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Government is committed to the development of science and technology- Minister
Posted on: 05-Mar-2013         Source: GNA
Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance, said on Tuesday the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology would be supported to implement programmes and projects that would focus on biodiversity and the reduction of the impact of climate variability.

It would also ensure the application of science and technology, enhancing environmental quality and ensuring proper spatial organization for sustainable development

The Minister said this when he delivered the 2013 budget statement in parliament under theme ‘Sustaining Confidence in the Future of the Ghanaian Economy’.

He said under the Better Ghana ICT project, the Ministry would in 2013 procure 100,000 laptops for distribution to individuals and educational institutions to promote the teaching, learning and use of ICT, adding that training would be provided for the youth in assembling and repairing of ICT equipments.

He said the implementation of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme (MASTESS) programme which ""seeks to address the falling standards of Mathematics, Science and Technical education is on-going.

“In the 2013/2014 academic year, MASTESS will provide scholarships for additional 3,000 beneficiaries, to enhance and sustain the interest of needy but brilliant students in the science and technology field of study”, he said.

He said government would establish the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Fund to support the development of STI and its adoption in all sectors of the economy.

“In addition, the Ministry will provide counterpart funding for the implementation of the African Very Long Baseline Inferometre (VLBI) Network project and also organize and host the African Leadership Conference on space science in partnership with the UN Office of Outer Space (UNOSA)”, he said.

Mr Terkper said the coastal zone development programme for tree planting and cleaning of beaches as well as promoting biodiversity conservation and reducing the impact of climate change would be continued.

He stated that government would develop policy to build capacity in the oil and gas sector and setup oil and gas response centre to deal with environmental issues emanating from oil and gas.

He said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) would be supported to harness its Science and Technology expertise for the development of sustainable agricultural production, water and sanitation, rural electrification, road construction and housing.

“In this regard, a number of research activities will be undertaken to improve the production, processing, preservation and marketing of the following: fisheries, poultry and livestock, local rice and mangoes”, he said.

He said government would support the improvement in service delivery in cancer treatment using radiotherapy, develop radiation processed products of natural polymers for application in agriculture, industry, health care and environment as well as hazard assessment of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and radio stations.

He stated that the Atomic Energy Commission would integrate Isotope hydrology into ground water resource assessment and would also multiply the quality of planting materials of banana, pineapple, yam and cocoyam for supply to farmers towards increased food production, adding, the Commission would continue to promote the use of nuclear power as an alternative source of energy.

Mr Terkper said the Environmental Protection Agency would be supported to conduct air quality monitoring in all regional capitals and monitor the waste water discharges in the Accra/Tema metropolis.

He said the Agency would also monitor the management of the use of pesticides and hazardous chemicals by the manufacturing and mining sectors and it would further manage the spread and devastating nature of the invasive aquatic weeds in the lower Volta and Tano River basins.

He said the Town and Country Planning Department would also be supported to create awareness on the need to promote sustainable human settlement development.