Ghana's innovation system: what's wrong with it, and why

SOURCE: African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Lorentzen
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6640
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/3975

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STI are expected to play a key role in lifting Ghana to middle-income status by 2020. Ghana is not alone in wanting to promote STI as a means to socio-economic development, governments throughout Africa have been making political commitments in support of the knowledge economy. The paper provides a micro-assessment of the Ghanaian national innovation system (NIS) and in particular of the role of the public research institutes and the three oldest and largest universities. It addresses the adequacy of public funding for the system along with its scientific and technological output and finds both below par. Reasons for underperformance lie further in the management of human resources, underdeveloped and badly understood institutions, widespread coordination failures, a lack of reflexivity and a general absence of effective linkages between the various elements of the system. The paper also point to success stories that illustrate the untapped potential of the NIS and suggest how the system could be improved.