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Spend Money On People, Not Projects – Prof Frimpong-Boateng To Government



The former minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has suggested to the government that resources should be directed towards developing the human capacities in the country rather than focusing solely on infrastructure projects.

According to him, instead of pouring funds solely into projects, the government should be directing a major part of its investments towards people, their skills, innovations, and growth.

The renowned surgeon questioned the rationale behind building impressive roads and interchanges if they remain underutilized.

“There is so much we can do, and we are so gifted, so let’s look inward train people, and spend more money on people instead of projects.

“I’m not saying we should do the projects but what is the point in building very nice roads, interchanges, what drives them apart from passengers and charcoal and weeds, what do we have running on our roads,” he said.

He continued to add that “We need to see tractor parts moving from one point to assembly plants. We need to see manufactured things and machines moving from one place to the other, we need to see these things so we can say that yes, we are moving on.”

Prof. Frimpong Boateng further highlighted the need to strengthen local industries and support indigenous innovation.

He explained that there are a lot of Ghanaians who are inventing solutions to solve problems in the country but nobody gets to hear of them or even care about them.

“This is how we are spending money on things that are not beneficial, this pains me, we must develop the capacity to do things.

“Young people are so gifted. I work with people, fabricators and people who can do automation. As I said, Ghanaians can do gari processing machines and others but then we need some people to put some electric motors in between to automate the system and there are Ghanaian firms doing that. But nobody knows them, and nobody cares about them.

He continued that “If you want to refer to the programmes and policies, give them the resources, like the AGI and other institutions and give them the resources. But then you will have politicians who will want to be in charge. If it is about importation or procurement, they will want to be in charge and not the agencies that are supposed to implement these things.

While discussing the challenges hindering this progress, the former minister cited the vested interests.

He explained that politicians get involved because of the monetary gain.

“Because at least importation increases by at least 20%. But if the things are done here, they will not get their percentage,” he added.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng believes that addressing the technology gap in the country could bridge the present poverty divide.

“The thing is that the poverty gap is a technology gap and Mr Pianim has helped us in a way by getting the Mastercard Foundation to give us the resources to bring Ghanaian scientists together. Researcher, we had a very good meeting in Peduase, the president was there to commission it and I was so hopeful that for once we could get Ghanaians from outside and those within to plan with the Ghana Institute of Engineering. I was very hopeful that now we were on the path towards greatness.

“I sold this idea to the president, and we agreed to do the agenda 111. But then every piece of material is going to be imported. We are going to put up houses because there will be no instruments, the nurses have also run away and so on. So, we wanted to develop the capacity to build some of this medical equipment. We may not be able to build an X-ray machine but if is forceps, if a blade, we should be able to build those and that will account for at least 40% of what we use here,” Professor Frimpong-Boateng explained.


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