Africa Has Not Added Value to the Electricity Sector – Prof Aryeetey

Professor-Ernest-AryeeteyAfrica had not added per capital value to the electricity sector for the past 30 years, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon said on Friday.

He added that mismanagement and heavy subsidy had contributed to the current challenges being experienced in the electricity sector in most African countries.

Prof Aryeetey stated at a seminar on Intellectual Property organised by the Office of Research, Innovation and Development of the UG in Accra.

It was on the theme: “Intellectual Property: Harnessing the Next Generation of Innovators at the University of Ghana.”

Prof Aryeetey said Africans had the expertise to generate electricity but lacked the innovation to generate and supply power at a cheaper cost to the citizenry.

He said Africans, particularly; Ghanaians had not effectively used innovation as a tool to address the challenges in the energy, food and health sectors.

Prof Aryeetey called for governmental support to enable scientists to research into providing solutions to industrial challenges.

“Solutions may be in the form of the discovery of a new plant variety resistant to diseases, pests and drought; the discovery of economically viable and sustainable sources of energy; or a new vaccine,” he said.

Prof Aryeetey noted that the advancement of Ghana as a knowledge-based economy hinged on creativity and innovation of researchers and scientists.

“Our innovative capabilities are key in driving the force needed to sustain the socio-economic well-being of our dear motherland,” he added.

Prof Aryeetey advised that ingenuity and creativity of researchers and scientist needed to be harnessed and protected.

He announced that UG had been accepted as a partner university under the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) University Initiative Programme.

WIPO is the United Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual property (patents, copyright, trademarks and designs) as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity.

Prof Aryeetey expressed optimism that the partnership would assist the University to strengthen its intellectual property and technology management capacities.

He urged the University community to be innovative to find solutions to existing problems improve existing solutions and discover “new and technical methods of doing things”.

Prof Aryeetey pledged that he would collaborate with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation as well as the private sector to facilitate the effective use of the intellectual property systems generated by the University.

Source: GNA

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