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Encourage community participation to drive science and technology in Africa – Professor

Encourage community participation to drive science and technology in Africa - Professor

Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, , says it is important for academic institutions to encourage community participation to drive science and technology in Africa.

She said community engagement would enable academic institutions to bring their scientific research and technological innovations to the awareness of community members, which would generate interest, appreciation and partnerships for the advancement of science and technology.

“It is also an encouragement for our students to showcase their work and be able to apply it to everyday life, and how they can network and extend it to community needs and foster national development,” she added.

Prof Steiner-Asiedu said this on Wednesday during the celebration of the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) at the La Bawaleshie Presby School, in the Ayawaso West Municipality.

Approved by the , DSRA
is observed to enable Africans showcase their scientific and technological innovations.

The event, organised by the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS), University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Ayawaso West Municipality, was on the theme: “Connecting Communities with Science”.

Activities for the Day included exhibitions that highlighted the application of science in everyday life, technology in the home, food, water and personal hygiene, waste management, antirabies vaccination, and health screening.

Prof Steiner-Asiedu, also the Chairperson for the CBAS DSRA Committee, said the College decided to mark the Day by involving the people of La Bawaleshie so that it would widen the University's impact on the lives of the people.

She said finance was the major challenge in organising such community events and called for sponsorships so that the College could extend the event to other communities to reach wider population.

She said the College had undertaken many innovative projects and appealed especially to the media to help with advocacy and awareness creation for partnerships.

Prof Steiner-Asiedu assured of the University's willingness to work with communities, particularly to provide training in animal husbandry, crop , and agroprocessing to create job opportunities to enhance the livelihoods of the community members.

Prof Boateng Onwona Agyeman, Provost, CBAS, expressed appreciation to the La Bawaleshie Traditional Council for allowing the University to hold the event in the community.

He said the event, organised for the second time in the community, would be held annually to keep the people abreast of the University's science and technological breakthroughs.

He emphasised that, the University had embarked on many researches and developed ideas, but on a smaller scale and called for public-private partnership to scale up to commercial levels.

Mrs Sandra Owusu-Ahinkorah, Municipal Chief Executive, Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, in a message delivered on her behalf, acknowledged the pivotal role of science and technology in national development.

She stressed the Assembly's commitment to promoting science and technology, urging all stakeholders to forge partnerships and leverage collective expertise to advance the nation's development.

Mr Ebenezer Okoe Kotey, on behalf of the La Bawaleshie Traditional Council, noted that, the exhibitions had enlightened them and given them a practical feel of some of the scientific processes and applications.

He appealed to the University to organise such events frequently to let community members learn more about science and technology, assuring that, the Traditional Council would offer the necessary support to achieve that.

The exhibitions showcased various projects by the students of CBAS, including innovative ways to preserve foods and maintain their nutritional value, how to make variety of foods from local produce and cater for nutritional deficiencies, food packaging, probiotics for gut health, use of plastic waste for fuel, hydroponic system for irrigation, drug development, and recycling and reuse of plastics.

Ms Korkor Okai, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ghana, said: “It is important we came to the community to have this exhibition with the people. For instance, it will help them to practise good personal hygiene and to be more health-conscious.”

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