A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has called on the government to commit funds into research projects to enhance the nation’s socio-economic development.

He said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could only be achieved if more resources are made available to the promotion of research projects.

The SDGs are made up of 17 proposed goals highlighting a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

At the Research Awards and Grants ceremony of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Cape Coast last Wednesday, Prof. Aryeetey said “the achievements of such goals can only be possible if there is a solid knowledge on the economy.”

The awards ceremony provided a platform for the research awardees and grantees to share their research output and experiences with policy-makers, academics, industrialists and the general public for the purpose of promoting national socio-economic transformation.

The UCC, in line with its Strategic Plan, is committed to promoting research for national development by responding to the needs of industry and policy makers and transforming livelihoods.

Prof. Aryeetey said although a lot of tertiary institutions undertook research projects, there was not enough evidence to that effect and, therefore, underscored the need for a strong research advocacy scheme to attract the attention of the government and other institutions.

He noted for instance that agriculture, which is a strong base for the country’s development, could only succeed if there was modern relevant knowledge of how to improve that sector.

He added that because of the expensive nature of research projects, governments across the world only selected a few institutions and invested a lot of funds there to achieve results.

Prof. Aryeetey commended the UCC for initiating the project and added that “what you seek to achieve is possible but needs a lot of sacrifices and commitment.”

On the success of the project, he advised the university to forge partnership with other institutions to shore up the reputation of the institutions involved.

He said a conglomerate of 16 universities had been formed to make sure that, in 10 years, 75 per cent of staff of such universities had PhDs, instead of the current 45 per cent.

The Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, expressed the delight that many of the faculties in the university had shown interest in the efforts to step up research and pledged to cut down on the budgetary allocations in some department particularly fuel, and direct same into research projects.

Prof. Ampiah announced that the university was working on its internet connectivity to strengthen its research base, and added that “we will be able to have an enhanced platform in the next two months.”

He urged lecturers to apply for research grants and also make publications in journals that were visible.

SOURCE: Daily Graphic