per cent of drugs developed
failed at stage 3 clinical trials. It was found that it was now common among medium-sized European pharmaceutical
manufacturers that have drug-development functions to patent promising drugs after stage 1 or – at the latest – stage 2
trials, rather than risk losing the investment costs of carrying out stage 3 trials (WIPO, 2006).


17 Interview with the Director and Deputy-Director of NMIMR, December 2007.
18 Plant-tissue culture techniques allow for the production of hundreds of identical plants to be grown from a small piece of


disease-free plant tissue under sterile laboratory conditions, and in a suitable growth medium. Further propagation can take
place without having to wait for the plants to mature and bear fruit and seeds. Protocols for tissue-culturing differ between
plant species, and no appropriate protocols have yet been developed for many medicinal plants.


19 This was highlighted at the National Stakeholders’ Priority-setting Conference for Sustainable Biotechnology in Agriculture
and Health in Ghana, held in December 1999 (Essegbey et al., 1999).


20 Interview and personal communication with FDB regulatory officer.
21 Interview with FDB regulatory officer, December 2007.
22 Interview with the Director of TAMD, December 2007.
23 Correspondence with FDB, January 2008.
24 There is extensive literature on the development of THM in other countries in Africa and across the world. Many publications


make reference to the CBD estimate of global trade of $60 billion in the year 2000. But few systematic attempts at
assessing market potential appear to have been carried out. Of those found (e.g. Cho (2000) and Mander et al. (2007)),
the methodologies used did not disaggregate OTC herbal medicines from overall expenditure on traditional medicine




114 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


(including the services of traditional healers). Even these overall figures must be treated with caution, as they may not
incorporate payments “in kind” (WHO, 2002).


25 In fact, it is implicitly assumed in the guidelines for the registration of allopathic medicines that this is, and will remain, the
situation. One provision for registration is that a new (or “innovator”) drug must normally be on the international market for
a minimum period of two years before registration in Ghana (FDB, 1996b).


26 Communication with FDB, January 2008.
27 Two types of exemption existed: products sold to an individual person by a herbalist following a consultation, and “dried,


crushed or communuited plants without any written recommendation for use”.
28 Including, for example, those from Switzerland (which is not a country of the European Union).
29 Confirmed in a personal communication with the United StatesFood and Drug Administration, December 2008.
30 The distinction is very clear in the United States. “Products sold as dietary supplements that bear a claim to treat, mitigate


or cure a disease are drugs and are subject to regulation as such” (FDA 2004).
31 Defined as one that was not sold in the United States in a dietary supplement before 15 October 1994.
32 Noting the special characteristics and context of herbal medicines, WHO suggested in 1998 that a notification procedure


might be a minimum requirement of the regulatory system, with the subsequent implementation of registration and assurance
of Good Manufacturing Practice. To supplement very basic regulations, WHO suggested that governments might compile
a list of controlled toxic plant materials whose use would not be permitted where regulation was minimal (WHO, 1998).


33 This is reflected in Ghana’s current biodiversity policy. In the country’s most recent status report submitted to the secretariat of
the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), meeting the Convention’s objectives in relation to sustainable use, incentives
to conserve, research and training, public education and awareness, technology transfer, exchange of information, and
scientific and technical cooperation, were all flagged as “low priority” areas in Ghana’s efforts to implement the CBD (MES,
2005).


34 This is one aspect of the “fast-tracking” of herbal products through the regulatory process.




Information and CommunicationTechnologies in Ghana’s education system




116 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


6.1 Introduction
The importance of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) to the proper functioning of a
modern economy, and their potential to improve
people’s lives, is now well recognized. Even before
the World Summit on the Information Society (in its
two phases in 2003 and 2005) called on developing
countries to develop ICT policies in order not to be
excluded from the digital revolution, Ghana was
engaged in the development of an ambitious ICT
policy.
As part of its overall ICT policy, Ghana plans to use
ICTs to improve the quality and availability of the
education system and of outcomes from education at
all levels. The objective and scope of this study was
to analyse and evaluate opportunities and constraints
with regard to meeting the goals of the national
policy on ICT for education, with a particular focus
on distance education at the secondary and tertiary
levels. The study begins with a brief overview of the
state of ICT in Ghana, outlines the ICT for Accelerated
Development (ICT4AD) policy, and then reviews
the ICT in Education policy and the use of distance
education in the formal education system – namely in
high schools, in technical and vocational education
and training (TVET) institutes, and in universities.


6.2 ICT in Ghana: an overview
This section provides a brief overview of the state of
ICT in Ghana in terms of the key ICT policy, institutional
and legal framework, progress in increasing access to
ICT, and private-sector development.
6.2.1 ICT policy and strategy (e-strategy)
Since the early 1990s, Ghana has considered the
use of ICT as a means to leverage the country’s
development process. To this effect, a first five-year
plan for accelerated development was launched in
1994. More recently, Ghana has developed its ICT for
Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy statement,
which was officially adopted in 2004. The ICT4AD
took into consideration Ghana’s Vision 2020 Socio-
Economic Development Framework, the Ghana
Poverty Reduction Strategy (2002–2004) and the


Coordinated Programme for Economic and Social
Development of Ghana (2003–2012). The ICT4AD
is a product of the National ICT Policy and Plan
Development Committee set up by the Government
to develop an ICT-led socio-economic development
policy for the country.
Its vision is to “improve the quality of life of the people
of Ghana by significantly enriching their social,
economic and cultural well-being through the rapid
development and modernization of the economy
and society using information and communication
technologies as the main engine for accelerated and
sustainable economic and social development.”1
The main mission is to transform Ghana into an
information-rich, knowledge-based and technology-
driven high-income economy and society. The
ICT4AD policy statement identified 14 priority areas
(pillars) to be targeted. It recognized the need to
develop a number of sector-specific implementation
strategies on which to base ICT4AD action plans to
implement the provisions of the policy. A number of
sector-specific ICT implementation strategies have
been developed – one being the National ICTs in
Education strategy.
6.2.2 ICT institutional framework
ICT4AD was developed through an inclusive process
with multi-stakeholder representation. Relevant public
sector institutions include the National ICT Policy
and Plan Development Committee, all government
ministries, the National Communications Authority,
the National Information Technology Agency, and
the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications.
The Ministry of Communications plays a major role
as an actor for developing the ICT infrastructure
and services, most importantly as the government
body in charge of coordination and implementation
of the overall ICT4AD policy. The Ghana Information
and Communications Technology Directorate is the
operational arm of the Ministry of Communications
for ICT policy implementation and coordination
of governmental ICT initiatives. The National
Communications Authority is primarily responsible
for regulating the telecommunications sector. The
Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications is
in charge of promoting universal access and
universal service. A bill to establish the National
Information Technology Agency, whose mission will
be to regulate the provision of ICT services, is under
examination.




117CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


All ministries must develop an ICT policy statement
in line with ICT4AD, including the broad strategies
and specific ICT goals to be pursued towards the
realization of their specific ICT policies. Furthermore,
each ministry is in charge of the deployment and
exploitation of ICTs within the relevant sector of the
ministry to support activities and improve the delivery
of services within the sector.
6.2.3 ICT legal framework in Ghana
The National Communication Act (1996; Act 524)
governs the ICT sector, and makes provision for the
establishment of an independent regulatory authority
– the National Communications Authority (NCA) –
to manage the sector. A strong liberal orientation is
provided under the Act. As regards the ICT industry,
two acts have been promulgated, including the
Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits
Act (2004; Act 667) and the Copyright Act (2005; Act
690). The 1996 National Communications Authority
Act is being reviewed to provide a comprehensive
legal framework for the whole ICT sector. Three bills
are under consideration: the Telecommunications Bill,
the National Information Technology Agency Bill and
the Electronic Transactions Bill.
6.2.4 Evolution of ICT access and socio-economic


impact
Ghana has experienced rapid growth in mobile
telephony access since 2003, as opposed to fixed-
line telephony which has witnessed very little growth.
Ghana continues to face major challenges in terms
of slow growth in both internet and PC penetration.
There is slow growth in the number of PCs per 100
inhabitants and in the number of internet users. As in
much of Africa, broadband internet is still at an early
stage of deployment. The main access to internet
services is through the school system, the workplace,
and internet cafés. The Government plans to establish
Community Information Centres in all the 230
constituencies in the country, which would provide
basic ICT services such as telephones, internet
connectivity, word processing, photocopying and
general literacy training. The Community Information
Centres project took off in 2005, and as at November
2006, 15 centres were operational, while the
construction of ICT infrastructure for 40 centres is at
an advanced stage. These centres are important tools
for increasing access to the internet in communities
where access is otherwise not generally available,
and they act as important means for communication
and providing access to knowledge. Internet tariffs


remain high, due mainly to the high cost of using
the ICT infrastructure (the Ghana Telecom backbone
and SAT-3 International Connection). Cost of access
is therefore an important issue – one faced by many
countries in Africa. In terms of improving economic
performance, the access to and efficient use of ICT
by enterprises is an important issue, although not one
directly addressed in this study. It should be noted that
facilitating access to and successful absorption of ICT
by enterprises is as important as doing so in the area
of education. There are several good examples of ICT
being used as a basis for local innovation (see section
6.2.6), but not enough is known about the impact of
ICT in enabling enterprise innovation more broadly.
It is difficult to evaluate the actual impact of ICT
on socio-economic development in the country.
The measures of access to ICT available do not
provide direct evidence on actual impact, although
access itself is in many respects still limited, with the
exception of mobile telephony. The rapid spread of
mobile telephony has been successful in increasing
access by the general population to communications
services, which is necessary in a modern economy,
given the more marginal expansion in fixed-line
telephony. The real impact of ICT is very likely to be
heavily constrained by limited public access to e-mail
and internet services, due in large part to low PC
penetration. Internet access is important for improved
access to knowledge, both inside the school system
and in society more broadly, and access is deficient
both in the school system and more widely. As in most
African countries, access in rural areas is particularly
problematic. Indeed, ICT could also be used much
more extensively to provide benefits to Ghana from
the large reserve of Ghanaian skilled human capital
abroad – for example in medicine, to link with foreign
medical expertise in order to help provide solutions
to Ghana’s health challenges. Such ideas offer a
potential means to greatly increase the impact of ICT
development in the country. To achieve this, spreading
adequate access to the internet and e-mail much
more widely is particularly important, as is reducing
the cost. As mobile telephone technologies improve
– offering increasingly more functional and low-cost
e-mail and internet services – their diffusion may offer
the potential to make faster progress in expanding
access to these services.
6.2.5 Education in ICT disciplines
The training of ICT specialists at the university level is
one of the most important factors in building up the




118 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ICT base of a country. Table 6.1 shows the various
public universities that offer university degree courses
in areas related to ICT, such as computer science,
computer engineering, and telecommunication
engineering. While most public universities train ICT
specialists at bachelor’s level, only one university
offers a master’s degree in ICT. Some private
universities, such as the Accra Institute of Technology,
offer university degrees in ICT too.
As far as scientific research is concerned, there are no
statistics on R&D in the ICT field in Ghana. However,
there is a commitment by policymakers and the private
sector to the promotion of innovative ICT firms through
the improvement of ICT physical infrastructure,
planning for ICT parks and incubators, and various ICT
projects. The Ministry of Communications is planning
a park dedicated to ICT, and laboratories at the Ghana
Multimedia Centre are acting as an incubator and
currently maturing 10 start-up firms. There is certainly
also development work being carried out by some
private Ghanaian software firms, even though there
are currently no statistics available to measure its
scale.
6.2.6 Private ICT firms and the local ICT industry
One assessment of ICT use in Ghana2 found that
the Ghanaian ICT sector is dominated by computer
vendors and distributors of computer products
and services. The hardware sector is dominated
by small enterprises mainly involved in the sale of
computers and peripheral units, while the software


sector mainly consists of companies selling standard
and off-the-shelf packages and software. The report
also mentioned that computer assembly was at a
very early stage of development, and that software
development was fairly limited. Since then, at least a
few Ghanaian ICT firms have emerged as important
innovators, providing services not previously available
in the country.
Some local IT firms have developed strong capabilities
and software development experience, although their
growth may have been constrained by a very narrow
market, especially when big software projects are
awarded to foreign firms. Busy Internet, an internet
service provider, has expanded to become an
important local innovator, diversifying into the hosting
of young start-ups and providing communication and
logistics services. Softribe, a local software firm, has
launched an innovative e-trade project that provides
an IT-based system for exporting local handicraft
products to the United States through online
purchasing. This project could prove instrumental in
providing access for small-scale artisanal producers
to international markets. Ventures such as these can
leverage the relatively strong skills base in Ghana, and
help to build a more dynamic domestic ICT sector that
can help to reduce the significant flow of skilled labour
out of the country (brain drain).
These enterprises show that there is potential to
expand ICT-enabled innovation in Ghana. Naturally
the question arises of how to support it and build it.
It would be a good idea for policymakers to establish


Institution Faculty/ School Department Diploma (degree)
University of Ghana, Legon
(UG) Faculty of Science Department Computer Science BSc
Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science Technology (KNUST)


Faculty of Electrical and
Computer Engineering


Electronic and computer
engineering department BSc


University of Mines and
Technology (UMT) Faculty of Engineering


Information Technology
Department


University of Cape Coast (UCC) School of Physical Sciences
Department of Computer
Science and Information
Technology


- BSc Computer Science
- BSc information technology


Ghana Institute of Management
and Public Administration
(GIMPA)


Greenhill College
- Bachelor of Information


& Communication
Technology


Ghana Telecom University
College


- BSc in Computer Eng.
- BSc in Telecom. Eng.
- Masters in Telecom.


Management
- MS in Telecom. Eng.


Source: websites of universities; interviews in December 2007.


Table 6.1. Tertiary Education in ICT in Ghana




119CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


linkages for communication and dialogue with
Ghana’s private-sector ICT enterprises, in order to
discuss measures that could effectively promote local
ICT enterprise development in the country.
As part of the government policy to promote business
process outsourcing activities, several call centres and
data management operators have been launched.
The second component of the World Bank-financed
eGhana project entitled “Business Outsourcing and
Local ICT Business” is providing technical assistance
to the Government, which aims at (a) attracting IT and
IT-enabled services investment; and (b) promoting
the development of local ICT businesses. Research
conducted by Hewitt Associates on behalf of the
Government of Ghana has highlighted the business
process outsourcing sector’s potential to create some
37,000 direct jobs and nearly 150,000 indirect jobs,
and to generate revenues of approximately $750
million within a five-year period. Ghana has been
recognized as an attractive destination for business
process outsourcing, and was ranked the number
one destination in sub-Saharan Africa (ahead of South
Africa) and number 22 globally out of 40 countries by AT
Kearney Global Services Location Index, in November
2005. To meet this challenge, Ghana should continue
to develop its human resources specializing in ICT.
There appears to be considerable room for growth
in software development as an industry in Ghana, as
well as for further innovation in using ICT for ventures
that are commercially feasible and provide important
services with high rates of social return.
6.2.7 Conclusion
Ghana has aimed, from an early date, to use ICT as a
tool to accelerate the country’s development process,
officially adopting the Ghana ICT for Accelerated
Development policy (ICT4AD) in 2004. The country has
the ambitious objective of transforming itself into an
information-rich, knowledge-based and technology-
driven high-income economy and society. The
commitment of key players at the national level and the
support of international bodies in the implementation
of the ICT4AD policy have resulted in tangible
progress through various ICT projects undertaken
as partnerships with international organizations and
others. However, Ghana must still address a set of
challenges if it wants to more fully leverage the potential
of ICT to contribute to socio-economic progress.
There remain major challenges in overcoming low
rates of PC penetration and internet access in the
country. Public efforts have aimed at spreading PCs


through the school system and promoting community
information centres and internet cafés. These are
all useful avenues for diffusing internet access.
Improving facilities at schools, in particular, is likely to
have high rates of social return. The rapid diffusion of
mobile telephony with increasingly functional and low-
cost e-mail and internet access presents an emerging
opportunity that might also be pursued to increase the
diffusion of internet access. This is a development that
policymakers may wish to keep in mind as internet
mobile telephony progresses.
It is therefore recommended that policymakers, in
particular the Ministry of Communications, should
consider designing and implementing an internet
development policy to accelerate its deployment
in order to reach a critical threshold permitting the
country to take advantage of the full potential offered
by the network. Special emphasis could be devoted
to high-speed connections. Consideration could also
be given to creating innovative measures to promote
the wider use of mobile telephones featuring e-mail
and internet access, which are becoming increasingly
functional.


6.3 ICT in education
This section deals with ICT in education, in particular
secondary education. A brief review of the structure
of the Ghanaian education system is followed by an
evaluation of the ICT in Education (ICTE) policy, its
major objectives, achievements and challenges.
6.3.1 The education system in Ghana
In 2007, Ghana undertook an important reform of its
education system to meet the challenges of the new
millennium. The reform places great emphasis on ICT
and science and technology, and in particular on the
teaching of ICT at all levels of the education system,
with special attention to be given to the training of
teachers, particularly in ICT. After the reform, universal
basic education became an 11-year-long educational
process, made up of two years of kindergarten, six
years of primary (elementary) school and three years
of junior high school (middle school). After junior
high school, students may choose to go into different
streams at senior high school. A new four-year senior
high school cycle will offer a general education
with general, business, technical, vocational and
agriculture options, to enter either a tertiary institution
or the job market. Tertiary education possibilities are,
however, in practice restricted, due to the capacity




120 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


constraints of the formal school system. Technical,
vocational and agricultural institutions will offer four-
year courses too, including the core senior high
school subjects. As a result, the Ghanaian education
system is now structured as shown in table 6.2.
The Ministry of Education has overall responsibility
for education-sector policy, planning and monitoring.
Education delivery and implementation is devolved
to institutions, districts and regions through various
agencies of that ministry. The Ghana Education
Service is the agency that implements the basic
cycle components as well as the second cycle
(senior secondary, technical and vocational institute)
components. The other agencies cover the rest of
the education system, with the major subsector
responsibilities assigned to the National Council for
Tertiary Education and the Non-Formal Education
Division.
6.3.2 ICT in Education (ICTE) policy
The Government of Ghana has recognized the impor-
tance of ICT in the education system. In response, it
has developed an ICT in Education (ICTE) policy and
has launched various initiatives aimed at deploying
ICT in schools (and in communities), in partnership
with the private sector and international organiza-
tions. The policy (of which a first draft was issued in
2006 and a second draft was prepared during 2007)
remains in draft form, awaiting final approval. Imple-
mentation has nevertheless begun. The ICT4AD poli-
cy statement recognizes the need to develop a num-
ber of sector-specific implementation strategies on
which to base ICT4AD action plans to implement the
provisions of the policy. The ICTE policy is an impor-
tant sector-specific ICT policy. The ICTE policy went
through an extensive consultation process with vari-
ous stakeholders (public, private, civil society, devel-
opment partners). The ICTE policy is strongly linked
to the country’s ICT4AD policy, and is both coherent


and articulate. The current policy of introducing ICT in
education is based on the lessons learnt from a set
of initiatives undertaken on an experimental basis.
However, implementation has faced major challeng-
es, particularly in terms of meeting the large funding
requirements, equipment maintenance, and cost of
internet access.
The ICT in Education (ICTE) policy was developed
through a multi-stakeholder process based on the
work of a special technical committee on ICT in edu-
cation and a team from the (former) Ministry of Edu-
cation, Science and Sports. The Ministry of Education
has overall responsibility for the ICTE policy and its
implementation, but it may assign the implementation
of specific strategies to any of its agencies.
The overall policy goal is to “enable every Ghanaian to
be able to use the ICT tools and resources confidently
and creatively to develop the skills and knowledge
needed to achieve personal goals and be full partici-
pants in the global knowledge economy by 2015.”3
The specific policy goals include:
To facilitate the deployment, use and exploitation


of ICT within the educational system to improve
on educational access and delivery, to support
teaching and learning from the elementary level
upwards;


To modernize the educational system to improve
the quality of education and training at all levels of
the educational system and to expand access to
education, training and research resources and
facilities;


To orient all levels of the country’s educational
system to the teaching and learning of science
and technology in order to accelerate the ac-
culturation of science and technology in society
and produce a critical mass of required human
resources and a well informed citizenry;


Cycle Level Institutions Starting age Years
Tertiary Tertiary Universities, Polytechnics, Professional


Institutes, Colleges of Education
19+ 4


Second Cycle
Education


Senior High School Grammar/Vocational/ Technical/Agricultural/
Apprenticeship Program


15 4


First Cycle Education Basic Education
(Free Education)


Junior High School 12 3
Primary School 6 6
Kindergarten 4 2


Source: Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, ICT in Education Programmes Unit.


Table 6.2. Structure of the Ghanaian education system




121CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


To achieve universal basic education and im-
prove the level of basic and computer literacy in
the country;


To ensure a population in which all citizens are at
least functionally literate and productive;


To expand and increase access to secondary and
tertiary education; and


To strengthen science education at all levels and in
all aspects of the educational system, especially at
the basic and secondary levels.


These policy goals have been adapted and expanded
to develop a number of concrete guidelines, objec-
tives and strategies which are grouped into seven the-
matic areas. Table 6.3 presents the seven areas and
the objectives assigned to them. Each objective has a
number of associated strategic actions.
The objectives and strategic actions are to be trans-
lated into concrete plans of action respecting the
three implementation phases retained by the Ministry
of Education to meet the overall ICTE goals by 2015.
The three phases are as follows:
Phase I: Enhance a system-wide and institutional
readiness to use ICT for teaching, learning and ad-
ministration;
Phase II: Ensure system-wide integration of ICT into
teaching and learning and encourage communities to


support ICT facilities in educational institutions; and
Phase III: ICT integrated at all levels of the education
system – management, teaching, learning and admin-
istration.
Several factors are considered to be critical for the
success of the action plans, namely: leadership, po-
litical and governmental commitment and support
at the highest levels, funding, active participation by
stakeholders, teamwork and project-based principles
of operational management, continuous coordination
and feedback at all stages of implementation, change
management, and monitoring and evaluation. Once
the plans are developed and adopted, they should
provide substantial support to the implementation
of the ICTE policy, which is considered as a basic
component of the newly adopted educational reform
started in the 2007–2008 school year.
For the purposes of coordination, the ICT in Educa-
tion Unit (ICTE Unit) in charge of the Ministry’s Ghana
e-Schools and Communities Initiative will serve as an
umbrella initiative, a single-window unit, to drive all
ICTE initiatives at the pre-tertiary level. The ICTE Unit
must ensure that ICTE implementation is conducted
with fairness and equity throughout all regions of Gha-
na. The former MEST established the National ICT in
Education Coordinating Committee to oversee the de-
velopment of an integration plan to support the objec-
tives and strategies of the ICT in Education policy. This


Thematic Area Objectives
1. Education Management


Ministry, Agencies And
Educational Institutions


1.1 Acquire and implement various easily integrated Information Management Systems
1.2 Develop institutional capacity in the use of computer-based management tools to enhance


administration and management
1.3 Formulate acceptable use policies based on security, privacy, intellectual property laws,


cultural and moral values in Education Management
2. Capacity Building 2.1 Development of ICT Faculty & Enhancement of Practical Training in Tertiary Institutions


2.2 Provide appropriate ICT Training to all Teachers
2.3 Use Distance learning to offer training to teachers in basic (first cycle) schools who have


applied for further studies.


3. Infrastructure, E-Readiness And
Equitable Access


3.1 Facilitate the establishment maintenance and support of the necessary infrastructure and
related ICT resources within the education system.


3.2 Facilitate equitable access to ICTs for all students and communities


4. Incorporating ICT Into The
Curriculum


4.1 Integrate ICTs into the curriculum


5. Content Development 5.1 Develop Appropriate Content for Open, Distance and e-Learning
6. Technical Support, Maintenance


& Sustainability
6.1 Ensure effective support and maintenance of ICT infrastructure


7. Monitoring And Evaluation 7.1 Institute programmes and procedures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the
various components of the ICT in Education Policy


Source: the author, based on Ghana ICTE policy.


Table 6.3. ICTE Policy Thematic Areas and Objectives




122 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


national body will essentially provide guidance during
the entire implementation process and will serve as an
advisory body.
The Coordinating Committee is a multi-stakeholder
group that includes sector partners and representatives
drawn from different organizations, including public
sector bodies (other ministries, departments and
agencies), the private sector, civil society, development
partners, the Ministry of Education, departments and
agencies of the GES, educational institutions (public
and private), parents and students.
The United Nations’ Global e-Schools and
Communities Initiative (GeSCI) has already committed
to provide assistance to the MEST’s ICTE Unit to drive
the ICTE programmes. Moreover, all ongoing ICT in
Schools initiatives will come under the umbrella of the
ICTE Unit.
Implementation of the ICTE policy and action plans
will also require the full involvement of national
partners (private organizations, development
partners, NGOs, parent–teacher associations, and
former students’ associations). Equally important is
the involvement of international partners such as the
World Links for Development Programme, the GLOBE
Programme, the United Kingdom’s Department for
International Development (DFID), the World Bank
Institute, GeSCI, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), SchoolNet,
Computer Aid International, the New Partnership for
Africa’s Development (NEPAD), ICT firms’ partners
etc. The partners’ major role consists of fund-raising
or providing direct funding. They are also expected to
provide support, technical assistance and direction to
the ICTE programmes and projects.
6.3.3 Implementation to date of ICT in Education


projects in Ghana
In a study carried out to review and assess the ICT
in Education initiatives in Ghana in 2005, sponsored
by GeSCI, twenty initiatives were selected and their
impact assessed to see what lessons could be
learned. Several positive achievements were noted:
The initiatives had contributed to a wider number


of students and teachers acquiring ICT skills and
developing a strong interest in ICT and science;


The schools involved in the initiatives were
motivated to expand the project and/or acquire
more ICT equipment; a number of private–public


partners, including parent–teacher associations
and civil society organizations, had collaborated
in the efforts; and


The lessons learned from the initiatives provided
good examples for other schools to introduce
their own ICT programmes.


However, the projects themselves faced a number
of challenges. At least half of the initiatives had been
launched as pilot projects, none of which had later
expanded into national initiatives.
The main implementation challenges included:
Poor selection of schools without the involvement


of GES or the former Ministry of Education,
Science and Sports (MOESS), resulting in
duplication and hence some schools having
several parallel initiatives and others (especially
in the remote rural towns) having none;


Lack of policy direction at all levels (schools,
districts, national) for the integration of ICT in
education;


Heavy dependency on external funds, with most
initiatives stopped after depletion of initial funding;


Obsolete and inappropriate equipment as
support for the initiatives;


Lack of trained ICT personnel (including teachers)
– far below the numbers needed to support the
initiatives, with most capacity-building activities
being one-off efforts with no ongoing trainings
planned.


The initiatives succeeded in motivating the
development of a policy and related strategies for
ICTE taking into account the lessons of these past
experiences and embracing the ICT4AD vision for
Ghana. Field interviews and various documents serve
to highlight a number of developments within the ICTE
framework, which may be classified according to the
seven thematic areas of ICTE policy.
In terms of achievements, tangible progress has
been made in several areas. With respect to capacity-
building, the training of teachers in ICT is ongoing
under the sponsorship of the Government and the
United Nations–initiated main E-Schools Initiative.
Furthermore, 100 tutors from the teacher training
colleges were given training in ICTs so that they could
train teachers with the skills they had acquired. Young
graduates have been selected to fulfil their national
service as ICT technicians. Several initiatives are being




123CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


pursued related to the thematic area of “infrastructure,
e-readiness and equitable access”. These include, for
example, a Ministry of Education cost-sharing initiative,
and a PC project (the GAP Initiative) in collaboration
with Intel Corporation to assemble computers in
Ghana for $350 each, as well as initiatives to supply
schools with computer equipment. The government
project to build a national fibre optic backbone to
improve connectivity throughout the country and
increase bandwidth will be instrumental in providing
adequate connectivity throughout the country.
In terms of the fourth thematic area of “incorporating
ICTs into the curriculum”, ICT was introduced as a
mandatory core subject in all senior high schools
during the 2007–2008 school year. The ICT course
consists of six periods of 40 minutes per semester.
A textbook for the ICT course is under development,
and will emphasize real problem resolution. Under
the fifth thematic area of “content development”, an
educational portal (http://www.edughana.net) is under
construction. In addition, the ICTE Unit is proceeding
with the selection of appropriate content from the
internet to make it available on the portal. The ICTE
Unit reached agreement with a content development
company, and the Government launched the
Innovative Best Teacher Award, which rewards
innovative teaching and encourages teachers to
develop their own content. With regard to “technical
support, maintenance and sustainability”, training
courses have been set up in technical institutes
to enable beneficiaries to handle troubleshooting,
refurbish computers, and solve related problems.
The ICTE Unit is offering training on monitoring and
evaluation for inspectors and regional coordinators,
to help schools in sharing experiences and to help
inspectors in the evaluation task. The launching in
September 2007 of ICT as a mandatory core subject
in all senior high schools was an important step.
Several important challenges present major obstacles
to achieving the goals of the ICTE policy. The
deployment of computer labs in all 500 senior high
schools, their connection to the internet, and the
training of trainers imply a huge effort and expenditure
that may prove beyond the budget available. Some
schools, especially in rural areas, either lack adequate
electric power, or have no electricity. There are also
problems with the lack of availability and high cost
of ICT maintenance services in some areas, and
difficulties with reliable access to the internet and,
especially, with the high cost of internet access.


Furthermore, implementation of the ICTE policy
should ideally have been preceded by a translation of
the ICTE policy into action programmes to ensure the
best chances of success.
It is therefore recommended that the Ministry of
Education should consider designing plans of
action that would ensure a clear linkage between the
implementation phases and the ICTE policy thematic
objectives, specify clearly the role of the different
actors and budget each of the actions. The teaching
of an ICT course as a mandatory core subject in all
senior high schools might be given the highest priority
and be made the major focus for the next three to five
years. An action plan dedicated to this goal should
be developed. The plan should address the provision
of ICT equipment, the training of trainers, internet
connections, maintenance, and electricity provision,
and should estimate the financial resources required.
There are two major phases. Phase 1 deals with the
actions required to equip all public senior secondary
schools, train ICT trainers and all the senior secondary
school’s teachers. Phase 2 extends this approach to
all public junior secondary schools. It will be necessary
to consider what it may be possible to achieve in
terms of available resources.


6.4 Distance education
6.4.1 The motivations and objectives of distance


education
There is increased interest worldwide in distance
education (DE), because of the potential to use
ICTs to improve DE delivery. This is true in Ghana,
where it is hoped that DE can help provide solutions
to challenges faced by the education system,
particularly in terms of capacity constraints and
educating students in rural areas. There is also the
perceived potential to reduce the cost of education
services. Many new concepts have emerged, such
as distance learning, virtual universities, virtual
schools, open universities, e-learning, blended
learning, and web-based learning. ICTs are changing
the possibilities for delivering educational content,
accessing informational and pedagogical resources,
communicating, tutoring etc. Most importantly, the
use of internet communication facilities is fostering the
emergence for students of special interest networks,
discussion forums, and more student–professor
interaction. Networking is breaking the sense of
isolation that prevailed in traditional forms of paper-




124 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


based distance education, and is decreasing the
dropout rate of distance learners.
Distance education in Ghana deals with all levels of
education – secondary, vocational and tertiary. The
ICT4AD and ICTE policies both refer to DE and the
role it can play as an alternative model of education
to complement the efforts of the Government to
ensure that Ghana attains the target of “Education for
All”, and, in particular, to provide solutions to urgent
challenges that Ghana faces in:
Improving the qualification level of teachers in


basic and secondary education; and
Increasing the limited enrolment capabilities both


of the vocational schools and the universities.
Ghana’s ICT4AD and ICTE policies highlight several
goals to be achieved through DE:
Promote and encourage distance education,


including electronic distance education and virtual
learning, focusing on tertiary-level education and
training in all fields and disciplines to broaden
access to educational and training resources and
services to a larger section of society;


Develop programmes and initiatives aimed at
professional skill development in work places in
public- and private-sector institutions, through in-
service training, distance education and training,
and lifelong learning; and


Provide multiple avenues for the professional
development of both pre-service and in-service
teachers, especially through distance education,
reducing the number of teachers leaving the
classroom for study leave, as well as the cost.


More precisely, the ICTE policy refers to DE as means
to accomplish a certain number of objectives and
strategic actions, as outlined in table 6.4.
The President’s Special Initiative on Distance Learning
is a major undertaking launched in 2002. It was to
operate in three phases:
A junior secondary school and senior secondary


school unit offering English, mathematics, the
sciences, and other subjects to young people
both within and outside the school system;


An open college/school system offering courses
in information technology, business management,
accounting, entrepreneurship skills, and technical
and vocational skills within both the formal and
informal sectors at post–junior secondary school
level; and


A teacher-training unit offering courses
on teaching English and mathematics, to
complement the distance learning teacher
education being provided by the University of
Education at Winneba and the University of Cape
Coast.


Thematic Areas Objectives Strategic Actions
Thematic Area 2:
Capacity Building


2.1. Development of ICT Faculty
& Enhancement of Practical
Training in Tertiary Institutions


2.2. Provide appropriate ICT
Training to all Teachers


2.3. Use Distance learning to offer
training to teachers in basic
(first cycle) schools who have
applied for further studies.


2.1.7. Put in place special Distance Learning
postgraduate Programs for ICT faculty.


2.2.2. Promote the use of electronic and distance
education and virtual learning systems to
complement and supplement face-to-face campus
based education and training systems.


2.3.1. Set up appropriate infrastructure at selected
centres to facilitate distance learning for all
teachers pursuing further courses.


2.3.3. Set up digital e-Libraries to support Distance
Education.


Thematic Area 3:
Infrastructure, E-readiness and
Equitable Access


3.1 Facilitate the establishment
maintenance and support of the
necessary infrastructure and
related ICT resources within the
education system.


3.2.3. Develop infrastructure to support Distance
Education and e-Learning.


Thematic Area 5:
Content Development


5.1 Develop Appropriate Content for
Open, Distance and e-Learning


5.1.1. Institute and organize cost effective distance
education programs to cover all levels of education
in the formal and informal sectors.


Source: the author, based on Ghana ICTE policy.


Table 6.4. Strategic Actions to be supported by DE




125CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


6.4.2 Distance education for high schools
Phase 1 of the President’s Special Initiative on Distance
Learning (PSI-DL) aims at effectively bridging the
educational gap between well-endowed and poorly
endowed schools in rural areas, and at providing
young people needing remedial classes with the
opportunity to improve on their grades. A major
concern is the teaching of English and mathematics.
Phase 1 began in July 2003, with the broadcasting of
lessons on the national television station. Handbooks,
videocassettes and CDs were produced from the
English and mathematics lessons that were broadcast,
and are being sold to schools and the general public
at subsidized prices as learner support materials.
Since 2006, content has been delivered on CDs only.
The offer of content was extended in 2007 to include
other science courses based on the syllabus of the
West African Senior School Certificate Examination).
Future courses will be chosen according to educational
needs and in close cooperation with GES. Out-of-
school members of the public needing remedial
classes can access PSI-DL lessons through CDs,
as well as through community initiatives supported
by PSI-DL. Eight learning centres have been created
in partnership with churches, mainly in Accra. With
regard to content production, the TV programmes
are produced by four private production companies,
each in charge of courses of a given level. The best
teachers from the best schools are selected to present
the lessons. Selection and quality control committees
were set up for this task.
The objectives of the programme are clear and are
very important to improve the quality of education
in high schools and colleges. The initiative is well
targeted and well structured. Numerous letters have
been received from parents with positive feedback on
the programmes. Many teachers have also found that
the initiative has helped them to improve their teaching
methods. Some teachers use the CDs on a private
basis. The programme appears to be having a positive
impact on the targeted beneficiaries. However, several
challenges have been noted, including inadequate
budgets devoted to the PSI-DL, the relatively high cost
of content production, the lack of television sets and/
or electric power in a number of schools (particularly
rural ones), schools requesting CDs to be distributed
free of charge, and a lack of incentives in place to
get teachers and schools interested in engaging with
the programme. In addition, there does not appear to
be adequate cooperation with the ICTE programme


implemented by the Ministry of Education, and the
programme does not have an evaluation system
able to provide precise feedback for monitoring and
evaluation purposes. There is, however, a plan to
undertake a thorough evaluation with the assistance
of the Commonwealth of Learning. This evaluation
should be studied carefully before proceeding to
further implementation stages.
Taking into account the importance of this component
of the PSI-DL initiative for the support it provides to
the educational system and to the teachers and
students in junior high schools and senior high
schools, it is recommended that the Government of
Ghana should consider consolidating and increasing
the support provided to the PSI-DL. The support
could be translated by equipping all schools (junior
high schools and senior high schools) that do not yet
have the appropriate equipment so that they can take
full advantage of the programme, and by supporting
content development and diffusion. It might be
opportune to develop and broadcast a course on ICT
for senior secondary schools, as required by the new
educational reform. This might be a priority action to
be coordinated with the ICTE Unit.
6.4.3 Distance education for technical vocational


education and training
Phase 2 of the PSI-DL planned an Open Schooling
in Technical and Vocational Education and Training
(TVET) with the support of the Commonwealth of
Learning, to ensure that unemployed youth will have
an opportunity to acquire skills to earn a livelihood
and enhance their chances on the job market. In
2004, PSI-DL formed an eight-member steering
committee, which started planning Open Schooling in
TVET targeted at post–junior secondary school youth
(15 years and above). Based on a field assessment
of the 127 technical and vocational institutions, the
committee selected 12 institutions nationwide to
be part of an Open Schooling in TVET pilot project.
Phase 2 started in 2007 in the 12 institutions selected
nationwide to take part in the Open Schooling in TVET
pilot project. A DL pilot experiment has also been
conducted in a prison.
Pilot courses are offered for the first-year modules
in block-laying and concreting, catering, basic
mathematics and basic English. In order to develop the
course content, PSI-DL organized several workshops
for material development and writing for writers
for the TVET programme. The writers have written




126 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


the content for the four above-mentioned modules. The
courses are available in print form, and electronically
on CDs. A dual system is adopted for content delivery.
One group of students follows the regular face-to-face
courses, and another group of students are distance
learners. The distance learners also benefit from face-
to-face lessons once every two weeks at weekends,
designed to accommodate working people. The
courses are distributed in paper form and on CDs. The
courses are broadcast on television in the evening,
too. Courses must be paid for, but financial support
is provided to poor and vulnerable students.
The programme is at an early stage, and little feedback
was available to make a proper evaluation. As is the
case for the high schools programme, an evaluation of
the pilot experiment is planned with the assistance of
the Commonwealth of Learning. Distance education
in technical fields requires a delicate balance, and it is
recommended that careful consideration be taken of
the outcome from the evaluation of the PSI-DL Open
Schooling in Technical and Vocational Education and
Training (TVET) component before considering its
extension.
6.4.4 Distance education at university level
The major objective of distance education at university
level is to ensure access to higher education for the
many qualified people who cannot pursue on-campus
university education, due to the constraints on space
at the universities. Other major objectives are to reduce
the cost of higher education, and to enable a larger
number of people living in remote areas to access


higher education services. Ghana has a long history
with DE at the tertiary level. The idea first appeared
during the 1980s. Several programmes targeting the
training of professionals, and especially teachers,
were launched during that period. However, due to
certain difficulties, some programmes have been
abandoned. Despite the difficulties, and convinced
that DE could offer new opportunities for students,
the Government of Ghana sponsored, between 1991
and 1994, a number of surveys to assess DE needs
in Ghana.
Based upon the recommendations from these
surveys, four universities (the University of Ghana,
the University of Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology and the
University of Education Winneba) agreed to start
DE programmes. The distance education courses
offered by public universities in 2008 are presented in
table 6.5.
The Centre for Distance Education of the University
of Ghana is part of the Institute of Adult Education.
It started in November 2007 with the recruitment of
700 students at first-year level. The entry requirements
for the distance education programme are the same
as those for the University of Ghana’s bachelor’s
programmes. The instructional materials (textbooks)
have been prepared by professors from the
departments in charge of the curriculum, and under
the control of those departments. Plans are under way
to use ICT to drive the DE programme, with a five-year
plan under preparation.


Institution Distance Education Unit Programs, degrees
University of Ghana, Legon (UG) DE Unit, Institute of Adult Education


(created in 2007)
- BA and BSc. in Administration


Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science Technology (KNUST)


Faculty of Distance Learning - Undergraduate Programs in Computer Engineering,
Computer Science, Mathematics, Building Technology,
Business Administration


- Masters Programs in Mathematics, and Business
Administration


University of Cape Coast (UCC) DE Unit - Diploma in Basic Education
University of Education Winneba
(UEW)


Center for Distance Education
(created in 1996)


- Diploma in Basic Education
- two year Post-Diploma Basic Education programs


Ghana Institute of Management and
Public administration , (GIMPA)


Distance Learning Center - Short Training Sessions for Professionals
- Undergraduate programs in Business Communication,


Computer Science
- Certificate in Journalism


Sources: websites of universities and interviews.
Note: These programmes may have changed since this research was conducted.


Table 6.5. Public Universities offering Distance Education




127CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


The distance education programme is currently at a
preliminary stage where content is being issued as
printed matter. Students get their textbooks from the
Centre for Distance Education. Face-to-face meetings
with students are organized every month in the regions
(12 hours of face-to-face meetings and a three-
hour session per module for 4 modules). Meetings
are run by graduate students and young persons in
fulfilment of their national service. The meetings are
held in the 10 regional premises of the Institute of
Adult Education. Before the exams, students spend
two weeks on campus to review their courses with the
professors. They also take their exams on campus.
The Ghana Institute of Management and Public
Administration (GIMPA) is a university dedicated to
training, consultancy and research in leadership,
business management and public administration.
GIMPA targets students, middle- and top-level
executives in the public and private sectors, and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as clients.
The GIMPA Distance Learning Centre is one of
14 pilot centres that are members of the Global
Development Learning Network (GDLN). The GIMPA
Distance Learning Centre became operational in
June 2000 with the support of the World Bank and the
Government of Ghana. The Centre has internet access
and a videoconferencing system using a satellite
connection. A multimedia laboratory with 60 PCs is
open to students and for the production of multimedia
content. Both short training sessions and long training
sessions are available. The short training sessions are
available on a range of different subjects, and the long
training sessions offer undergraduate programmes in
business communication and in computer science,
as well as a certificate in journalism, in conjunction
with the African Virtual University. Long-term training
is provided using various means, including online
distance learning systems with universities abroad
(Australia and Sweden), as well as CDs/DVDs. For its
short training courses, the Centre calls on international
experts present in Ghana and on experts from abroad
linked by video connection.
The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) Institute
for Educational Development and Extension (IEDE) is
a pioneer in DE in Ghana. IEDE’s facilities comprise
study centres located in the ten regions of the country.
IEDE runs a dual-mode programme. DE, as a second
mode of delivery of university courses, has been
a prominent part of UEW programmes. It focuses
on teacher education, with the same academic


and professional components as the on-campus
programmes. The main objective is to upgrade the
many teachers who need to obtain a diploma while
keeping them at school. This is in order to fulfil the
Ministry of Education directive that the minimum
qualification for teaching in Ghanaian basic schools
by the year 2005 should be a diploma instead of a
certificate. In addition to the three-year diploma in
basic education, UEW offers two-year post-diploma
basic education programmes in vocational and
technical education, mathematics, science, English,
and life skills. The annual enrolment in DE (2007–2008)
is about 2,000. It is expected that this will increase to
10,000 in several years’ time.
The University of Cape Coast (UCC) offers a three-
year diploma in basic education. Its DE programme
also aims at upgrading the academic and professional
competence of teachers at basic schools. It is
therefore targeting the same population as UEW.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST) Faculty of Distance Learning
was launched in 2006 with the objective of delivering
programmes of study (both ongoing and new) from all
the colleges of the University in the distance learning
mode, through the use of a wide range of technologies
such as print, multimedia and videoconferencing.
The Faculty of Distance Learning plans to offer its
programmes by alternating between distance learning
and face-to-face modes. It also plans to establish off-
campus distance learning centres in some regions
of the country to serve as coordination points – for
students’ learning, for their interaction with facilitators,
and for student support.
DE programmes are also being developed by
private universities such as the Accra Institute of
Technology (AIT) – a private school of engineering
that offers degrees in engineering, technology and
industrial systems, computer science and information
technology, business and management. Its delivery
modes include campus-based delivery (face-to-face
classes and lectures), online courses (via the internet),
online courses and learning materials (available on
CDs and in printed format) and/or courses at an AIT
E-Learning Centre.
Most of the DE programmes at the universities
are relatively recent. However, several challenges
have been identified, particularly in the area of ICT
infrastructure constraints. Some of the programmes
experience difficulties at the level of internet




128 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


connection reliability, and in mobilizing professors
for the development of content. Large investments
are required in ICT infrastructure and in the teams
of professionals needed to create the online content
(such as instructional designers, graphic designers,
animators, tutors and video professionals). Another
challenge relates to the adequacy of the vision,
strategy, and plans of action for developing effective
DE programmes. Achieving fully-ICT-enabled and
highly functional DE requires ICT infrastructure
upgrading and considerable upfront investments that
may be difficult to achieve for individual institutions
on their own, especially without strong international
support of the kind that the GIMPA Distance Learning
Centre enjoys.
Many Ghanaian institutions involved with DE intend
to evolve towards fully-ICT-enabled DE programmes.
This raises the important issue of reaching a critical
mass. They may underestimate the challenges that
they will be faced with. It is therefore recommended
that the universities involved with DE, with the support
of the Ministry of Education, should aim to combine
their efforts and establish a joint DE programme. The
joint programme could eventually lead to the creation
of an Open University. A major objective of this virtual
university would be to match the growing need for
university education to the large surplus of qualified
applicants for places on-campus. The creation of
an Open University could benefit greatly from the
experiences of other countries, in particular the United
Kingdom’s Open University.


6.5 Recommendations
The four recommendations emerging from this
analysis are the following:
1) The Ministry of Communications should design and


implement an internet development policy to accelerate
internet deployment


The objective would be to reach a critical threshold
permitting the country to take advantage of the full


potential offered by the network. Special emphasis
should be devoted to high-speed connections.
Consideration could also be given to creating
innovative measures to promote the wider use of
mobile telephones featuring e-mail and internet
access, which are becoming increasingly functional.
2) The Ministry of Education should design plans of action


that would ensure a clear linkage between the ICTE
policy’s thematic objectives and its implementation
phases and specify clearly the role of the different
actors and budget each of the actions


Furthermore, the teaching of an ICT course as a
mandatory core subject in all senior high schools
might be given high priority for the next three to five
years. An action plan dedicated to this goal should
be prepared. The plan should look at ICT equipment,
training of trainers, internet connections, maintenance,
and electricity provision, and should estimate the
financial resources required.
3) Evaluation of distance learning programmes should


be carried out and evaluation outcomes considered
carefully


The outcome of the evaluations of the President’s
Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL)
programme for high schools and the Open Schooling
in Technical and Vocational Education and Training
(TVET) component should be studied carefully before
considering their extension.
4) The universities involved with distance education with


the support of MOE should consider combining their
efforts and establishing a joint distance education
programme


The joint programme could aim to lead to the eventual
creation of an Open University. A major objective of this
university would be to answer the unfulfilled need for
university training, since only 42 per cent of qualified
applicants (16,628 out of a total of 40,062 qualified
applicants) were accepted at public universities to
continue their studies in 2006, and the number of
applicants will grow further in the future.




129CHAPTER VI: ICTs IN GHANA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM


NOTES
1 Republic of Ghana (2003: 21).
2 Dzidonu C (2002).
3 Republic of Ghana (2006: 17).






Bibliography




132 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


BIBLIOGRAPHY
National innovation system
AfDB (2005). Ghana: Country Strategy Paper 2005–2009. African Development Bank.
AfDB and OECD (2007). African Economic Outlook. African Development Bank and the Organization for


Economic Cooperation and Development.
AfDB and OECD (2008). African Economic Outlook. African Development Bank and the Organization for


Economic Cooperation and Development.
Adarkwa K (2008). Keynote address delivered at the official launching of the Science and Technology Research


Endowment Fund. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Kumasi.
Ayogu M (1999). Case studies: Private-sector participation in infrastructure in Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria.


African Development Bank. Economic research paper no. 44.
Biggs T, Shah M and Srivastava P (1995). Technological capabilities and learning in African enterprises. World


Bank technical paper no. 285.
Boateng K and Ofori-Sarpong E (2002). An analytical study of the labour market for tertiary graduates in Ghana.


Report prepared for the World Bank and the National Accreditation Board of Ghana.
Bogeti Z et al. (2008). Achieving Accelerated and Shared Growth in Ghana: A MAMS-Based Analysis of Costs


and Opportunities. The World Bank Africa Poverty Reduction and Economic Management and Development
Economics Prospects Group. Washington D.C.


Dzobo NK (1974). The Report of the Education Review Committee – The New Structure and Content of Education
for Ghana. Accra.


Government of Ghana (1996). Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Act, 1996. Act 521. Accra.
Hausmann R and Rodrik D (2003). Economic development as self-discovery. Journal of Development Economics.


72 (2003) 603–633.
Hu M and Mathews J (2005). National innovative capacity in East Asia. Research Policy. 34: 1322–1349.
Juma C and Yee-Cheong L (2005). Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development. Earthscan. United Kingdom.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005). Technocrat. 3. (2 and 3): 22.
Lundvall B-A (1992). Introduction: 2–13. In: Lundvall BA, ed. National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory


of Innovation and Interactive Learning. Pinter Publishers. London.
Lundvall B-A et al. (2002). National systems of production, innovation and competence-building. Research


Policy: 31 (2002) 213–231. Elsevier.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2000). National science and technology policy document. Accra.
OECD (1997). National Innovation Systems. OECD. Paris: 9.
OECD (2007). OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: South Africa. OECD. Paris.
President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana (2002). Meeting the Challenges of Education


in the Twenty-first Century. Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana.
Republic of Ghana (1996). Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Act, 1996. Act 521. Accra.
Republic of Ghana (2000). National science and technology policy document. MEST. Accra.




133BIBLIOGRAPHY


Republic of Ghana (2008). Report on the Development of Education in Ghana. Ministry of Education, Science
and Sports. Accra


Republic of South Africa (2007). Technology Innovation Agency Bill. Government Gazette. No. 30164. 17 August.
UNCTAD (2003a). Africa’s Technology Gap. United Nations publication. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/Misc.13. Geneva and


New York.
UNCTAD (2003b). Investment Policy Review: Ghana. United Nations publication. Sales no. E.02.II.D.20. Geneva


and New York.
UNDP (2001). Human Development Report 2001: Making New Technologies Work for Human Development.


United Nations Development Programme. New York.
UNESCO (2007). Science and technology profile of the Republic of Ghana. United Nations Educational, Scientific


and Cultural Organization. Paris.
UNIDO and Government of Ghana (2006). Technology Innovation Centre for Capital Goods in Ghana. Status


report. September.
University of Ghana. University of Ghana Basic Statistics, 1999–2006.
WIPO (2007). WIPO Patent Report: Statistics on Worldwide Patent Activities. World Intellectual Property


Organization. Geneva.
WTO (2008). Trade policy review: Ghana. Report by the secretariat of the World Trade Organization. ET/TPR/S/194.
World Bank (2005). Corporate Governance: Ghana Country Assessment. World Bank. Washington, D.C.
World Bank (2006a). Benchmarking FDI Competitiveness in Sub-Saharan African Countries. World Bank.


Washington, D.C.
World Bank (2006b). Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to Go Beyond the Strengthening of Research


Systems. World Bank. Washington, D.C.
World Bank (2008). Doing Business 2009. World Bank. Washington, D.C.
World Bank (2009). Accelerating Catch-Up: Tertiary Education for Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank.


Washington, D.C.
Zachary PG (2003). Black Star: Ghana, Information Technology and Development in Africa: 7–8. Centre for


Science, Policy and Outcomes. Columbia University.


Research and development system
Abrol D. Changing connections of the publicly funded R&D laboratories with industry and academia in India:


lessons from the CSIR system. NISTADS. New Delhi (mimeo).
AfDB (African Development Bank) (2007a). Strategic orientation in support to higher education, science and


technology (HEST). Stakeholders’ consultations. 12–13 April. Accra. http://www.afdb.org/en/
AfDB (African Development Bank) (2007b). Strategy for higher education, science and technology. July. http://


www.afdb.org/en
AMCOST III (African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology: third ordinary session) (2007). Science,


technology and innovation for industrialization: Articulating an African Union vision. AU/EXP/ST/15(III). 12–16
November. Mombasa.


Amoah JY and Aggey M (2006). Development and transfer of a mechanized palm kernel-shell separator. IIR.
Accra.




134 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Augusto G (2002). Context, co-presence and “compossibilities”: Bioprospecting between endogenous
knowledge and science in South Africa. International Journal of Biotechnology: 4 (2 and 3): 239–265.


Bernardes AT and Da Motta e Albuquerque E (2003). Crossover, thresholds, and interactions between science
and technology: Lessons for less developed countries. Research Policy. 32 (5): 865–885.


787 %9:%!;<7,!/=>>?0"()(#.
Story: How to Accelerate Growth and Achieve the MDGs? World Bank. Washington, D.C.


Bound K (2007). India: The Uneven Innovator. Demos. London.
Chandra N (2008). Putting research results into use: Interrogating knowledge transfer policies at the Indian


institutes of technology. Paper presented at the VI Globelics Conference. 22–24 September. Mexico City.
Chaves CV and Moro S (2007). Investigating the interaction and mutual dependence between science and


technology. Research Policy. 36: 1204–1220.
Comin and Hobijn (2004). Cross-country technology adoption: Making the theories face the facts. Journal of


Monetary Economics. 51 (1): 39–83.
Council of the University of Ghana (2008). Statement on the report of the Visitation Panel. University of Ghana.


Legon.
CRI (n.d.) Strategic Plan 2008–2013. Crop Research Institute. Kumasi.
CRIG (2002). Research staff publications 1938–2000. Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. Tafo.
CSIR (2006). Annual Report. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Accra.
CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) (1996a). Conditions of service for senior members of staff.


Accra.
CSIR (1996b). Conditions of service for senior staff. Accra.
CSIR (1996c). CSIR Vision and Strategy 2001. New Delhi.
CSIR (n.d.). Strategic considerations 2005–2009. Accra.
CSIR Act, 1996. Act 521.
CSRPM (Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine) (2007). 2006 Annual Performance Report. Mampong-


Akuapem.
CSRPM (n.d.a). List of publications (2000–2007).
CSRPM (n.d.b). List of research officers.
CSRPM (n.d.c). 2008–2015 strategic plan. Mampong-Akuapem.
CSRPM (2006). Annual performance report. Mampong-Akuapem.
CSRPM Decree, 1975. N.R.C.D. 344.
Dahlman C, Goel VK and Dutz MA (2007). Creating and commercializing knowledge. In: Dutz MA, ed. Unleashing


India’s Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. World Bank. Washington, D.C.
Fagerberg J and Srholec M (2008). Technology and development: Unpacking the relationship(s). Paper presented


at the sixth Globelics Conference. 22–24 September. Mexico City. www.globelics.org
Ghana Cocoa Research Institute Decree, 1979. S.M.C.D. 234.
Ghana/EU Cocoa Sector Support Programme (2003). Technical Assistance for the Reorganization and


Commercialization of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. CRIG strategic plan. Masdar. Hook, Hampshire.




135BIBLIOGRAPHY


Ghana Joint Assistance Strategy (G-JAS) (2007). Commitment by partners to work toward GPRS II goals and
harmonization principles.


Graffham A and Dziedzoave N (n.d.). Crop post-harvest programme: Sustainable uptake of cassava as an
industrial commodity. Final report of project. 1 January 2003–31 December 2004. FRI. Accra.


Hussain A (1986). Report of the CSIR Review Committee: Towards a new perspective. CSIR. New Delhi.
Institute of Industrial Research (n.d.). Strategy document 2008 to 2012. Institute of Industrial Research. Accra.
Industrial Designs Act, 2003. ACT 660.
Juma C and Serageldin I (lead authors) (2007). Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development. A


report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology. AU and NEPAD. Addis Ababa and Pretoria.
www.nepadst.org


Kim YK, Lee K and Park WG (2008). Appropriate intellectual property protection and economic growth in
countries at different levels of development. Paper presented at the VI Globelics Conference, Mexico City.
22–24 September.


Knell M (2008). Technology, growth and poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. Unpublished manuscript.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005a). Corporate Strategic Plan. Abridged version,


2005–2014 (PLAN2k14). Kumasi.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2005b). College of Engineering Strategic Plan 2007–


2016. June. Kumasi.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2008a). Basic Statistics. 42nd Congregation. Planning


Unit. June. Kumasi.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2008b). Quality Assurance Bulletin No. 5. Publications


for the period 2006–2008. June. Kumasi.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2008c). Vice-Chancellor’s Report. June. Kumasi.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (n.d.). Strategic Plan. COS Plan 2K14. College of


Science. Kumasi.
Krauskopf M, Krauskopf E and Méndez B (2007). Low awareness of the link between science and innovation


affects public policies in developing countries: the Chilean case. Scientometric. 72 (1): 93–103.
Lall S and Pietrobelli C (2002). Failing to Compete: Technology Development and Technology Systems in Africa.


Cheltenham. Elgar.
Lockett A, Wright M, and Franklin S (2003). Technology transfer and universities’ spinout strategies. Small


Business Economics. 20: 185–200.
Mouton J and Waast R (2008). Study on national research systems: a meta-review. Draft Global Synthesis


Report. UNESCO. Paris.
National Resources International (n.d.). Government of Ghana: NIRP. Partial commercialization of CSIR


secretariat, WRI and INSTI. Vols. 1 and 2.
National Development Planning Commission (2005). Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II).
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (2003). Developing a science and technology strategic framework: A


synthesis report of the first workshop. April. www.nepadst.org
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (n.d.). Governing science, technology and innovation in Africa: Building


national and regional capacities to develop and implement strategies and policies. www.nepadst.org




136 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Oil Palm Research Institute (2002). Draft strategic plan 2003–2007. Kade. Patent Regulations, 1996. L.I. 1616.
Pietrobelli C (2001). National industrial systems in Africa: The nature and deficiencies of technological effort in


African industry. Background paper for UNIDO WIDR 2001. Second draft.
Republic of Ghana (2008). The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for 2008–2010 and the Annual Estimates


for 2008. 23. Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (Science).
Ribeiro LC, Ruíz RM, Bernardes AT and Albuquerque E (2006). Science in the developing world: Running twice


as fast? Computing in Science and Engineering. July/August: 86–92.
Southern African Regional Universities Association (2008). A Baseline Study on Science and Technology and


Higher Education in the SADC Region. Studies Series 2007. www.sarua.org
Siegel DS, Waldman D and Link A (2003). Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative


productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study. Research Policy. 32: 27–48.
Trademarks Act, 2004. Act 664.
UNCTAD (2003). Africa’s Technology Gap. United Nations publication. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/Misc.13. Geneva and


New York.
UNCTAD (2007). The Least Developed Countries Report 2007: Knowledge, Technological Learning and


Innovation for Development. United Nations publication. Sales no. E.07.II.D.8. New York and Geneva.
University of Cape Coast (2003a). Corporate Strategy. UCC, Cape Coast.
University of Cape Coast (2003b.) Statutes, 2003. UCC, Cape Coast.
University of Cape Coast (2007a). Basic Statistics. Data Processing Unit, University of Cape Coast. Cape Coast.
University of Cape Coast (2007b). Vice-Chancellor’s Annual Report. University of Cape Coast. Cape Coast.
University of Cape Coast Law, 1992. P.N.D.C.L. 278.
University of Ghana (1994). Vision 2000 Plus: Strategic Plan. University of Ghana, Legon.
University of Ghana (2007a). Annual Report. University of Ghana, Legon.
University of Ghana (2007b). Basic Statistics. University of Ghana, Legon.
Watkins A and Ehst M, eds. (2008). Science, Technology and Innovation: Capacity-Building for Sustainable


Growth and Poverty Reduction. World Bank. Washington, D.C.
Wessner CW and Shivakumar SJ (2007). India’s changing innovation system: Achievements, challenges, and


opportunities for cooperation. In: Dutz M, ed. Unleashing India’s Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive
Growth. World Bank. Washington, D.C.


World Bank (2007). Building Knowledge Economies: Advanced Strategies for Development. World Bank.
Washington, D.C.


Food and agroprocessing
Association of Ghana Industries (2007). AGI Business Climate Survey 2007. Accra. http://www.agighana.org/


business_environment/useful_docs/index.php
Essegbey G and Aggey M (2007). Technological change in small and medium-scale enterprises during financial


sector liberalization in Ghana. Journal of Applied Science and Technology. 12 (1 and 2): 133–139.
Essegbey G (2008). Ghana: Cassava, cocoa and poultry. In: Larsen K, Kim R and Theus F, eds. Agribusiness


and Innovation Systems in Africa. World Bank. Washington D.C.
Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (2007). Ready for take-off: Ghana horticulture. Accra.




137BIBLIOGRAPHY


Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (2007). Ghana Ports Handbook 2007–2008. Colchester. Land and Marine
Publications Ltd.


Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. Ghana Investment Profile: Food Production and Processing. http://www.
gipc.org.gh/Userfiles/file/sector_profiles/Food.pdf accessed on 12 April 2011.


Ghana Investment Promotion Centre website. http://www.gipc.org.gh/
Government of Ghana (2005). The Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America acting


through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of the Republic of Ghana. October.
Government of Ghana (2006). The Millennium Challenge Compact with Ghana Executive Summary. August.
Government of Ghana (2007). The Millennium Development Authority/Agricultural Credit Programme policies


and procedures manual. September.
Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research. The State of the Ghanaian Economy in 2007. Legon.
Karikari IB (2006). Ghana’s Land Administration Project (LAP) and Land Information Systems (LIS) Implementation:


The Issues. Accessed on 12 April 2011. http://www.fig.net/pub/monthly_articles/february_2006/karikari_
february_2006.pdf


Land Administration Project. http://www.ghanalap.gov.gh/ accessed on 12 April 2011.
Mudambi R (1999). Multinational investment attraction: Principal–Agent considerations. International Journal of


the Economics of Business. 6 (1): 65–79.
Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2007). Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II). Ministry


of Food and Agriculture. Accra.
National Development Planning Commission (2005). Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) 2006–


2009. Accra.
Spielman DJ and Birner R (2008). How innovative is your agriculture? Using innovation indicators and


benchmarks to strengthen national agricultural innovation systems. ARD discussion paper no. 41. World
Bank. Washington, D.C.


World Bank (2006a). Doing Business 2007. World Bank and International Finance Corporation. Washington D.C.
World Bank (2006b). Project appraisal document on two proposed credits to the Republic of India for the National


Agricultural Innovation Project.
World Bank (2007a). Meeting the Challenge of Accelerated and Shared Growth: Options for Export Diversification


and Faster Export Growth in Ghana. Country economic memorandum: Ghana.
World Bank (2007b). Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How To Go Beyond the Strengthening of Research


Systems.
World Bank (2008a). The Revised Food Safety Action Plan. MoFA/WB-AFTAR Food Safety Task Force. Draft


report.
World Bank (2008b). Ghana Export Horticulture Cluster Strategic Profile Study. Part I: Scoping Review.
World Bank (2008c). World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development.
World Bank (2008d). Ghana Investment Climate Assessment 2007. World Bank. http://www.enterprisesurveys.


org/Portal/.


Traditional and herbal medicine
African Union (2007). The status of traditional medicine in Africa, and review of progress made on the


implementation of the Plan of Action on the African Union Decade of Traditional Medicine (2001–2010).
Paper presented at the third session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health. Johannesburg.
9–13 April 2007.




138 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Biotechnology Development Programme (Ghana) Database (2001). Compiled from data collected as part
of a University of Strathclyde/STEPRI project entitled “Building capacity for sustainable biotechnology
development in agriculture and health in Ghana”.


787 %:9%!;<7,! /=>>?0"()-@
accelerate growth and achieve the Millennium Development Goals? World Bank paper (draft) prepared for
discussion at the Ghana Country Economic Memorandum Technical Review Workshop, Accra. May.


Brinckmann J and McIntyre M (2006). Proposed quality control guidelines for the EU directive on traditional
herbal medicinal products: implications for small to medium-sized enterprises. In: Journal of the American
Botanical Council. Issue 70: 62–66.


Cho B-H (2000). The politics of herbal drugs in Korea. In: Social Science and Medicine. 51: 505–509.
Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (2000). Silver Jubilee (1975–2000) publication.
Dennis F, ed. (2002). Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants in Ghana: Ethnobotanical survey.
Essegbey G, Frempong G and Stokes K (1999). Proceedings of the National Stakeholders’ Conference on


Priority-Setting for Sustainable Biotechnology in Agriculture and Health. Elmina. December.
Evans-Anfom E (1986). Traditional Medicine in Ghana: Practice, Problems and Prospects. J.B. Danquah Memorial


Lectures. Seventeenth series. February 1984. Accra. Academy of Arts and Sciences.
FDA (2001). Overview of dietary supplements.
FDA (2004). Factsheet on FDA’s strategy for dietary supplements.
Food and Drugs Board (1996a). Guidelines for the registration of herbal/homeopathic drugs in Ghana. Accra.
Food and Drugs Board (1996b). Guidelines for the registration of allopathic drugs. Accra.
Grupper M, Boateng F, Amporful E and Binka J (2005). Improving Access to Medicines: The Case of Local


Production and Greater Access to Medicines for Ghana.
Government of Ghana (2000). Traditional Medicine Practice Act (Act 575). Accra.
Harmsworth K and Lewith GT (2001). Attitudes to traditional Chinese medicine amongst Western-trained doctors


in the People’s Republic of China. In: Social Science and Medicine. 52: 149–153.
Janes C (1999). The health transition, global modernity and the crisis of traditional medicine: the Tibetan case.


In: Social Science and Medicine. 48: 1803–1820.
Mander M, Ntuli L, Diederichs N and Mavundla K (2007). Economics of the Traditional Medicine Trade in South


Africa.
Matowe L, Duwiejua M and Norris P (2004). Is there a solution to the pharmacist brain drain from poor to rich


countries? In: The Pharmaceutical Journal. 272: 98–99.
Ministry of Environment and Science (2002). National Biodiversity Strategy for Ghana. Ghana.
Ministry of Environment and Science (2005). Republic of Ghana: Third National Report to the CBD. Ghana.
Ministry of Finance (2007). Ghana Budget Statement for 2008. Accra.
Ministry of Health (MOH) (2001). Partnerships for health: bridging the inequalities gap. The second health-sector


five-year programme of work, 2002–2006. MOH green paper. Accra.
MOH (2007). The Ghana Health Sector Annual Programme of Work 2007. Accra.
Ministry of Health–Ghana National Drugs Programme (MOH–GNDP) (2002). An Assessment of the Pharmaceutical


Sector in Ghana. Accra.
MOH–GNDP (2004a). National Drug Policy. Accra.




139BIBLIOGRAPHY


MOH–GNDP (2004b). Ghana Essential Medicines List. Accra.
MOH–GNDP (2004c). Standard Treatment Guidelines. Accra.
Ministry of Health–Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate (2005). A National Strategic Plan for Traditional


and Alternative Medicine Development in Ghana 2005–2009. Accra.
Ministry of Trade and Industry (2005). National Trade Policy. Accra.
National Development Planning Commission (2005). Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) 2006–


2009. Accra.
Nyarko A (2007). Plant medicine in the twenty-first century: Confronting the challenges in Ghana. Inaugural lecture


by the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. University of Legon. November.
Nyarko A, Asiedu-Gyekye IJ and Sittie AA (2005). A Manual of Harmonized Procedures for Assessing the Safety,


Efficacy and Quality of Plant Medicines in Ghana. Accra. Ministry of Health.
Richter M (2003). Traditional medicines and traditional healers in South Africa. Discussion paper prepared for the


Treatment Action Campaign and AIDS Law Project, South Africa.
Romero-Daza, N. (2002) Traditional Medicine in Africa. In Annals of the American Academy, 583: 173-176.
Shankar D and Venkatasubramanian P (2005). The evolution of global standards for traditional medicine. Science


and Development Network (SciDevNet) policy brief. March.
Smith F (2002) Reflections on healthcare in Ghana. In: The Pharmaceutical Journal. 268: 768.
Son AHK (1998). Modernization of the system of traditional Korean medicine (1876–1990). In: Health Policy. 44:


261–281.
Steinhoff B (2002). The legal framework for herbal medicinal products in Europe. Presentation given at the GA


Congress. 2 September.
Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (2007). The Ghana Herbal Pharmocopoeia. Council for


Scientific and Industrial Research. Accra.
Strangeland T, Dhillion SS and Reksten H (2008). Recognition and development of traditional medicine in


Tanzania. In: Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 117: 290–299.
Tsey K (1997). Traditional medicine in contemporary Ghana: a public policy analysis. In: Social Science and


Medicine. 45 (7): 1065–1074.
UNCTAD (2007). The Least Developed Countries Report 2007: Knowledge, Technological Learning and


Innovation for Development. United Nations publication. Sales no. E.07.II.D.8. New York and Geneva.
UNDAF (2005). United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Ghana, 2006–2010.
UNDP (2003). Human Development Report 2003.
UNDP (2004a). Human Development Report 2004.
UNDP (2004b). Breaking the HIV/AIDS chain: A human development challenge. Ghana Human Development


Report 2004. Accra.
UNDP (2005). Human Development Report 2005.
UNDP (2006). Human Development Report 2006.
UNDP (2007). Human Development Report 2007/2008.
UNESCO (2007). Science in Africa. Paris. UNESCO.
World Health Organization (1998). Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Herbal Medicines. Geneva. WHO.




140 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


World Health Organization (2002). Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002–2005. Geneva. WHO.
World Trade Organization (2007). Trade Policy Review: Ghana. WT/TPR/S/194. Geneva. WTO.
Yee S-K, Chu S-S, Xu Y-M and Choo P-L (2005). Regulatory control of Chinese proprietary medicines in Singapore.


In: Health Policy. 71: 133–149.


ICTs in education
Agyakoma KA (2007). Brief. PSI Distance Learning.
Akumfi CA (2002). L’éducation pour apprendre à vivre ensemble. Apprendre à vivre ensemble au Ghana et en


Afrique de l’Ouest: Problèmes et solutions. Dans: Perspectives. 32 (1). www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/
Prospects/ProspectsPdf/121f/121fakum.pdf


Dzidonu C (2002). An empirical study of the development, deployment and the exploitation of ICTs in Ghana.
International Institute for Information Technology and the Economic Commission for Africa.


Dzidonu CK (2003). An integrated ICT-led socio-economic development policy and plan. Development Framework
for Ghana.


Frempong GK (2007). Towards an African e–index: Telecommunications sector performance in Ghana.
Ghana Patent Act, 1992.
The Ghana ICT4AD process: Sector-specific implementation strategies. http://www.ict.gov.gh
Global E-Schools and Communities’ Initiative. (GeSCI). Transforming education, empowering communities,


promoting development.
Government of Ghana (2003). The Ghana ICT For Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy.
Government of Ghana. Ministry of Education and Sports (2006). The Ghana ICTs in Education policy (draft).
Government of Ghana. Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (2007). ICT in education. Newsletter. 1 (1).


April.
InfoDev (2007a). Survey of ICT and education in Africa. Draft. http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.353.html.
InfoDev (2007b). Survey of ICT and education in Africa. 2: 53 Country Reports. http://www.infodev.org/en/


Publication.354.html.
Ismail M (2002). Readiness for the Networked World: Ghana Assessment. http://www.ict.gov.gh/pdf/Ghana%20


Readiness%20Assessment1.pdf.
Koomson G. Turning Ghana’s youthful population into skilled human resource.
Mallet JC. Ghana distance education programme. In: Hope A and Guiton P, eds. Strategies for Sustainable Open


and Distance Learning. 6.
Mangesi K (2007). Survey of ICT and education in Africa. Ghana Country Report. http://www.infodev.org/en/


Publication.406.html.
Ministry of Communications. Promoting the information society in Ghana. http://www.ict.gov.gh.
Ministry of Communications. eGhana Project (IDA CR 4226-GH).
Ministry of Education, Science and Sports. ICT in Education Programmes Unit. Draft copy of ICT policy.
Nyarko Emily (2007). Developing ICT-enabled education – The future for Ghana.
Kwapong OATF (2005). Socio-economic predictors of acquisition and utilization of information and communication


technology (ICT) for the empowerment of rural women in Ghana. Doctoral thesis. University of Ghana, Legon.




141BIBLIOGRAPHY


Republic of Ghana. National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee. Survey of ongoing ICT projects and
initiatives in government ministries and public sector organizations. http://www.ict.gov.gh/html/Survey%20
of%20On-going%20ICT%20Projects%20and%20initiatives%20.htm.


Republic of Ghana. Ministry of Communications. National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee.
Deployment and exploitation of ICTs in government ministries and public sector organizations. http://www.
ict.gov.gh/html/ict%27s%20in%20gov%27t%20ministries%20&%20public%20sector%20organizations.htm.


researchICTAfrica.net. Le fonctionnement du secteur des Technologies de l’information et de la communication
(TICs) en Afrique: Etat des lieux dans sept pays africains.


Tadayoni R and Skouby KE (2003). Research and Education Network in Ghana. Promoting ICT In developing
countries through research cooperation. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information
Technology in Regional Areas. http://users.dec.uwi.edu/smarshall/itira/proceedings_online/2003/non-ref_
papers/tadayoni_skouby.pdf.


UNESCO (2005). UIS statistics in brief. Education in Ghana. General information. http://stats.uis.unesco.
org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=289&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=2880&BR_
Region=40540.


University of Cape Coast. The University of Cape Coast ICT policy. www.ict.gov.gh/pdf/ICT%20Policy%20-%20
U.C.C.pdf.


University of Ghana. Basic statistics.
University of Ghana (2006). ICT strategic plan (2005–2010). Version 3.0.
University of Ghana (2007a). ICT policy.
University of Ghana (2007b). UG distance education programme to take off from November 2007.
World Bank (2005). ICT-at-a-Glance. Ghana. http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/gha_ict.pdf.
World Bank (2007). Status of projects in execution – FY07 Ghana. 10 October. http://www1.worldbank.org/


operations/disclosure/SOPE/FY07/AFR/Ghana.pdf.
World Economic Forum. The Global Information Technology Report 2005–2006. http://www.weforum.org/pdf/


Global_Competitiveness_Reports/Reports/gitr_2006/rankings.pdf.


Annex 2


Chaves CV and Moro S (2007). Investigating the interaction and mutual dependence between science and
technology. Research Policy. 36: 1204–1220.


Fagerberg J and Srholec M (2008). Technology and development: Unpacking the relationship(s). Paper presented
at the sixth Globelics Conference. 22–24 September. Mexico City. www.globelics.org


Juma C and Serageldin I (lead authors) (2007). Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development. A
report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology. AU and NEPAD. Addis Ababa and Pretoria.
www.nepadst.org


Mouton J and Waast R (2008). Study on national research systems: a meta-review. Draft Global Synthesis
Report. UNESCO. Paris.


New Partnership for Africa’s Development (2003). Developing a science and technology strategic framework: A
synthesis report of the first workshop. April. www.nepadst.org


New Partnership for Africa’s Development (n.d.). Governing science, technology and innovation in Africa: Building
national and regional capacities to develop and implement strategies and policies. www.nepadst.org




Ribeiro LC, Ruíz RM, Bernardes AT and Albuquerque E (2006). Science in the developing world: Running twice
as fast? Computing in Science and Engineering. July/August: 86–92.


Watkins A and Ehst M, eds. (2008). Science, Technology and Innovation: Capacity-Building for Sustainable
Growth and Poverty Reduction. World Bank. Washington, D.C.


World Bank (2007). Building Knowledge Economies: Advanced Strategies for Development. World Bank.
Washington, D.C.




Annexes




144 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ANNEX 1. SUMMARY OF STIP REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Study Recommended actions
National
innovation system


Recommendation 1: Establish a specialized agency – a National STI Implementation
Agency (NIA) – to coordinate and implement STI policies and programmes.
Recommendation 2: Design a realistic multi-year implementation strategy to accompany
the 2010 national STI policy and the establishment of an NIA.
Recommendation 3: Strengthen the legislature in innovation policymaking, for example
by establishing a specific parliamentary committee for science and innovation (to replace
the current Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Science).
Recommendation 4: Build skills and promote an entrepreneurial culture.
Recommendation 5: Sharpen economic targets and the country’s technology focus, for
example through technology assessment exercises and technology foresight exercises.
Recommendation 6: Implement measures to develop the private sector and promote
innovation in enterprises.
Recommendation 7: Continue to increase investments in improving physical infra-
structure.
Recommendation 8: Find ways to ensure greater executive and political leadership on
STI development.


Research and
development
system


Recommendation 1: The Government should increase its budgetary allocation to
S&T in order to give meaning to its commitment to S&T. In order for Ghana to
become a knowledge economy, the path will be neither cheap nor short. Knowledge
workers need to be well paid. They also need quality equipment and facilities.
The discrepancy in salaries between scientists at the institutes and academics at the
universities is not justified. All this means that substantial monies must be released for
science and technology, and that such investment only make sense in the context of
long-term commitments that transcend electoral cycles. An increase in spending for a
few years followed by cutbacks is counter-productive.
Recommendation 2: The Government should consider bringing the entire S&T system
under one ministerial roof. This assessment has not seen any evidence that having three
ministries rather than one to which the research institutes and universities report benefits
the system. Instead, it makes coordination even more difficult in a system which, at
present, is not particularly adept at ensuring relevance, efficiency and effectiveness. It
should be emphasized that if the knowledge economy is as important for Ghana as has
been highlighted in some key policy documents, such a ministry must enjoy considerable
clout.
Recommendation 3: The research system must increase its efficiency. This concerns
staffing levels at the research institutes, in particular. This study has shown that core/
support staff ratios in Ghana bear little comparison to those in similar organizations
elsewhere. Across the system, the management of research, technology, people, and
their ideas must become more professional.
Recommendation 4: The research system must substantially increase its external
income. This requires, first and foremost, a motivated scientific and academic workforce.
Hence, powerful incentives must be put in place to encourage people to win – especially
– international research tenders, and to commercialize technological innovation.
Secondly, it requires a supportive and professionally managed environment in which
researchers can rely on upstream (e.g. tender opportunity scanning) and downstream
(e.g. marketing, network-building, commercialization, IP management) services whose
delivery is essential for the success of core activities.




145ANNEXES


Study Recommended actions
Research and
development
system


Recommendation 5: In reality, directing all these measures at the entire system
contemporaneously is impossible. What is possible is to open up space for experimenting
with institutional and organizational alternatives in selected areas of the research system.
Existing areas of excellence in the research system should therefore be identified and
nurtured. This must be guided by the need to focus on those activities where certain
prerequisites exist and where interventions have a better than even chance of
succeeding. To make this possible, the Government should not take an approach
whereby successful income generation on the open market is penalized by a reduction
in the government subvention. Good performance should be rewarded at all levels,
which means that for budget purposes, the idea of co-funding should be introduced. In
these centres of excellence, it is important that rules and incentives facilitate a market
for ideas, seed funding, and project execution, so that the most vibrant and relevant
parts of the research infrastructure can grow while those that do not produce what is
expected of them are allowed to close down.
Recommendation 6: Promote more professional management across the R&D system.
Recommendation 7: The entire system should increase its self-reflexivity. Annual
reports should be taken more seriously. Strategic plans that are not updated on
a regular basis have little use. Reviews should be undertaken at regular intervals,
including through external panels, in order to monitor whether the system is on track.


Food and agro-
processing


Recommendation 1: Establish a network of 2–3 agribusiness innovation centres (AICs),
distributed among the three major regional zones in the country and located at the
premises of existing institutions of higher learning. The AICs would act as hubs for the
economic clusters of the food and agro-processing industry. The major activity of the
AICs is to spur home-grown innovations and developments in food and agro-processing
technologies to convert raw commodities into products that are facing barriers to
commercialization. The AICs should be modelled on similar centres that have worked
successfully to stimulate entrepreneurship and agribusiness innovation in a diverse set
of countries. A derivative undertaking would entail adding business incubators, which
offer tenant space to start-ups for short-term entrepreneurial and commercial use, to
process, distribute and sell value-added farm products that address market needs. The
AICs would offer opportunities to provide workers with practical skills and would produce
students and entrepreneurs who are job creators and not job seekers. The AICs and
related regional infrastructure would target a set of commodities that offer high potential
for exploitation in each region.
Recommendation 2: Improve funding mechanisms for market-oriented research,
development, and innovation performed by Ghana’s agribusinesses. In order to
develop the agro-processing sector, Ghana must provide ways to support research and
development (R&D) and low-tech and high-tech innovation by existing agribusinesses
and entrepreneurs. Investments in facilities and equipment made by businesses, research
institutes and innovation centres will be wasted if businesses lack the financial resources
to undertake innovation. Funding mechanisms could include commodity “check-off” fees
to be collected and invested by the industry, national competitive matching grants, tax
credits for innovation-related activities, or the scaling-up of existing sources of funding
including the national venture capital fund and the research endowment fund.




146 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


Study Recommended actions
Food and agro-
processing


Recommendation 3: Establish an industry advisory group to guide the food and agro-
processing industry’s development, composed of government, university, research
institute, and industry representatives. The advisory group – modelled on similar bodies
in other countries – would seek to provide coordination, direction, and practical and
systemic solutions for developing the food and agro-processing industry in Ghana. This
group would seek to create a climate hospitable to the kinds of private enterprises that
can stimulate change from a subsistence farming economy to an integrated, market-
oriented, agricultural-based economy.


Traditional and
herbal medicines


Recommendation 1: A set of studies/meetings to evaluate, both qualitatively and
quantitatively, the potential markets for THM should be given the highest priority in plans
to develop the THM industry. It is suggested that these activities include an assessment
of potential THM export markets, a more detailed survey of the OTC market for herbal
products in Ghana (along the lines of the 2004 Ministry of Health–DFID survey undertaken
on local production of medicines in Ghana but with a particular focus on factors guiding
consumer behaviour in respect of seeking advice and purchasing medicinal products),
and a review of goals and priorities for the integration of THM into the public-sector
health-service delivery system, at a stakeholder meeting.
Recommendation 2: Develop a clearly articulated strategy to support micro and small-
scale THM enterprises.
Recommendation 3: Consider the introduction of a more gradual and inclusive process
of herbal medicine registration, but with fixed phase-in schedules.
Recommendation 4: Strengthen the role of the Pharmacy Council to support regulatory
compliance through pharmacists and chemical sellers, and the capacity of the FDB to
handle a large increase in throughput of applications for THMs (both as food supplements
and herbal medicines).
Recommendation 5: Alleviate the potential distrust of regulatory science on the part of
THM producers, through standard letters of contract produced and signed by scientific
institutions that carry out regulatory testing.
Recommendation 6: Strengthen the capacity of the Research Committee at the
Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) to coordinate government-
sponsored multi-disciplinary research programmes into traditional herbal medicine.
Recommendation 7: The Ministry of Health should establish a permanent mechanism
for identifying, prioritizing and funding public-sector R&D programmes that support the
development of THM products of interest to the country. Funding should be allocated
to whole programmes only, on the basis that any single programme that is dependent
on non-assured funding resources may not be carried out effectively, if at all. This R&D
mechanism should prioritize programmes based on input from relevant ministries,
the private sector, and other key stakeholders, and should be administered by an
independent body, such as the proposed NIA.
Recommendation 8: Consider establishing a THM development fund with the
cooperation and participation of the MOTI, MOH and MOFA. A proportion of the fund
should be ring-fenced for demand-driven R&D activities carried out by the private sector.
Management of this fund could be carried out by the proposed NIA or by an appropriate
ministerial department.




147ANNEXES


Study Recommended actions
ICTs in education Recommendation 1: The Ministry of Communications should design and implement


an internet development policy to accelerate internet deployment in order to reach a
critical threshold permitting the country to take advantage of the full potential offered
by the network. Special emphasis should be devoted to high-speed connections.
Consideration could also be given to creating innovative measures to promote the wider
use of mobile telephones featuring e-mail and internet access, which are becoming
increasingly functional.
Recommendation 2: The Ministry of Education should design plans of action that
would ensure a clear linkage between the ICTE policy’s thematic objectives and its
implementation phases and specify clearly the role of the different actors and budget
each of the actions. Furthermore, the teaching of an ICT course as a mandatory core
subject in all senior high schools might be given high priority for the next three to five
years. An action plan dedicated to this goal should be prepared. The plan should look
at ICT equipment, training of trainers, internet connections, maintenance, and electricity
provision, and should estimate the financial resources required.
Recommendation 3: Evaluation of distance learning programmes should be carried out
and evaluation outcomes considered carefully. The outcome of the evaluations of the
President’s Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL) programme for high schools
and the Open Schooling in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
component should be studied carefully before considering their extension.
Recommendation 4: The universities involved with distance education with the support
of MOE should consider combining their efforts and establishing a joint distance
education programme. The joint programme could aim to lead to the eventual creation of
an Open University. A major objective of this university would be to answer the unfulfilled
need for university training, since only 42 per cent of qualified applicants (16,628 out of a
total of 40,062 qualified applicants) were accepted at public universities to continue their
studies in 2006, and the number of applicants will grow further in the future.




148 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


ANNEX 2. THE AFRICAN POLICY ENVIRONMENT FOR STI-BASED DEVELOPMENT
Throughout Africa, a policy environment is emerg-
ing that seems very much conducive to fostering
the knowledge economy, in the context of the global
economy’s changes towards more knowledge-inten-
sive activities. This assessment is right on time. Afri-
can leaders committed in 2006 to investing one per
cent of GDP in research and development by 2010
(ADB, 2007b). The African Union’s Science and Tech-
nology Consolidated Plan of Action aims at the “as-
sertion of Africa’s position in the global knowledge
society, through the development and application of
S&T in eradication of poverty, fighting diseases, stem-
ming environmental degradation and improving the
global economic competitiveness of the continent”
(AMCOST, 2007: 2). This is to be done on the basis of
“capacity-building, knowledge production and tech-
nological innovation to trigger an avalanche of Africa’s
industrialization” (AMCOST, 2007: 4). Already in 2003,
the secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s De-
velopment (NEPAD) recommended that, because of
the limited national S&T capacities, regional technol-
ogy platforms be built so as to pool resources.1 Its
Office of Science and Technology subsequently be-
gan to establish a network of centres of excellence
in the biosciences, water sciences, and technology
development.2 Hence, at the level of policy intentions,
things are happening.
The question is how much difference this will make in
the future. For the time being, no matter what innova-
tion, education or training indicators one consults, Af-
rica still scores way below the world average in every-
thing that matters: it has fewer researchers, publishes
fewer articles, has more trouble accessing venture
capital, does not register many patents, is less pre-
sent in global value chains, and in 2003 had a GERD/
GDP ratio of 0.025 per cent (excluding South Africa).
In 2003, fewer than half a million people studied sci-
ence, engineering, and agriculture in sub-Saharan Af-
rica, excluding South Africa. As a percentage of 20–24
year olds, that is roughly three times less than in other
developing countries.
Also, although according to the World Bank’s Invest-
ment Climate surveys, machinery imports are the sin-
gle most important source of technological innovation
in Africa, the share of machinery in total imports into


sub-Saharan Africa actually declined between 1980
and 2004. Since sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South
Africa) attracted only one per cent of global inward FDI
flows in 2000–2006, the much-vaunted advantages of
globalization through licensing and foreign ownership
are not exactly forthcoming, either. All these statistics
combine to ensure that sub-Saharan Africa’s per cap-
ita GDP is – along with South Asia’s – the lowest in the
world and some 10 times lower than the world aver-
age, and that life expectancy, in contrast to the rest of
the developing world, has actually been going down
since 1990 (Knell, 2008).
Recent assessments of African STI policies in the
global knowledge economy have been rather criti-
cal. In a baseline study on science, technology, and
higher education in the SADC region for the Southern
African Regional Universities Association (SARUA),
the authors highlight serious weaknesses in science
policies, particularly related to inadequate funding
and political support (SARUA, 2008: 7).3 They are also
cautious on the strategic role that universities are sup-
posed to play in the modern knowledge economy, ar-
guing that this idea may not be appropriate for coun-
tries with less developed STI systems.
In the face of such assessments, exhortations to
build at least one “world-class university in every Af-
rican country to attract, train and retain scientific tal-
ent, invigorate quality education and ensure a culture
of scientific excellence in Africa”, as proposed at a
stakeholder consultation of the ADB’s Strategic Ori-
entation in Support to Higher Education, Science and
Technology in 2007, seem but wishful thinking (ADB,
2007a: 3).4
In an analogous example, in a review of the strate-
gic orientation guiding the Poverty Reduction Strat-
egy Papers for 11 LDCs, UNCTAD (2007) concluded
that the new emphasis on growth was not matched
by attention to technological change as an important
source of that growth. This was attributed in part to the
fragmentation of S&T infrastructure in the 1990s as a
result of structural adjustment policies undertaken
during that period.
A background paper for UNIDO’s World Industrial De-
velopment Report 2001, based in part on examples
from Ghana, described sub-Saharan Africa’s science
and technology infrastructure as follows:
The infrastructure is small, passive, and largely inef-
fective. It is often poorly funded and motivated, and
has weak or no links with industry. Its ability to de-




149ANNEXES


velop, adapt and disseminate industrial technolo-
gies is weak. It seems to have little awareness of the
competitive needs of local industry, even less of how
new technologies can be introduced to potential us-
ers. […] An additional dimension of the negligible
institutional linkages in sub-Saharan Africa is the re-
lationship with educational institutions. Very few firms
collaborate with technical departments in universities
or polytechnics. […] Most technology institutions tend
to lack credibility with private firms, and cannot reach
out to them effectively. […] Thus, this infrastructure is
clearly unable to help weak industrial sectors that are
themselves endowed with poor technological capabil-
ities” (Pietrobelli, 2001: 33–34 (emphasis in original)).
Discussing Ghana in particular, Lall and Pietrobelli
(2002) and UNCTAD (2003) have argued that Ghana’s
success in developing its science and technology ca-
pabilities has been disappointing, and represents an
important constraint on the country’s development


and ability to compete in export industries, much as in
other African countries.
But unsatisfactory past performance does of course
not detract from the powerful insight that economic
development depends on the application of science
and technology and innovation, including for low-
income countries, and thus on the need to improve
future performance.5 Figure A.2.1 relates a composite
measure of technological capability to GDP per capi-
ta. It illustrates the strong correlation between the two
– higher levels of technological capability are evidently
linked to higher levels of per capita income, which is a
proxy for development.6
Similarly, research on the evolution of national inno-
vation systems suggests that (a) the number of and
channels for interaction among scientific infrastruc-
ture; (b) technological production; and (c) economic
growth change in relation to the level of economic


Figure A.2.1 GDP per capita and technological capability over 2000–2004


GD
P p


er
cap


ita


0


5,000


Tanzania Moldova
GeorgiaIndia


Algeria
UkraineChina


Bulgaria
MalaysiaBrazil


Latvia
Croatia


Slovakia EstoniaPolandSaudi ArabiaArgentina
South Africa


Mexico Russia
Chile


Hungary
Portugal


Czech Republic
Slovenia


Taiwan, Province of ChinaGreece


Spain


Rep. of Korea


New Zealand
Israel


Singapore
Finland


Sweden


Ireland


Australia


Norway United States


Netherlands
Canada


Germany


Switzerland


Australia
United Kingdom


Denmark


Italy Japan
France


Belgium


10,000


15,000


20,000


35,000


30,000


25,000


-1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5


Technological capability


Asia & Oceania AfricaEurope North & South America


Technological capability
Scientific articles 0.96
PCT applications 0.83
R&D 0.86
Doctoral enrolment 0.74
S&E enrolment 0.62
Professionals 0.77
Trademarks 0.62
ISO 9000 0.76
Computers 0.93
Internet 0.93
Phones 0.92
% of total variance 67.0


Source: Fagerberg and Srholec (2008).




150 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review - Ghana


development (Bernardes and Albuquerque, 2003).7
Thus, at low levels, countries have such low levels of
scientific output that no technological production re-
sults. This is not to say that investments in science
by poor countries are a waste of money. Almost by
definition, poor countries start at low levels. The is-
sue is that such low levels must be seen merely as a
stepping stone to successively higher levels of invest-
ment, simply because “a little bit of science” is unlikely
to generate even “a little bit of technology”. At me-
dium levels, interactions and feedbacks between the
two start to materialize. At high levels, all connections
are operative. An important conclusion of this work is
that there are thresholds between these various levels


which move over time. This means that countries with
ambitious STI agendas effectively shoot at moving
targets, in the sense that the technological achieve-
ments of the world constantly progress and thus be-
come harder to catch up to, unless national efforts are
dynamic as well. Figure A.2.2 illustrates the three lev-
els of interaction by drawing on data for 150 countries
for USPTO-registered patents and papers in the hard
and applied sciences recorded in the Thomson Reu-
ters ISI database. The first group shows no correlation
between scientific and technological output. Interac-
tions are stronger in the second group, and highest in
the third group.


Figure A.2.2 The three phases of catch-up


Source: Ribeiro et al. (2006).




151ANNEXES


NOTES
1 NEPAD (n.d.). See also NEPAD (2003).
2 For example, Juma and Serageldin (2007).
3 See also Mouton and Waast (2008).
4 New views on this may be forthcoming as a result of a global research project on the developmental role of


universities in the South (funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre under its Research
on Knowledge Systems (RoKS) programme), which includes Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.


5 Cf. Watkins and Ehst (2008), World Bank (2007).
6 For the full exposition, see Fagerberg and Srholec (2008).
7 See also Chaves and Moro (2007).
8 See Ribeiro et al. (2006) for a full exposition.


Figure A.2.3 illustrates the idea of moving thresholds
between levels 1 and 2, and 2 and 3, respectively, for
a number of prominent latecomer economies. Only
the Republic of Korea and Taiwan Province of China


advanced faster than the thresholds themselves, while
all others progressed, but not fast enough to graduate
out of level 2 and into level 3.8


Figure A.2.3 Scientific and technological production


Source: Ribeiro et al. (2006).




Pr
in


te
d


at
U


ni
te


d
Na


tio
ns


, G
en


ev
a–


GE
.1


1-
51


98
2–


No
ve


m
be


r 2
01


1–
2,


27
2–


UN
CT


AD
/D


TL
/S


TI
CT


/2
00


9/
8




Login