Senior Advisor to the Vice President Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu

The government seeks to build on the gains of its aggressive digital innovation drive to strengthen economic resilience, rebuild market confidence, and revitalise the economy for sustained growth, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu has indicated.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Africa Research and Innovation Commercialisation Summit (ARICS 2024) in Accra, he underscored that the creation of strong innovation ecosystems will provide the enabling environment for the commercialisation of research and innovation outcomes, spurring rapid socio-economic development.

“Government is pursuing a range of policies and coordinated initiatives that place science, technology, and innovation (STI) at the centre of the country’s socio-economic development.

Digital innovations and entrepreneurship in general have overlapping connections with the innovation ecosystem, with great potential to transform the economy and contribute to accelerating progress toward national development,” he said.

According to Prof. Appiah-Adu, the government’s recovery strategy is underpinned by a sustainable debt path, a renewed emphasis on innovation across sectors, resource mobilisation, digital skills development, and entrepreneurship promotion to tackle the persistent unemployment hindering the future of its youth.

He noted that the government has embarked on a number of innovations over the past few years to leapfrog Ghana’s development pathways.

This, he said, was hinged on the belief that leveraging technology improves efficiency, limits human interactions, and would significantly help in the positive transformation of the economy.

“Government envisions Ghana as a leading economy powered by digital innovation, a smart nation with world-class regional cities that give businesses, institutions, citizens, and foreigners the best Ghanaian experience possible whilst also quickly responding to their different and changing needs,” he further stated.

Prof. Appiah-Adu noted that Ghana’s recent digital transformation journey has birthed efficient and cost-effective delivery of public services. He urged stakeholders in the research space to develop innovative solutions to deepen intra-African development and spur impact investments needed to bring prosperity to the continent and its people.

The one-day conference, “From Labs to Markets: Creating Viable and Inclusive Value Chains and Innovation Markets for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development,” convened researchers, innovators, and ecosystem actors to discuss workable ideas to boost the commercialisation of research outcomes and innovations across the continent.

It was organised by Heritors Labs, an awardee of the RISA Fund, a multi-country project funded by the UK through the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) to support research and innovation systems strengthening in Africa.

In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of Heritors Labs Limited, Derrydean Dadzie, commended the role of Africa’s researchers and innovators in driving shared prosperity across the continent.

He added: “This summit is the right platform for all ecosystem players to deliberate, co-create and heed the call for solutions to Africa’s thorny socio-economic challenges while fostering opportunities for collaboration in the quest to move research from the labs to the market.”

ARICS 2024 was supported by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), and other public and private sector organisations.