Mr Speaker, I am very grateful and I would like to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement.
It is quite a very interesting Statement, well written and could not have come at a better time. And I think that as Members of Parliament and representatives of the people, we should be engaging our minds on issues like this.
Mr Speaker, aside the Ministries of Health and that of Education, if there is any Ministry that should be getting a lot of resource allocation, it should be the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. And I say this because of the times that we live in.
Mr Speaker, if we look at countries that are generating a lot of resources from exports, they are countries that are exporting innovation. In this day and age, natural resources keep drying up, and there may come a time when we can no longer depend on the cocoa, bauxite, gold and oil that we have.
And the only thing that we would have an opportunity to be able to compete and actually take advantage of , is the area of science and technology. And I am happy that he mentioned research and development.
Mr Speaker, as a country and as a continent, we should be dedicating a lot of resources to research and development. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Aside making beautiful Statements and commitments to dedicating resources, there are things that
we ought to be doing to ensure that our country also begins to produce or innovates in creating things.
For instance, there are a lot of mechanics in our country; if we go to Abossey Okai, Suame Magazine, and the rest of it. What if our country decided that we would no longer allow the importation of fuel guzzlers? And then, if people actually want to use vehicles that are fuel guzzlers within our own country, we would get people who would begin to think outside the box and create vehicles that can replace these fuel guzzlers.
However, we seem to have developed a penchant of importing just about everything, and we seem to be all right with importing them into our country.
I think the area of science and technology gives us a lot of advantages, and we should make good use of it.
Mr Speaker, on this Floor in this Seventh Parliament, this is about the umpteenth time that I have heard a Statement in respect of Science, Technology and Innovation, and every now and then, we keep discussing and debating it on the Floor and very little commitment is made to actualising the targets that we set for ourselves.
So I am hopeful that going forward, in a very bi-partisan manner, we would all support any efforts by the Government that would be geared towards promoting science, technology and innovation. And to be able to do that, we should be promoting science and mathematics.
If we look at our respective schools, whether at the Basic level, or the Senior High School level or the Tertiary level, the interests that are developed in the area of
science and mathematics seem to have gone down.
Mr Speaker, as a country, what is our place on the global ranking of countries that are doing very well in the area of science and mathematics? We are not doing well.
At the Basic level, we should be encouraging our sons and daughters to be interested in science and mathematics to promote it greatly and to support young people who have demonstrated an ability to be able to think outside the box and create things.
Mr Speaker, I am also hopeful that for the few people in our country, businesses and individuals who have, as a result of their own, created things, we should encourage Government to support these institutions and individuals to be able to do a lot more for our country.
Recently we were celebrating the All Nations University in Koforidua for sending an object into orbit. But since that Statement was made on the Floor and questions were asked, nothing has happened.
And if we were to speak to the All Nations University, they would tell us that they have received little or no support from the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and that is largely so because the Ministry itself it struggling with resource constraints.
Mr Speaker, so not to say much since other Hon Colleagues have a few things to say, I would encourage us to pay a lot of attention in dedicating a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to research and development.
And to try, as much as possible, to think outside the box and innovate, create and support people who have