In line with CSIR-STEPRI’s mandate, and through the support of development partners, the following research programmes and development activities were carried out during the year under review:
Duration: 4 years (from 1st Nov 2018)
Source of Funding: European Commission
Location: Ghana, Africa, Europe
Principal Investigator: Dr. George Essegbey
Participating Scientists: Dr. Rose Omari, Ibrahim Asante, Sylvia Baah-Tuahene
Collaborating Institutions: 20 European partners (from 14 countries); 15 African partners (from 8 countries)
LEAP4FNSSA is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) that aims at establishing a Europe-Africa International Research Consortium (IRC). The IRC will provide a tool for all European and African institutions ready to engage in a sustainable partnership platform for research and innovation on Food and Nutrition Security as well as Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).
To establish a sustainable structure, or ‘Platform’, for the efficient and coherent implementation of the AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership as described in the FNSSA Roadmap.
LEAP4FNSSA is being implemented through 5 work packages as follows. STEPRI is co-leading the WP2 with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). WP2 will improve the effectiveness of the AU-EU FNSSA Partnership by contributing to the creation of strategic FNSSA Alliances in R&I, as part of the envisaged multi-actor Platform based on the HLPD FNSSA Roadmap of 2016 to jointly plan and implement research. The aim of this strategy will be to improve coordination and launch collaborative actions, in particular set up support mechanisms (including funding mechanism) for fostering the proposed FNSSA Platform to which the design and testing of an Africa-Europe Knowledge Management and Communication Framework (KMCF) is key. STEPRI is also a member of the project steering committee and thus, participates in the monthly meetings as well as support other work packages.
Major activities in 2021 quarter 4
Initiating the West Africa-Europe Alliance
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the consortium partners have slightly modified the original work plan. Thus, they have introduced ‘hybrid workshops’ where all the Tasks are contributing in various ways. As part of the process for establishing the West Africa- EU Alliances, WP2 has constituted 3 working groups (WGs) i.e., WG 1 – Theory of Change and Impact Pathways; WG 2 – Communication concept; and WG 3 – Data & Knowledge Management.
The initial membership of the WGs comprises some sub regional organisations (i.e., CORAF, ECOWAS, WASCAL, and CILSS). There was an initial meeting where the Chair for each WG was elected. The chair’s role is to moderate and facilitate the working group meetings/workshops and the development of the relevant documents. To this end, a series of virtual workshops have been held on (1) Theory of Change and Impact Pathways, (2) Communication Concept for the Sorting House Mechanism (SHM) for the WAEA and Data & Knowledge Management. The aims of the workshops were to
Among others, WG1 will work to develop a common situational analysis as a first step in the co-design of a TCIP; WG2 will co-develop a Communication Concept for the Sorting House Mechanism (SHM) for the WAEA (making reference to existing communication frameworks); WG3 will jointly produce the “WAEA Interfaces and Collaboration in Data and Knowledge Management’, which will guide data and knowledge management activities within the Alliance.
Mode of collaboration
Initiating the North Africa-Europe Alliance
Mirroring the process being used for the WAEA, the North Africa- EU Alliance (NAEA) has been initiated and eight workshops organised with stakeholders from research, funding, academic and private sector to identify major issues in the subregions, identify stakeholders to join the working groups, identify working group leaders and jointly work on the documents on the AFRIS platform.
Complementary strategy introduced
Due to the slow pace at which working group members are working to jointly develop the relevant documents, a survey has been developed to gather information from a wider segment of stakeholder to feed into the documents. Survey has been launched and data collection is ongoing.
The LEAP4FNSSA consortium will participate in the external review meeting on 26-28 January 2022. The partners in WP2 will host the Good Morning Stakeholder Forum ‘From Model to Practice’ as a means of contributing to the Long-term AU-EU Platform for R&I on food, nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). The overall aim of the event is to bring funding institutions and stakeholders from the West Africa-EU Alliance (WAEA) and the North Africa-EU Alliance (NAEA) together as a Focus Group. The events dates are as follows:
Duration: 3 years
Source of Funding :AGRA
Location: Ghana (Nation-wide)
Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Omari
Participating Scientists: Dr. Emmanuel Kodjo Tetteh, Ms. Afua Bonsu Sarpong-Anane, Ransford Teng-viel Karbo, Ibrahim Kwame Asante, Dr. Abdulai Adams, Sylvia Baah-Tuahene
Collaborating Institution(s): Plants and Regulatory Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (PPRSD-MOFA)
Due to the detrimental effects of aflatoxins on food and nutrition security, health and the economy, the African Union Commission has prioritized aflatoxins as a major food safety problem and has therefore established the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control (PACA) to help address the problem on the continent. With the help of PACA, ECOWAS developed its action plan for aflatoxin control, which was adopted by Ministers of Agriculture in 2015. ECOWAS Member states are accordingly required to adapt this action plan to their specific contexts and ensure its mainstreaming into existing policies and programmes. It is in this vein that a grant was sought from AGRA to develop this national policy that will spell out an action plan together with a technical regulation that will ensure adequate enforcement of aflatoxins standards.
The goal is to catalyse and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation by reducing the prevalence and level of aflatoxin contamination in food and feed for smallholder farmers. The objective is to strengthen government multi-sectoral coordination, and mutual accountability in the agricultural sector.
Situational analysis, policy review, stakeholder consultations.
Results Achieved so far
Duration: 18 months
Source of Funding: German Government through ZEF
Location: Ghana, Nationwide
Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Omari
Participating Scientists: Dr. Godfred Kwesi Frempong, Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, Dr. Emmanuel Kodjo Tetteh, Dr. Adams Abdulai and Ransford Teng-viel Karbo
Collaborating Institutions: KALRO (Kenya), Nigeria, and ZEF (Bonn, Germany), FARA
The rapid spread of mobile phones and networks in rural Africa has stimulated the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based initiatives in the agriculture sector in most African countries. Much of the focus to date has been on offering services, such as information, marketing and financial transactions, to farmers via their mobile phone. Most of these initiatives still depend on external financial support, remain small, often duplicate and have limited impact. Other promising applications of ICTs, such as big data gathering and analytics, social networks, robotics, the internet of things or remote sensing, are increasingly attracting attention, but have not yet been widely applied. Thus, the significant potential of ICTs to improve productivity and market integration in Africa has not yet been realized.
The study will assess the use and impact of ICTs among agricultural intermediaries.
H1: Intermediaries make extensive use of ICTs in their operations.
H2: Use of ICTs among intermediaries increases reach, quality and profitability of their services.
H3: Use of ICTs among intermediaries facilitates adoption and use of digital and non-digital agricultural innovations.
H4: Intermediaries facilitate collective action for innovation, thereby enabling others in the network to become intermediaries in the innovation system.
Identical surveys will be carried out in Ghana (CSIR-STEPRI), Kenya (KALRO), Mali (IER) and Nigeria (ARCN), focusing on three groups of intermediaries:
Results Achieved so far
The study has been completed and both technical and financial reports submitted to the project Coordinator at FARA. Firstly, the findings were presented and discussed among consortium partners in September 2021. Secondly, the findings were presented at the Knowledge Dissemination Webinar jointly organised by FARA and ZEF held on 15th-16th December 2021.
Findings suggested that the main type of ICT devices used for professional activities was mobile phones even though they owned other ICT devices like radio, TV, computer and tablet. Of these devices, mobile phones are used on daily basis and mainly to communicate business related information with clients in the value chain. High cost and poor network connectivity are observed to be the main hindrances to the use of these tools. The level of digital skills or knowledge is considerably high (given most of the communities are rural) among the three intermediaries but this is more prominent among AEAs (≥ 92%) than agro-output (≥ 29.1%) and input (≥ 30.5%) dealers. The mode of business transactions has also transformed through reduction in regular face-to-face interaction, thereby reducing time and cost to business transactions particularly among agro-input dealers. Important benefits (speed of interaction and profitability) of ICTs use in business are observed for all three intermediaries. ICTs use is more profitable for business to agro-input (87.1%) and output (87.8%) dealers than AEAs (75.9%), although AEAs possess most of the ICT tools and also use them more frequently than agro-output and input dealers. The period of Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed an increase in use of ICTs among the intermediaries, AEAs (77%), agro-output dealers (63%) and agro-input dealers (54%). Despite the important benefits associated with the use of ICTs in business or professional activities as observed in the study, their use are hindered by certain factors as indicated earlier. It is therefore crucial to initiate policies (e.g. tax incentives) that will promote lower cost of using ICTs in doing business, increase investment by the telecommunication service providers to improve the access and quality of service, and educating and developing the skills of intermediaries on contemporary use of ICT such as internet business transactions.
The PARI research consortium held its annual research meeting on 16th December 2021 where the various clusters discussed their areas of focus in the next phase which begins in early 2022. The next phase of digitalisation research will focus on digital platforms to understand how they are contributing to improving productivity and incomes of food value chain actors.
Project Title: Hybrid Waste to Energy as sustainable solution for Ghana
Duration: 4 years (01.01.2020 – 31.12.2023)
Source of Funding & Amount: The Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF),
Location: Gyankobaa-Nkawie, Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality
Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhemina Quaye
Participating Scientists: Dr Portia Adade Williams, Mr Roland Asare, Mr Abdallah Mahama, Mr Johnny Owusu Arthur, Ms Elizabeth Hagan and Mr Rankine Asabo.
Collaborating Institutions: Six Ghanaian partners mainly from research institutions and Universities and four German partners from similar analogous institutions including University of Rostock, Germany; German Biomass Research Centre gGmbH; SRH Berlin; Gicon GmbH, Germany; WASCAL; CSIR-IIR; KNUST; UENR; MESTI/GIRC CENTRE; KsTU; CEESD
Project Website: N/A
Ghana’s economic gains over the years is largely driven by exploitation of fossil fuel and unsustainable biomass. This constitutes unsustainable solution to rising energy demand and poses a great challenge to the environment. Waste to energy has therefore been identified as a means to address such challenge. Hybrid Waste to Energy as a Sustainable Solution for Ghana (W2E) Project (a 4-year project launched in January 2020 with funding support from the German Government) seeks to develop tailor-made solutions to tackle the problem of waste management as well as power management in Ghana by converting waste into useful energy. The W2E project is been achieved through application of biogas, pyrolysis and solar PV technologies to waste management (renewable technologies). To demonstrate a proper functional model, a pilot of 400 kW hybrid demonstration systems is been installed comprising of 200 KWP solar PV system, 100 kW biogas plant and a 100 kW pyrolysis plant at Gyankobaah in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The project is expected to improve sanitation, ensure technology transfer, cleaner environment (treated waste and drastic reduction of waste in the communities), production of sustainable energy and organic fertilizer, creation of employment opportunities and increase the renewable component in the energy mix.
The W2E project aims to develop tailor-made solutions to tackle the problem of waste and power management in Ghana by converting waste into renewable energy. This will address the challenge of renewable energy inclusion in the energy mix in Ghana while treating solid waste and providing additional benefit of closing the carbon cycle by recovering and recycling nutrients.
CSIR-STEPRI’s activities aim to identify gaps and policy concerns that need to be addressed as well as identify key strategic actors for policy influence particularly at community level. CSIR-STEPRI is involved in activities such as stakeholder consultations and community mobilization to ensure successful project implementation. The overall implementation of the project is based on five main work packages and CSIR-STEPRI works closely and lead in the following Work Packages (WP):
Results Achieved So Far:
Community Engagement: CSIR-STEPRI led three other partners to successfully complete a household baseline survey on demography, knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) concerning waste generation and management in communities within the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality. The baseline study was completed during the first quarter of 2021 and the report is available. Another community engagement was held with religious leaders, market leaders and youth leaders on 2nd November 2021 at the Municipal Assembly to present the project to the selected groups.
Stakeholders engagement: CSIR-STEPRI participated and coordinated activities at two stakeholder’s consultative workshops held on 16th February and 16th November 2021 at CSIR-STEPRI and Kumasi Technical University respectively. Presentations on the baseline survey and moderation of stakeholders discussions were led by CSIR-STEPRI.
Policy brief/guideline document: CSIR-STEPRI conducted a two-day training workshop on policy guideline development on March 31 – April 1, 2021 at for CSIR-STEPRI researchers. This was to build the capacity of researchers, particularly researchers on the W2E project to be able to effectively and efficiently develop policy guidelines for the project. CSIR-STEPRI further completed a local level workshop on developing a framework for the policy guideline development on 10th June 2021 at the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipal Assembly. Also, a maiden steering committee meeting for the policy guideline development was held on 17th June 2021 at CSIR-STEPRI. On 20th December 2021 a technical commitee meeting was again held at CSIR-STEPRI and inputs from the technical aspect of the policy guideline was developed.
Project technical meeting: Two project members from CSIR-STEPRI participated in an all partners 4th technical meeting on 31st August 2021 at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi where presentations on the policy brief and stakeholders’ engagement were made by CSIR-STEPRI.
Other outputs: Two publishable manuscripts from the baseline study and policy review study earlier conducted have been written. Both manuscripts have been submitted to reputable journals for review. Two policy briefs have been developed for further engagement with policy makers. A newspaper article publication about the project’s policy guideline development process was published in the national Daily Graphic on 24th June 2021.
Source of funding: European Union- International Water Management Institute (IWMMI)
Location: Northern Ghana (Selected Districts)
Principal Investigator: Dr Adelaide Agyeman
Participating Scientists: Dr Portia Adade Williams, Dr Wilhemina Quaye, Dr Godfred Frempong and Mr. Abdalla Mahama
Collaborating Institutions: International Water Management Institute (IWMMI); University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Ghana (UG) – Centre for Migration Studies
Project website: N/A
Increasing food insecurity caused by climate change has resulted in excessive migration, which has also led to changing gender roles among rural populations, creating complex developmental challenges. There also exist different kinds of social, economic, cultural, environmental, institutional and political intersections that may increase vulnerabilities and impede sustainable and equitable rural transformations. To date, many of the policy and development planning responses to these challenges have been inefficient and/or insufficient and calls for effective planning and implementation of strategies. REACH STR project is about promotion of more inclusive and sustainable economic growth policies, strategies and programming approaches based on Climate Resilience, Migration and Gender in the Upper West Region of Ghana
The project seeks to generate knowledge on the social transformation conditions that promote sustainable and inclusive rural development and adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation practices. This is to contribute to a better understanding and application of social transformation analysis in development planning.
CSIR-STEPRI’s work is tied to policy analysis using standardized policy frameworks to analyse how policy issues have addressed migration, gender, climate change and social transformation. CSIR-STEPRI contributes to Work Package (WP) 1 on policy reviews and leads WP4 on Practical Policy Recommendations (involves development of tools and materials that inform decision making and development processes; organize research dialogue and dissemination workshops; and synthesize recommendations for policy engagement and influence)
Results Achieved So Far
Development of a joint survey instrument: All project partners jointly developed one household level survey questionnaire covering each partners thematic focus in the project. CSIR-STEPRI contributed to identifying policy strategies and interventions at the household. The final questions relevant for CSIR-STEPRI broadly covered awareness of development programmes/projects and its impacts.
Completion of data collection for baseline study: Training of enumerators for the quantitative survey was held on May 18, 2021 where CSIR-STEPRI gave an introductory presentation on its work package and later trained enumerators on the section of the questionnaire specific to the task of the Institute. The main data collection was in seven (7) districts/municipalities in Northern Ghana were conducted. In all, over 2000 households were surveyed.
Revision of draft policy brief: A draft policy brief on ‘The role of social transformation in climate change, migration and gender policies and development planning in Ghana’ earlier developed in 2020 was revised and has been re-submitted for review with the project’s coordinating institution.
Completion of data collection for qualitative policy study: CSIR-STEPRI conducted qualitative policy study data collection in seven (7) districts/municipalities in Savannah North and Upper West Regions of Ghana. The qualitative data collection was to provide indepth information on areas covered in the joint quantitative study conducted in the second quarter of 2021. The qualitative survey was carried out between September 24 – October 11, 2021. Data was collected on institutional and development planning coordination mechanisms for the implementation of resilience programmes in the study area from Social Transformation (STR) perspective
Organization of Pre COP 26 meeting: CSIR-STEPRI hosted a Pre-Conference of Parties (COP) meeting, in partnership with the project coordinating institution, IWMI and with support from the other partners and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This was held on 14th October 2021 ahead of the COP 26
Development of a communique: A communique was developed from the pre COP 26 meeting held at CSIR-STEPRI. Participants at the Pre-COP meeting recognized an over-dependence on changing biophysical variables (e.g. rising sea levels) and a ‘static’ view of socio-economic variables calling for the opening up of discussions on social transformation analysis in development planning processes, and increased investments for in-depth contextual research. The communique from the Pre-COP meeting was submitted on Wednesday October 20th to the secretariat of Ghana’s delegation going to Glasgow, UK for COP 26.
Activities for 2022 will direct achievement of CSIR-STEPRI’s deliverables including assessment of uptake of research evidence for policy decisions and mainstreaming of research findings after the quantitative and qualitative studies have been analysed for development of knowledge products. Specific activities will include:
Principal Investigator: Justina Adwoa Onumah (Mrs)
Participating Scientists: Mr. Abubakari Mohammed, Mr. Jeffet Ekow Cobbah, Ms Marilyn Yeboah, and Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhemina Quaye
Sponsor: Canadian Government
Duration: 2 years (2019-2021)
Project website: N/A
The Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Project gives budgetary support and technical assistance in response to the objectives of FASDEP, METASIP and GSGDA addressing productivity and value chain management issues for increased farmer incomes and enhanced rural livelihoods. One of the interventions the government of Ghana to bridge the gender gap in agriculture was to improve adoption of technologies under the Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) project. MAG focuses on demand driven research and alternative methods of extension delivery that facilitate the dissemination of technologies to farm households, Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs), out-growers of nucleus farms among others. Under the component 3 that seeks to support agricultural research in order to strengthen agricultural extension services and improve agricultural productivity, production needs and demands of smallholder farmers are identified for tailor-made technologies and innovation development and transfer.
During the year under review both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in the various activities carried out. Focus group discussions, participatory approaches and a quantitative research design, where structured survey instruments were designed and used to collect data on farmers through face-to-face interviews were all employed in the year.
Key Activities Undertaken in 2021
The key project activities undertaken during the year under review are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Project activities in the respective quarters of 2021
Results Achieved So Far
Situational analysis of composite flour technology training
The purpose of this study was to obtain a situational report on beneficiary processors for a further adoption and impact studies using the Greater Accra Region as a case study. The CSIR-FRI had delivered composite flour training to processors (Bakers) in the Shai Osudaku District and that was the case study area. A total of fifteen individual bakers were engaged using rural appraisal tools such as observation, focused group discussion and use of semi-structured questionnaire to elicit responses. Findings showed that the composite flour training was dully delivered by CSIR-FRI and respondents exhibited commendable understanding as they shared the training received. The bread baked with composite flour were said to have good qualities but beneficiaries raised concerns with sour taste and an unpleasant flavour which needs to be solved through practical varying proportion mixing trials. Other challenges identified included, absence of sample for trials, high cost, lack of follow up, and inability to acquire flour due to the distance to source. It was recommended that the raw materials be made available to the processors to enhance adoption and use, and the price subsidized.
Assessing the adoption and impact of improved cassava varieties on MAG beneficiary farmers in the Volta region of Ghana
A simple random sampling was used to select respondents from the training list, provided by the District Agriculture Officers in the various districts. A total of 187 respondents were drawn from the list for the interview using structure questionnaire. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, logistic regression and propensity score matching estimation techniques. The study found that there were as many female beneficiary farmers as there were male farmers but youth participation was however low. In terms of adoption, more than 50% of both male and female farmers adopted the improved cassava variety disseminated under the MAG programme. However, 44% of youth beneficiaries interviewed had adopted the disseminated cassava varieties. The study further found that the disseminated improved cassava varieties under the MAG programme had impacted positively on the productivity and revenues of beneficiary farmers who adopted the technology. Whilst non-adopters increased their output by less than 1%, the productivity of adopters increased by about 62% (Table 1).
Table 1: Productivity and revenue of adopters and non-adopters
Farm revenue (GHS)-2017
Farm revenue (GHS)-2020
A similar observation was recorded for the revenue effect where adopters increased their revenue by 112%, whilst non-adopters increased by 38%. In as much as positive impact has been recorded under the programme, it was recommended that resourcing extension service delivery, providing training in good agricultural practices (GAPs), and improving group actions should be prioritized in order to maximize the gains under the programme.
Stakeholder Dissemination Workshop: A total of 30 participants attended the event, comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the MAG Secretariat, farmers, extension officers from the Volta region, the Directorate of Agricultural Extension, private sector actors, researchers, and the media.
The key take-home was that improved technologies increases the productivity and incomes of adopting farmers. There were also efforts under the MAG project to promote agricultural digitalisation but a caution was thrown for stakeholders to pay attention to the possibility of widening inequality among small and large scale farmers that accompanies digitalisation. The key role of extension was also highlighted and recommendations made on resourcing and building capacity of agricultural extension agents. The workshop was covered and reported by media houses that were present as found in the following links.
Earlier work on the farmer network analysis was presented at the RSA Scientific conference in October 2021 and a paper was also published in the Development in Practice Journal.
An abstract of the published paper from the project findings.
The next phase of the project will focus on:
Source of Funding: IDRC
Location: Ghana and Benin
Principal Investigator: Dr. Rose Omari
Participating Scientists: Dr Emmanuel Kodjo. Tetteh, Dr Gordon Ackon Yamga, Mavis Akuffobea Essilfie, Sylvia Baah-Tuahene, Afua Sarpong-Anane, Elizabeth Hagan.
Collaborating Institutions: University of Abomey Calavi, Benin
To contribute to bridging the gender gap in engineering in Ghana and Bénin through original research and policy recommendations. So far activities conducted include Virtual inception workshop and Training on Gender Approaches.
Results Achieved So Far
Qualitative data will be analysed and reports written. The findings will be used to construct survey instruments to be used by March 2021 to gather data from Engineering and Science students. Relevant policies, programmes and project documents will be collated from key institutions for analysis to identify systemic flaws that limit women’s participation in Engineering. Preparations will be made for data collection from Engineering professionals, Managements of the Institutions under study and workplaces of selected engineers to understand their policies and practices as they promote or hamper women in engineering careers.
Project title: Achieving wider uptake of water-smart solutions (WIDER UPTAKE)
Duration: 4 years
Source of funding: European Commission (Horizon 2020)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gordon Akon-Yamga
Participating Scientists: Dr. George O. Essegbey, Dr. Wilhemina Quaye, Dr. Ebenezer Ansa, and Dr. William Oduro
Collaborating Institutions: CSIR-WRI, CSIR-IIR, Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, and 16 European Partners across four countries
The overall objective of WIDER UPTAKE is to facilitate industrial symbiosis by co-development of a roadmap towards wider uptake of water-smart solutions for wastewater reuse and resource recovery. This will be based on the principles of circular economy (CE) and be achieved through the following specific objectives:
These objectives are translated into tasks that the following Works Packages (WPs) will work to complete.
Results Achieved So Far
A number of activities have taken place within the period under review with some results as listed below.
The major deliverables for the first year of the project include baseline studies and preparations to demonstrate the use of treated wastewater for urban agriculture and use of biochar for heating in small and medium industries. Hence, for the way forward the following would be pursued:
Principal Investigator: Dr George Owusu Essegbey
Research Team: Dr Wilhemina Quaye, Dr Gordon Akon Yamga and Nana Yamoah Asafu-Adjaye.
Source of funding: MESTI/UNESCO
The UN Inter-agency Task Team (UN-IATT) acting on the decisions of the STI Forums launched the Global Pilot Programme on STI for SDGs roadmaps in July 2019, with 5 pilot countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya and Serbia. Each participating country is committed to developing STI for SDGs Roadmap, an actionable strategy, aimed at accelerating the achievement of SDGs using STI. One of the key requirement in developing a successful STI for SDGs Roadmap is conducting a baseline of the country’s current situation regarding the targeted SDG goal(s), assessing not only SDG gaps, but the status of STI in the country, the STI gaps and most specifically how STI can contribute to the acceleration of closing the SDG gaps.
The general objective of this assignment is to conduct a situational analysis and stocktaking of policies, strategies, implementation plans of priority sectors in relation to STI and the National Development Plan, and to prepare a preliminary outline of the STI for SDGs roadmap for building consensus among the key stakeholders and national Technical Task team.
Specific objectives are to:
Results Achieved So Far
The desk research involved searching for relevant literature and documents in hardcopy or softcopy. The relevant institutions were contacted and the documents including policy documents, study or research reports and publications particularly in reference to STI and SDGs. The National STI Policy of 2017, the sectoral policies for agriculture, communications, education, health, trade and industry, were reviewed. The Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017 – 2024), containing the framework for the country’s development agenda was a primary document for the review. Other thematic policy documents such as for ICT and governance were covered. Some studies conducted by STEPRI, MESTI and other relevant organizations such as the STI Policy Review (2010) and the Study and Analysis of the STI Ecosystem of Ghana were reviewed. Internet mining was an important method of gathering some of these documents in softcopy.
Key Informant Interviews
Key informant interviews were conducted to gather information from the relevant experts and officials. Within the conceptual framework, the critical actors in the NIS system were mapped. Interviews were conducted in the ministries including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the relevant scientific institutions.
Expert Group Discussion
The Expert Group Discussion (EGD) was designed to gather inputs from identifiable experts in key institutions for the analysis of Ghana’s NIS. The institutions include the University of Ghana, MESTI, the CSIR, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and the Association of Ghana Industries representing the private sector. The discussion focused primarily on the new technologies e.g. AI, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, Internet of Things and the digital technologies.
Online survey was conducted to collect data on STI human resource development, technology gap, research and development, innovation in industry and the relevance of STI Policy. A sample of 200 comprising actors in the various domains of the NIS was constituted. The online questionnaire was emailed to all persons in the sample soliciting responses to questions assessing the national STI capacity in terms of human resource development, R&D programmes and outputs, linkages between the knowledge institutions and industry and the policy environment.
The following are the achievement so far under the STI4SDGs:
Organisation of Validation workshop, which offered the Research Team an opportunity to engage with the Technical Task Team of the development of STI4SDGs Roadmap. A final report of the Situational Analysis of the Extent of Integration of STI in Development Plans and Critical Contributions of STI to Accelerate the Achievement of the SDGs in Ghana has been produced. Four (4) Policy Briefs and One (1) Fact Sheet have been developed including (i) Policy Brief on Conceptualizing STI4SDGs Roadmaps: An Actionable Strategy aimed at accelerating the achievement Of SDGs using STI in Ghana (2) Policy Brief on Review of the current STI Policy, SDGs and Development Plans and the Inter-linkages (3)Policy Brief on Assessment of STI Capabilities to meet prioritized SDGs (4) Policy Brief on Harnessing Innovation potential of the Ghanaian Youth for the attainment of the SDGs, and (5) Fact Sheet on current situation with prioritized SDGs.
During the reporting period, a proposal was submitted for consideration by UNESCO, for the development of a draft STI4SDGs Roadmap after successful delivery of a situational analysis of the extent of integration of STI in Development Plans.
Preparation of the STI Roadmap for the SDGs for Ghana in collaboration with MESTI. Funding support has been secured from UNESCO for this activity.
Principal Investigator: Dr George Owusu Essegbey
Co-Investigators: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhemina Quaye and Justina A. Onumah (Mrs)
Research Team Members: Nana Yamoah Asafu-Adjei, Ibrahim K. Asante, and Buertey Essegbey
Sponsor: United Nations Center for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Duration: 5 months (June-November 2021); Extended to February 2022
Collaborating Institutions: University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Tunisian Ministry of Science and Technology
New and emerging technological breakthroughs, including advanced robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cloud computing, the Internet of things (IoT) and smart sensors, are set to change the way we work and live. The weak knowledge base on the adoption and impact of new and emerging technologies in developing countries provides an inadequate basis for designing policies to help firms and nations to meet the challenges posed by the rapid pace of technological change. In order to contribute to filling this knowledge gap, this study aims to measure and interpret the adoption of new and emerging technologies in business sector firms in developing countries. Specifically, the project seeks to:
The study involves Ghana, South Africa and Tunisia, with the aim of comparing frontier technologies’ adoption among these countries in three Africa regions (West Africa, South Africa and North Africa).
The study uses a quantitative research design, involving quantitative data collection and analytical approaches. A structured questionnaire was designed to collect survey data from 500 randomly sampled firms in five sectors of Ghana, across 8 regions of Ghana spread across the geographical scope of the country. Data is being analysed using descriptive statistics and econometric estimations. Enumerators were recruited across the selected regions and trained virtually for the exercise. This was keenly followed with constant monitoring and evaluation of their data submissions through the online Kobo collect portal. Prior to the survey, a cognitive survey was conducted to test the adaptability of the survey instrument and its subsequent revision to suit the field conditions.
The proportion of firms found to be innovating in either products or processes was quite low with only about 32% reporting in either of the innovation activities. Interestingly, this proportion lowers as you move from micro to large firms. This indicates that many micro and small-sized firms do not innovate as much as the larger firms do as the proportion of firms innovating increases by extra percentage points as you move along to larger sizes. It can therefore to deduced that innovativeness increases with increase in firm size as larger firms may have the physical and human capital to innovate more than smaller firms.
Figure 1: Proportion of innovating firms by firm size
Some of the reasons assigned to the non-innovativeness of some firms were financial and procedural. Just 1% of the non-innovating firms attributed it to be lack of know-how to innovate which suggests that it is not the lack of innovative capability that is constraining these firms to innovate but could be any of the other reasons. More than 60% of the non-innovating firms indicated their familiarity with the traditional way of doing things was the main reason they did not innovate.
Preliminary survey results show high level of awareness of frontier technologies among the firms except for Big Data, Cobots, and Virtual Reality and to a lesser extent Cloud Computing. However, the level of adoption was not very encouraging. From the survey results, the level of adoption of Industrial Robots, Cobots, 3D Printing, Big Data and Virtual Reality was very low. Only 4.1% of the firms surveyed had adopted Industrial Robots and Virtual Reality. Firms adopting Cobots and 3D Printing constituted 9.2%, and 7.8% respectively. Mobile Banking and Social Media were prevalent with adoption levels of 84.2% and 70.8% respectively. This suggests that more firms adopt less sophisticated frontier technologies compared to more sophisticated ones.
Impact of COVID on Enterprises
Table 2 presents how enterprises perceived the impact of the covid pandemic on their performance. The analysis showed that whilst over 50% of the firms reported a decrease in overall performance from employment to profits, only about 11% reported the pandemic having an increase in these performance indicators. A proportion of 33% also reported no change in their performance indicators. It can be further observed that more enterprises experienced a decrease in sales revenue and subsequently in profits with more than 70% of them reporting so.
Table 2: Impact of COVID on business performance
Investment in digital technologies
The COVID pandemic clearly had an impact on labour force expansion as almost equal proportion of firms reported no change and a decrease in employment. Contracting the labour force could also reduce firm’s productivity, which will subsequently affect sales revenue. In terms of investment in digital technologies, only about 18% reported to have increased with over 60% reporting no change. About 20% of them however reported to have decreased which was quite unexpected given the rise in demand for digital technologies in the period.
The next phase of the project in the coming quarter will have the following activities:
START DATE: 2018
SPONSORS: European Commission
DURATION: Three (3) years
LOCATION: Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhemina Quaye
REASE Research Team : Dr. Gordon Akon Yamga, Dr. Collins Asante-Addo, and Dr. Nana Kofi Safo
COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS: KALRO (Kenya), ITA (Senegal), UPS (Spain), and NIBIO (Norway)
The agricultural sector remains the largest economic sector for many African countries. Hence, raising the productivity and efficiency of agricultural value chains is important for the success of rural economies and for income growth in both urban and rural populations. However, small-scale livestock production in Africa usually faces many challenges in meeting buyers’ quantity and quality requirements. In addition, both public and private quality standards are increasingly influencing the production and trade of agricultural goods. Notwithstanding, many smallholders fail to meet these standards in the domestic and international markets. As a result, many smallholders continue to market their products through informal channels. While these markets are highly relevant for developing countries such as in Africa, they are often perceived as inefficient, unpredictable and trading food of lower quality than would be accepted by formal markets. It is against this background that the SPEAR project was initiated. The objective of SPEAR is to provide science-based frameworks and indicators capable of monitoring and evaluating improvements in productivity and quality of local livestock and poultry value chains (LPVCs). To achieve this, the project evaluates the LPVC in the partner countries to identify with a collective effort, evidence-based challenges and opportunities related to the production and marketing of livestock and poultry products by small-scale farmers, especially women and youth.
The SPEAR project has five work packages (WPs). These work packages include:
Results Achieved so far
STEPRI is responsible for WP5, which emphasizes the dissemination and exploitation of project results to enhance innovation capacity and integrate new knowledge of the partners involved and the African Livestock sector as a whole. Within the reporting period, some activities were carried out. The following results have been achieved:
In the next phase of the project, the following activities will be carried out: