Invest in Technology and Innovation – Adwoa Safo to African Leaders

The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, has charged African Leaders to take very drastic measures to invest heavily in technology and innovation in order to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Of particular importance, is the Supply Chain sector, which she believes, will help rip the enormous benefits of a development that is sustainable to protect nature for the next generation.

“This is the time to collectively rise as a continent to bring innovation through science and technology to properly and effectively manage the Supply Chain of both Public and Private Sectors. That way, our economies will flourish and the future of our next generation will be protected”, she noted.

Hon. Safo, who is also the deputy Majority Leader of the Parliament of Ghana made this observation when addressing the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS) annual national conference which was held in Livingstone on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

She spoke on the theme: ‘Promoting Ethical Procurement Practice through Good Governance and Sustainable Development’.

Her call for heavy investment in technology and innovation in the Supply Chain sector was premised on an article by Keely L. Croxton, Sebastian T. Gracia. Dastugu & Douglas Lambert of the Ohio State University and Dale S. Roger of the University of Nevada, where Hammer argues that; “streamlining cross-company processes is the next frontier for reducing costs, enhancing quality and speeding operations. It is where this decade’s productivity war would be fought. The victors will be those companies that would be able to take a new approach to business working closely with partners to design and manage processes that extend across traditional corporate boundaries. They would be the ones that make the leap from efficiency to super efficiency”.

Touching on what her home country, Ghana, has been doing in the field of technology and innovation to address some of the challenges globalization in the 21st century brings about, Hon. Adwoa Safo said the West African nation has developed a new policy framework on technology and innovation to drive the implementation of its sectoral policies, programs and strategies at all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

For instance, she said the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has established a Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (PACSTI) to advise him on such issues and ensure the full implementation of the policy.

“Government as part of this policy will establish the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialization Centre that will serve as the bridge between the government and public research institutions, academia on one hand and industry on other. The Centre will establish incubation centres with basic facilities that our innovators will need to compliment the work of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP). Another pillar of this policy is the creation of a Fund for Research and Development on science, Technology and Innovation. The most crucial pillar of this policy is promoting the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels of the nation’s educational system. It is important to note that, this compliments the Presidents’ Free Senior High School Policy where basic through Senior Education in Ghana has been made free in all regions of Ghana”, she noted.

Commenting further, the Dome-Kwabenya lawmaker also urged other African Leaders to take inspiration from what Ghana and South Africa have been doing by adapting Digital Procurement to address corruption in the procurement procedures in spite of the connectivity challenges associated with it.

“Per a research finding by Forrester Consulting for Ivalua, only 16% of businesses had an advanced level of digital maturity in procurement, which gives them a competitive advantage, over rivals, though 65% assessed themselves as advanced”, she observed, calling for partnerships between the public and private sectors to drive the African agenda of technology and innovation forward.

“In the In the 21st Century of Globalization all efforts for promoting sustainable development in Supply Chain Management needs a collective effort at the global, continental, regional, sub-regional and national levels. We would need from both the private and public sectors, innovation, creativity, proactivity, political will to reach the uttermost level of Sustainable Development in Supply Chain Management bearing in mind the dynamics of the changing models of the 21st Century Supply Chain Innovations needs all hands-on deck”, she added.

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