1. Survey on the Use of Mobile Telephones for Micro and Small Business Development: The Case of Ghana

The objective of this study was to examine the level of usage and the contributions of mobile telephones to the growth of small business in small urban areas of Ghana.  The study sets to fill the gap in research on ICTs and micro and small businesses which occupy a critical niche in the country’s economy.

2. LICOM Project

The general objective of the LICOM project is to contribute in improving understanding of the challenges and conditions for implementing the liberalization of trade in ICT services within the framework of the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

3. TELFUN Project

It is multidisciplinary research involving social scientists, breeders, food technologists and human nutritionists. Under the Project, 12 PhD students are to be trained from the participating countries

4. African Science Technology and Innovation Indicator (ASTII) Survey

The objectives are to enable African countries to acquire a better understanding of their national and regional science and innovation systems; enhance skills of science, technology and innovation policy review and development; promote exchange of experience, expertise and information for science, technology and innovation policy and systems review and development; and strengthen multilateral cooperation in science and technology

5. Accra Pilot Project: Promoting Public Education and Policy Support for Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Accra

This was a collaborative research study involving 15 organisations and associations in Ghana. The main objective of this project was to provide policy support, educate, and enhance public awareness about the importance and challenges of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in the Accra Metropolitan Area. The specific objectives are:

    To review UPA policies of other cities/countries and produce a draft UPA policy document for consideration by the AMA;
    To improve public perception of UPA in the AMA;
    To sensitize the public about food safety issues in UPA.

6. CPWF Project No. 34: Improved fisheries productivity and management in tropical reservoirs

This was an international collaborative research involving three main countries Ghana, Egypt and India. The main objective of this project was “to increase the productivity of water and provide sustainable livelihoods to rural poor through improved fisheries management in tropical reservoirs”. The main project activities focused on 3 reservoirs in the Indo-Gangetic basin (Dahob in Madhya Pradesh, and Pahuj in Uttar Pradesh, both in India), the Lake Nasser in Egypt as part as the Nile basin, and the Lake Volta in Ghana as part as the Volta basin.  For each of those sites the specific objectives of the project were:

    To identify, develop, and test in collaboration with the main stakeholders, fisheries enhancement tools and strategies leading to increased fish productivity and better community livelihood prospects in reservoirs;
    To improve the understanding about the overall human contexts of those reservoirs and identify potential socio-institutional obstacles to the adoption of increased fishery productivity innovations;
    To facilitate the implementation of these fisheries productivity interventions by improving the stakeholders’ management skills and fostering their institutional capacities;
    To compile, analyze and disseminate the knowledge, methodologies and know-how on enhanced fisheries in tropical reservoirs generated by this project in order to contribute to the improved understanding of reservoir management.

The project activities encompassed an initial data inventory from a wide variety of tropical reservoirs within the 3 basins, detailed assessment of the selected reservoirs, development of enhancing tools and strategy options for those four reservoirs, market evaluation and post-captures improvements, dissemination of results, and training and capacity building.

7. Underutilized Plant Species

The objective of this study was to identify, review and screen existing policies that promote or hinder the effective use of underutilized plant species and to make appropriate recommendations for national policy formulation that would enhance effective conservation and sustainable use of underutilized plant species for food and agriculture.

Other projects

The Division took part in other projects which were undertaken collectively by the Institute. This includes the Rural Enterprises Project (REP) and the on-doing Micro-, Small- and Medium Scale Enterprises Project.

8. Rural Enterprises Project Objectives

The study had four main objectives. Firstly, to assess what businesses people are doing to earn a living, how they are performing and what should be done in terms of financial and technical assistance including equipment and back up services to help improve their work? Secondly, to assess potential business opportunities, available human and natural resources including raw materials in the district but are not yet exploited and what steps should be taken to exploit them for the benefit of the people. Thirdly, to assess factors that constraint business development in the district and their impact on wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction, and the overall development of the district and the country as a whole. Fourthly, based upon the findings suggest recommendations as a way forward.

9. Micro-, Small- and Medium Scale Enterprises Project

The main objective of the project is to identify the enterprises needing assistance, collaboration of the nature of the assistance and the strategies for assistance. Thus the specific objectives of the project are to:

    Conduct a survey of the micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Ghana and to indentify growth-oriented enterprises for upscaling by the project and prepare case studies on selected enterprises to guide the MSMEs project intervention;
    Define and develop market linkages for the selected MSMEs;
    Create awareness for the MSMEs Project among potential beneficiaries;
    Facilitate MSMEs project engagement with the MSMEs. 

10. Science and Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Review

The purpose of the STIP review is to help the government to align its science, technology and innovation policies with the goals of helping Ghanaian industry compete in a knowledge-based, global economy, generating better paying jobs for Ghanaians in Ghana, increasing standards of living, reducing poverty, and promoting the government’s growth and export diversification strategy.

11. Micro, Small and Enterprises Development and Promotion.

STEPRI aims at facilitating the implementation of the MSME project by conducting case studies to guide project intervention, development of market linkages and awareness creation.  Some activities under this project include:

    Hosting of the PACF Ghana Chapter
    Start-up workshops in Accra and Kumasi
    Organisation of Quarterly Competitiveness Forums
    Conduct of Surveys of Enterprises to Access the MSME facilities.

12.  STI Policy Dialogue Workshop
The Project is designed to engage STI stakeholders eg., policy makers, farmers, teachers, students, scientists in interaction to gather input for the revision of Ghana’s S&T policy.  Background papers have so far been prepared for the dialogue workshop to start in 2009.  The ultimate aim is to replace the 2000 National S&T Policy document.

13. ASTI-Award Survey on Gender Disaggregated Capacity Indicators
The Survey began in January 2008 with the sponsorship of the International  Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).  Data were collected from CSIR agricultural institutions and the Cocoa Research Institute.  The data collection has been completed and computerized.  A fact sheet has been produced.  STEPRI is to produce the first publication with IFPRI.

  14. Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA)

The Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) programme is being implemented in 24 Sub-Saharan universities across 12 countries. DRUSSA seeks to strengthen research uptake capacity and participation in the international development research system with the ultimate goal of improving the accessibility and utilisation of locally relevant research evidence to inform Sub-Saharan and global development policy and practice. The DRUSSA project is sponsored by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) with technical support from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). In Ghana, DRUSSA is being implemented by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI). The collaborating institutions are the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) at Makerere University and the Association of             Commonwealth Universities (ACU). The participating ministries are the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

DRUSSA has three main components namely:

  1. Policy symposia for senior officials: A regular series of short, invitation only symposia, bringing senior officials and senior academics together around thematic areas of research and policy focusing on topical issues concerning national policy in the respective ministerial domain.
  2. Professional development courses on ‘handling science and evidence’ for junior and mid-level policy advisors: A short, modular executive education course, aimed at officials in ministries and other government agencies, enabling technical staff to improve their abilities to access, evaluate and use research evidence through professional learning.
  3. Early career policy fellowship scheme: A scheme to embed academic expertise within a specific policy unit. Research Fellows would take up a 6-12 month placement in each ministry to enable day-to-day interaction between research and policy professionals.

The overall goal of DRUSSA is to improve the accessibility and utilisation of locally relevant research evidence to inform Sub-Saharan and global development policy and practice.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Raise the level of discussion around research evidence at senior ministry levels;
  • Equip technical staff with practical skills and support senior civil servants in the use of research evidence; and
  • Encourage a culture of evidence-informed approaches to policy formulation, implementation and monitoring & evaluation.

15. The CSIR-Technology Development and Transfer Center (TDTC)

The CSIR-Technology Development and Transfer Center aims at developing a structured mechanism that facilitates effective transfer of CSIR technologies to the private sector on one hand. On the other hand, the structured system ensures the generation of ideas from the private sector for the development of appropriate innovations and technologies that provide business solutions. This market-oriented project is under the Component 2 of the Ghana Skills and Technology Development Programme. The participating CSIR institutes include Animal Research Institute (ARI), Food Research Institute (FRI), Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), Water Research Institute (WRI), Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Crops Research Institute (CRI), and Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI). The project objectives are:

  • To establish a private-sector oriented program based on institutional incentive schemes;
  • To develop and implement a structured model for engaging the private sector in partnerships for technology development and transfer;
  • To develop capacity on technology transfer that enhances knowledge and skills of the TDTC staff, the researchers and other relevant staff whilst also addressing the technology adoption capacity needs of the private sector entrepreneurs; and
  • To create a system or platform for intensive research-industry interaction.

The project has establishment of Technology Development & Transfer Center (TDTC) at the CSIR-STEPRI Office. Infrastructural Development including Logistics for offices including furniture, computers, photocopiers, binding machines and projector were procured through the CSIR procurement system as well as a 4x4 Vehicle for TDTC. Other achievements of the project include capacity Needs Assessment Survey for baseline information and development of training modules for training; capacity Building of Project Core Staff, Focal Persons and Research Scientists; orgaanisation of sensitization workshops; Research-Industry interaction; technology profiling of all marketable technologies developed by the participating CSIR Institutes; creation of TDTC Website; and selection and funding of 20 market-ready CSIR technologies through a competitive Grant Award Scheme. The selection process involves, call for proposals, screening and final selection by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Transfer of total Award Sum of maximum GHC30,000 (US$10,000 equiv.) per research-private sector technology transfer arrangement.

16. Multi-National Enterprises in Emerging Markets (MNEmerge)

MNEmerge is a collaborative research project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (EU FP7) for research, technological development and demonstration. Its aim is to provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the impact of multinational enterprises (MNEs) on United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries using case studies, quantitative data as well as policy analysis. The consortium that have been assembled for this project have been an active contributor to the multinationals research already before the project and it has extensive expertise on studying societal problems in emerging markets. The project combines the strengths of the partners and it is carried out by an international, interdisciplinary team involving researchers from Finnish, British and Dutch institutes as well as Indian, Ghanaian and Brazilian organisations. The issues studied in this project are varied but there is a common thread uniting all of its sub-themes, they all relate to how MNEs manage their activities in one of the following areas: FDI, business functioning, technology and innovation strategies, corporate philanthropy or socially responsible investment. We analyze in detail how these issues can contribute to the attainment of poverty alleviation, food security, health security, environmental security and electrification in developing countries. The project has four key objectives, namely:

  • Development of a framework to analyse MNE impact towards socio-economic development,
  • Development of a model that describes the relationship between MNE, FDI and the economy,
  • Analysis of the role of public policies in supporting responsible business practices and the Millennium Development Goals, and
  • Case studies and quantitative analysis to support the methodological framework model on health, environment and energy

The collaborating institutions under this project are the University of Technology, Finland; King’s College London; Brunel University, UK; University of Oxford, UK; United Nations University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Public Health Foundation of India; University of Turku, Finland; and CSIR- STEPRI, Ghana. The major activity conducted was the preparation of a Background Report on Multi-National Enterprises in the Agricultural Sector.

17. Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) for Resilience to Climate Change Impact on Water Availability in Ghana        

Ghana like other nations is prone to the effects of climate change which are evident now in the rise in sea level, high intensity of rainfall, flooding and long periods of drought. Its effect on the quality and quantity of freshwater in Ghana cannot be over-emphasized and the result of this is that most households and institutions in Ghana have no access to portable water. There is an urgent need for an alternative source of water supply to meet the short fall in current water supply. It is against this background that SINTEF, a leading research institution in Norway in collaboration with the Water Research Institute (WRI) and Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) both of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) initiated a research project dubbed “Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) resilience to climate change impact on water availability in Ghana.

The project is financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) through the Nordic Climate Facility and aims to achieve the set objectives by: Assessment and development of appropriate and innovative model of RWH systems, installation of the model RWH systems in 20 households and 2 schools, training of artisans in building RWH systems as a means for local business development, monitoring both the quality and quantity of the harvested water and engage stakeholders, evaluate and promote the model RWH systems in Ghana in line with the National Rainwater Harvesting Strategy. The objectives of the project are:

  • Increase resilience to climate change impact on water availability in Ghana;
  • Facilitate business development in RWH technology;
  • Improve urban livelihoods;
  • Increase water availability in selected household and schools;
  • Make affordable, appropriate and innovative RWH systems more available in Ghana; and
  • Strengthen human and institutional capacities in RWH.

The project has accomplished the following activities:

  • Organized four training workshops for thirty artisans (masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians) mainly on roof assessment, installation of the systems, as well as business development in RWH. Topics covered include costing, business opportunity identification, registration of business, customer relation and marketing, financial options, cluster formation etc.
  • Organization of stakeholders’ workshops where all the key stakeholders in the water sector were brought together and preliminary findings from the project have been presented for their input. Meetings and seminars have also been organized as a means of dialogue with the stakeholders who mainly include members from Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing (MWRWH), Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Water Resources Commission (WRC), Ghana Real Estate Development Association (GREDA), National Development Planning Commission, the media etc.
  • Completion of installation of the RWH systems in fourteen (14) houses in Accra;
  • Socio-economic monitoring and evaluation of beneficiaries of the RWH systems
  • Monitoring of quantity and quality of harvested water; and
  • Promotion of the RWH technology in Ghana through outreach events at a Shopping mall in Accra, Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) forum and seminars with key stakeholders including policy makers, technocrats, estate developers among others.

18. IFPRI-STEPRI: Agricultural Science and Technology Indicator Survey (ASTI)

Agricultural Science and Technology Indicator ASTI survey is a collaborative research project between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI). ASTI conducts primary surveys to collect data from government, higher education, nonprofit, and private agricultural R&D agencies. ASTI survey has been carried out in about 40 African countries including Ghana in order to update data on agricultural research investments, human resource capacity and research focus themes.

This survey has been carried over the years in Ghana and the current one which started in 2012 will end in April 2014. After analyzing the resulting raw data, ASTI in collaboration with the national focal point publishes quantitative and qualitative information and trends on funding sources, spending levels and allocations, and human resource capacities, at the country level. ASTI’s data and analysis constitute a powerful decision making resource for national and regional research managers, policymakers, donor organizations, partners, and other stakeholders. The project seeks to:

  • provide high-quality, up-to-date datasets on agricultural R&D; 
  • conduct ongoing analysis of its agricultural R&D datasets;
  • communicate the results of its analysis to promote advocacy and support policymaking;
  • build national and regional capacity for both data collection and data analysis;
  • provide up-to-date data and information on Agricultural R&D to enable policy makers make informed decision at the national level.

19. Business Opportunity Identification Study/REP Phase 1&2

The role and contribution of small businesses, particularly micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to rural households’ economies cannot be overemphasized. MSEs in rural economies are not only significant to households but also play crucial roles in national economic growth and development by providing employment, income and food security for the many vulnerable and poor households. Through this singular effort, the MSEs help to reduce poverty in poverty stricken communities. Rural Enterprise Project now Rural Enterprises Programme has since 1995 been working with the Municipal/District Assemblies and other stakeholder to establish and expand small businesses in rural communities of Ghana. To develop fully the potential of these businesses while scouting for new ones, government through REP and with funding from AfDB, consulted STEPRI to conduct a Business Opportunity Identification Survey (BOIS) to inform REP’s intervention strategy for promoting small business operations in the rural areas of Ghana.

The overall objective of the REP is to improve the livelihoods and incomes of micro and small operators in rural communities. Specifically, the projects aims at using a district-based model for development based on access to business development services, rural financing and appropriate technology transfer and skill training modules. In line with this, CSIR- STEPRI conducted BOIS in a total of ninety-five (95) selected districts in Ghana. The study employed 4 key data collection instruments involving a survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions as well as personal observations. The research team also interacted with key informants in the selected districts/municipalities including District/Municipal Chief Executives, the Coordinating Directors and the Planning Officers of the Assemblies. Information gathered includes the natural resource endowments, the business environment, local and traditional skills, and potentially viable businesses (existing and new). Other information gathered includes the capacity of existing BAC staff and offices in handling business training at the district levels. The background information obtained from the districts was analyzed and used to develop a training module for the training of the BAC staff on how to update the inventory of business opportunities in their respective districts.

20. Diffusion of Innovation in Low Income Countries (DILIC) Project

In developing countries, technological innovation is fundamental for industrialization and catch-up. However, technological innovation has been traditionally concentrated in a few developed countries, given the costs and risks involved in fomenting technological innovation. Foreign sources of technology account for a larger part of productivity growth in most countries. The development process in Low Income Countries (LICs) therefore can be supported by tapping existing knowledge and know-how. The transfer, adoption and adaptation of knowledge to LICs hence constitute an important issue for economic growth and global development. Innovative capacity in LICs is, however, critical for the successful transfer and adaptation of knowledge. Yet several constraints and obstacles prevent firms from innovating. Addressing these constraints, to build functional innovation systems and enhance innovative capacity, is fundamental to socio-economic development in LICs.

Against this backdrop, the Diffusion of Innovation in Low Income Countries (DILIC) project which involved a team of investigators and advisors from various universities and international organisations in Europe and Africa was formed to investigate the determinants and transmission channels for the dissemination of innovations in firms under severe institutional and resource constraints. The collaborating Institution is the Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The two objectives of the project are: To understand the barriers to innovation and diffusion in LICs at the firm level and to identify useful industrial and relevant policies to overcome the barriers under institutional, resource and affordability constraints.

In line with the main research activities, a conference was held on the 3rd November, 2014 at CSIR-STEPRI in Accra by TMCD and STEPRI under the theme Innovation and African Development”. The research findings of the three year research project on the determinants and impact of technology transfer in and to low income countries was presented. The DILIC Conference also launched the DILIC report which included the main findings from an innovation survey of more than 500 formal and informal firms in Ghana. The innovation survey was carried out in Ghana. A total of about 100 participants made up of policy makers, academics and practitioners from government and private institutions and organizations were present at the conference. The speakers included Pierre Mohnen (UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University), Prof. Xiaolan Fu(University of Oxford), Mr. Varghese Alexander, country representative of UNIDO and other researchers from the University of Oxford and CSIR-STEPRI.

Presentations and discussions were on the following topics:

  • Importance of innovation in Africa development;
  • The DILIC project and the DILIC innovation survey;
  • Firms environment and innovation activities;
  • Constraints and objectives of innovation;
  • Sources of innovation in LICs;
  • Foreign sources of knowledge and innovation;
  • The role of innovation policy.

The DILIC Conference was followed by a two-day training course in Accra. A total of about 35 participants from government and private institutions and organizations representing policy makers, academics, researchers, lecturers and entrepreneurs who had interest in innovation were present to participate in the course. It provided the state of the art knowledge on the determinants and impact of technology transfer in and to the low income countries. It also presented to participants insights on designing and administrating innovation surveys.

21. Advancing Sub-Saharan Africa – European Union cooperation in research and innovation for global challenges (CAAST-Net Plus)

CAAST-NET Plus is a network of 26 partners based in Europe and Africa. It is based on the goal of strengthening research and innovation between the two regions to effectively tackle global challenges of health, food security, and climate change. Ghana is represented on the platform by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI). The objectives are:

  • To encourage new and diverse multi-stakeholder partnerships that, through research and innovation, tackles the global challenges in health, food security, and climate change that affect Europe and Africa.
  • To enable better understanding between the public and private sector in Africa and Europe of the link between research and innovation, and to identify and share opportunities for cooperation through networking and communication.
  • To facilitate exchanges that result in learning and that support formal policy dialogues, in partnership with the 8th Joint-EU Strategy, for more effective research and innovation cooperation.

The general project activities of the platform include:

  • Strengthening bi-regional research and innovation cooperation in health, food security, and climate change through policy and situational analysis, and multi-stakeholder networking activities;
  • Supporting informal and formal policy dialogue processes, and offering practical support to bi-regional research partnerships and networks to enable effective cooperation; and
  • Disseminating key results effectively, and providing a multi-media platform for communication and interaction within relevant African and European research and innovation communities.

The general project activities are however executed through Work Packages. The activities are divided into seven Work Packages of which each Work Package is divided into several ‘Tasks’. Ghana (CSIR-STEPRI) is involved in the Work Packages 2 and 5. Work Package 2 focuses on the facilitation of bi-regional research and innovation cooperation. CSIR-STEPRI is involved in an in-depth analysis of the extent to which recent and on-going bi-regional cooperation have contributed to meeting the climate change partnership of JAES action plan 1 and 2. CSIR-STEPRI has since conducted the expected research and made inputs to the reports produced. WP 5 focuses on strengthening Africa-EU research cooperation partnerships. It provides training of National Contact Points and general information dissemination on the new EU STI funding framework of Horizon 2020.

For the purpose of implementation, the WP is divided into three tasks;

Task 1: Advisory and support mechanisms to African and European Researchers.

Task 2: Country Focal Point Training; and

Task 3: Monitoring and analysis of bi-regional cooperation

In pursuance of the above, CSIR-STEPRI in collaboration with other partners including Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece and Jyvaskylan Yliopisto (UniPID) in Finland have conducted a joint advisory and support for African researchers and National Contact Points trainings in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia. Other Beneficiary countries include: the Gambia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. STEPRI has also accomplished its task of contributing to the monitoring and analysis of the bi-regional cooperation.

22. Pan African Competitiveness Forum (PACF Ghana Chapter)    

The Pan-African Competitiveness Forum (PACF) was established in April 2008 in Addis Ababa with the support of the African Union (AU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in collaboration with The Competitiveness Institute (TCI). The establishment of the PACF was in response to the concern to see Africa develop in a sustainable manner and achieve the Millennium Development Goals within the foreseeable future, and get integrated into the global economy. The PACF’s vision of Africa’s integration and effective competition on the global stage is founded on innovation and cluster-based initiatives bringing government, academia and business into a triple helix partnership. CSIR-STEPRI is the host of the Ghana Chapter, comprising entrepreneurs, academia/research institutions, and government.

  • STEPRI conducted a nation-wide cluster mapping to identify opportunities for enhanced value addition and competitiveness.
  • The Chapter facilitated the participation of the Clusters in a number of conferences: PACF inaugural conference in Addis; PACF conference in Entebbe Uganda 2011; PACF conference in Nigeria 2012.
  • Partly sponsoring 2010 PACF conference hosted by Ghana, including the publishing of the conference proceedings;
  • Organized and facilitated separate workshops for clusters e.g. GATCI of Accra, Accra Mushroom cluster, Eastern Region GNTDA, and Central Region GNTDA in Elmina (2013 – 2014).
  • The Ghana Chapter facilitated the participation of the clusters in the 7th ECOWAS Trade Fair held in Ghana from the 26th October to 14th November, 2013 with support from the National Board for Small Scale Industries.

The achievements of the project are:

  • The growth of registered clusters under the PACF Ghana Chapter, from just three in 2009 to eight (GATCI of Accra, Accra Mushroom cluster, Eastern Region GNTDA, Central Region GNTDA in Elmina, Eastern Region Rabbit Cluster, Accra Dairy Cluster, Kumasi Wood Cluster, Tamale Shea Cluster) active clusters in 2014. With each cluster’s membership ranging from 6 – 40.
  • Improved relationships among the enterprises and their suppliers; for instance there is an improved working relationship between the mushroom growers and marketers which has contributed significantly to the increase in the sale of mushroom by farmers.
  • Intensification of relationship between businesses and research institutions. For instance, the mushroom cluster was linked up with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to learn new ways of producing other varieties of mushroom.
  • The Garment and Textile Cluster has championed the standardization of dress codes in the informal sector of their trade. The Ghana Standards Authority has approved the standards and through the MSME project the standards have been replicated in the Eastern Region of Ghana, with the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association.
  • The very establishment of Clusters outside the Greater Accra region is an achievement by itself. Some potential clusters were discovered from a nationwide cluster mapping. commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MSME Project).
  • Contracts were facilitated for clusters in other businesses eg in the Oil and Gas industry.
  • Provision of venue of meetings for mushroom cluster at STEPRI.

23. Developing an Enabling Scientific Equipment Policy in Africa: Ghana Study

The scientific endeavor in Africa and the developing world is saddled with challenges of which one of the most critical is infrastructure. A major concern in infrastructure is equipment. It is important to recognize that the problem of equipment is intimately associated with the deficiency of policies and frameworks that facilitate and enable procurement, commissioning and decommissioning of science equipment, and management systems for maintenance, including the availability of trained manpower. The urgency of the task facing today’s scientists in Africa and across the developing world will require continuous support to enable them to contribute to securing affordable food, water and energy for the increasing population. Scientists need to have an enabling environment that will enable them to deliver on their mandates. All of this is dependent on the hardware conditions they work with.

There are sector-specific policies in Agriculture, Health, Education, Environment, Energy, Trade, Industry, Natural Resources, Human Settlements and Communications which shall be driven by sector specific S&T programmes. The Ghana STI situation and the lack of coherent and well-articulated policies on scientific equipment is a frequently encountered feature of the African S&T experience. This study is a follow-up to the Scientific Equipment Project Inception Workshop held by the African Academy of Science (AAS) in Nairobi from 6-7 November 2013. The collaborating institutions were the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and the (AAS). The rationale for the study was to understand the prevailing situation of scientific equipment in Africa generally. Three countries were identified for pilot studies, namely Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya. In Ghana, the study aimed at presenting te scientific equipment situation and formulating recommendations for amelioration. The overall purpose of the study was to assess how science equipment policy can facilitate scientific endeavour across Africa. The specific objectives of the study are:

  • Reviewing the effectiveness of science equipment policies (if available) of key organisations in Ghana in relation to organisational structures and systems.
  • Mapping the national research and policy landscape, i.e., identifying the key scientific institutions, and the national and institutional policies of relevance to scientific equipment.

The study results indicated that Ghana’s scientific institutions are grappling with several challenges including:

  • Inadequate funds to budget for scientific equipment;
  • Bureaucracy and delays in provision of tax exemption on duty of research equipment, resulting in some institutions paying for duty even though they qualify;
  • Inadequate logistics;
  • Obsolete scientific equipment which do not provide reliable results;
  • Inadequate training of scientific staff on use of scientific equipment, and high rates of staff turnover;
  • Almost no or little local content in scientific equipment because there are no local manufacturers of scientific equipment, especially for schools. 

24. Creating Strategic Framework for the Development of Public Access in Ghana

The importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to socio-economic development cannot be over-emphasised. Therefore increase in ICT services has assumed great importance. Percentage of households with internet access, by regions in 2011 showed a wide gap between Europe (71%) and Africa (4%). In Ghana, 14% of the population have access to the internet. At the household level, RIA studies showed that internet at that level had been low though improving. It was 0.3% in the 2007/8 household survey and increased to 3% in the 2011/12. Recent Digital Divide Study conducted in 2013 put Ghanaian internet users at 14.2%.

The fear of exclusion has resulted in the development of programmes and initiatives that should significantly increase access and use of ICTs by the majority of the people. Some of these structures include public access venues (PAVs) which provide ICT services to the public for a fee. Studies have shown that with the low penetration of internet at household levels, majority of Ghanaians patronise PAVs to meet their informational needs. In a recent study by Research ICT Africa, nearly 84.7% of internet users patronised internet cafes, followed by use at educational facilities (50.9%) and at home (44.3%). Mobile dongles are used for internet access by 31%, while 33.6% used community information centres.

Public access survey led in Ghana by TASCHA emphasised the importance of such facilities for socio-economic activities of the users and also providing opportunities for users to acquire ICT skills. From the study, about 36% used the facilities of the PAVs for leisure, 27% for education and learning, 10% for health related activities and the rest used it for culture and governance activities. This finding emphasised the need for more attention to be given to the development of these facilities to provide efficient services to the users.

The development of PAVs had underlined Ghana’s quest to achieve universal access to ICT services in the country. General provisions have been in the Ghana’s ICT for Accelerated Development and National Telecommunications Policy to support the development and deployment of PAVs as one of the mechanisms to achieve universal access. The Ministry of Communications have initiated the process of reviewing the national ICT4AD to align the policy to current developments in the ICT sector and the national development agenda. This provides a good opportunity to contribute to the process by assessing how far government’s policy objectives had been achieved in relation to public access. The study aims to contribute to policy making process in order to support the development of public access to internet and broadband services.

25. Establishing Multi stakeholder Platforms in the Kumasi Rice hub of Ghana

The project aims at establishing value chain among all stakeholders in the rice hub of Kumasi. It brings together all players in the field of rice development. This is a collaborative work between Ghana represented by the CSIR and AfricaRice in Benin. Similar projects are being undertaken in other African countries. The objective of the project is to bring all stakeholders in the rice industry along the rice development value chains and to discuss and share ideas on opportunities, constraints and the way forward in the rice value chain system. Through the study, a group of stakeholders have been identified in the Kumasi Rice hub and put together to form what is referred to as temporal stakeholders in the Kumasi rice industry. They comprises actors such as rice producers, microfinance institutions, business advisory centers, agro-dealers, service providers, traders, packagers, millers among other.

26. Disseminating Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices in Ghana through formation of Ghana Soil Health Consortium (GSHC)

Soil health research findings from the different zones are mainly shared among researchers and development partners from the respective zones and are rarely shared among other scientists in the other zones. National forums which bring together researchers working on the same theme to share and discuss findings and recommendations from their zonal work are few and uncoordinated. Furthermore, the research findings are not packaged in user-friendly forms to be utilized by the end users such as farmers, extensionists, policy makers etc, exacerbating the problem of poor uptake and impacting negatively on the livelihoods of the farmers. This project therefore aims at contributing to food security through the scaling up of ISFM technologies released by different zones, institutions and other partners among small-scale resource-poor farmers in Ghana. The main objective of this project is to help improve the agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers in Ghana through the promotion of the uptake of ISFM technologies. The specific objectives are to: improving production of ISFM information, technologies or innovations by stakeholders i.e. farmers, policy makers, extension workers and input dealers; enhancing the capacity in harmonizing and consolidating ISFM innovations by harmonizing the approaches, recommendations and protocols by key institutions engaged in agricultural research; and to enhance the dissemination of ISFM information, technologies or innovations by developing and hosting the national ISFM database and appropriate knowledge products. Several activities are to be carried out under this. Some of these are listed below

  • Develop evidenced-based policy briefs on ISFM knowledge, technologies and innovation products for policy makers
  • Mainstream ISFM technologies into MOFA programs
  • Organize training of trainers workshops on ISFM
  • Train agro-dealers, extension workers and researchers on ISFM dissemination
  • Package ISFM materials into user friendly form
  • Develop ISFM communication tools
  • Educate radio presenters and other media persons (especially agro based programme hosts) on ISFM and its disseminatio