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Gov’t Research Fund Would Improve Dev’t ―UTAG

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The local chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), at the University of Ghana, Legon (UG), has welcomed government’s decision to establish a National Research Fund for academic and development purposes.

According to the president of the association, Dr Harry Agbanu, there are a number of research proposals awaiting funding adding that those projects would go a long way to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in various fields thereby contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all Ghanaians.

Operationalise Findings

The UTAG presidents says, the researches would be beneficial if only their findings are being put to use.

“Once this fund is established and it is operational, you will see the dramatic transformation of this society that is if government is willing to partner with the universities and the private sector is willing to partner with the universities to put into operation the findings of the research.

“…so, research by itself would not be able to solve the problem but when we decide we are going to make use of the findings to better our laws, that is where all of us will see the benefit of research on development,” Dr Agbanu noted.

Research Fund Not For All

Speaking on how the research fund would function, Dr Agbanu said, only researchers and lecturers whose proposal meet the required standards would have their researches funded.

He specified that, upon submission of the proposal, “ it will be vetted using the stringiest criteria and if you qualify, you will be given the funds for your research.

He continued: “That is why it cannot be said that since there is a national research fund, the book and research allowances that all lecturers enjoy, should be scrapped because not all lecturers will have access to the national research fund.

Mr Agbanu believes that to make the research fund effective, the process involving selection of proposals to be funded must be made transparent.

“If the funds are established, then there must be very transparent process of accessing the fund and I’m sure that would be discussed thoroughly at all levels including lecturers and other researchers in other institutions,” he stated.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had on Wednesday announced government’s plan to establish a National Research Fund which according to him would be different from the Book and Research allowances University lectures currently enjoy.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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