Source: | Napoleon Ato Kittoe, Ghana

Israel’s ambassador to Ghana Her Excellency Madam Shani Cooper-Zubida on Friday, October 19, 2019, paid a working visit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR in Accra. It was to find ways for collaboration between her country and the CSIR, Ghana’s premier institution for research.

She was received at the CSIR’s head office by its Director-General, Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman who led some of the directors of the thirteen institutes of the council in the meeting. Among those present were the Deputy Director-General of CSIR, Prof Paul Bosu and the directors for Food Research Institute, Water Research Institute, Institute of Industrial Research, Institute for Scientific and Technological Information as well as the Corporate Legal Officer, Director, Administration, Director, Finance and the CEO of  CSIR- Technology Development and Transfer Centre

Prof Victor Agyeman gave an overview of CSIR organisational structure, operations, workforce, vision and challenges. He said, the council was established by Ghana’s first leader Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1964 with the aim of applying science to create wealth. He said, the council provides research extension services that impacts education, agriculture, industry among others. He said, a government initiative that falls in place is “Planting for Food and Jobs”.

The threshold for entering the CSIR is PhD and with its vast pool of science talents the CSIR also operates a Graduate School that awards masters and offer consultancy to institutions within and outside Ghana.

On her part, Ambassador Shani Cooper-Zubida identified innovation as the answer to most problems facing humanity, thus she said, it is the centrepiece or heartbeat of all activities in Israel. She told the record setting story about the natural forest created in her desert country as well as technology driven agriculture of immense results. She was however quick to add that Israel’s journey met challenges that threatened to throw the organised structure in disarray. The attempt by Israel to introduce India’s eucalyptus plant in Israel hit a snag with dire consequences for the country. The diplomat also called for more engagement with Ghana’s CSIR, particularly in water research where her country has made strides. She presented an Israeli book on innovation to the CSIR.

CSIR – Forest Research Institute, Ghana

Ghana’s CSIR named among the top research institutions in Africa, has a staff strength of 3,506. Its sources of funding are government, donor agencies and Internally Generated Funds. Commercialisation of research works brings some revenue. Biotechnology and biomedical research are expected to be the focus of the fourteenth institute under the council in foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, a government delegation is expected in Israel in November, 2019, to attend Israel’s international conference on water.

The writer: Napoleon Ato Kittoe is a senior journalist with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation – GTV

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