The Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Madam Shani Cooper-Zubida on has paid a working visit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra. It was to explore areas for collaboration between her country and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana’s premier institution for scientific research.

The meeting was a follow up on discussions which started at the World Creativity and Innovation Day Event organised by the Israeli Embassy in Ghana and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) under the theme: “Israel - Ghana Innovation Ecosystems: How do we stimulate a strong innovation subculture in an emerging economy.”

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

In his address, Prof. Agyeman gave an overview of the CSIR organizational structure, operations, work force, 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 and that the Council provides research extension services that impacts education, industry among others.

In line with the Council’s vision of using the power of Science, Technology and Innovation to create wealth Prof. Agyemang outlined CSIR’s immense contribution to the implementation of 2 key government policies and programmes - Planting for Food and Jobs’ and Planting for Export and Rural Development initiatives. He said all the seeds being used for the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative were developed by two of its Institutes, CSIR – Savanna Agricultural Research in Nyankpala, Tamale and the CSIR – Crops Research Institute in Kumasi. CSIR according to him, has also been contracted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to supply improved planting materials for coconut and Oil palm for the Government’s

On her part, Ambassador Shani Cooper-Zubida identified innovation as the answer to most problems facing humanity and said it is the centerpiece or heartbeat of all activities in Israel. She told the record setting story about the manmade 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 organized 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. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana has a staff strength of 3,506 and is named among the top research institutions in Africa. Its sources of funding are government, donor agencies and Internally Generated Funds.

Biotechnology and biomedical research are expected to be the focus of the fourteenth institute under the Council in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, a government delegation is expected in Israel in November, 2019 to attend Israel’s international conference on water.

Source: Corporate Affairs Division, CSIR, Head Office

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