Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

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Ghana and Rwanda urged to collaborate in production of tyres

Ghana’s Dr Frannie A. Léautier, Chief Operating Officer, Trade and Development Bank, on Friday urged Ghana and Rwanda to collaborate in the production of lorry tyres as part of efforts to accelerate Africa’s socio-economic development.

She said rubber produced in Ghana combined with cow fat produced in Rwanda could produce high performing car tyres to supply the driverless car manufacturing plant in Kigali.

She said the value chain would provide markets for livestock and rubber planting farmers and create jobs for factory workers in tyre manufacturing plants, car assembly plants, and jobs for all those engaged in the supply chain logistics.

Dr Léautier made the appeal in Accra at the maiden “Professor Alexander Adum Kwapong Lecture Series: Nature Speaks,” a new initiative co-convened by the United Nations Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and the University of Ghana (UG).

The lecture was in honour of the late Prof Kwapong, first Ghanaian Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG) and first African Vice-Rector of the United Nations University.

The lecture on the theme, “Innovation, Infrastructure, Technology and the Promise of New Growth for Natural Resource Management in Africa — Blind Alleys or Transformational Change”, was chaired by Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor, UG.

Dr Léautier said the rubber farmers needs soil analysis to ensure the proper use of land for the purpose of planting, seed matching to soil and weather conditions.

Other needs include fertilizer blending to match soil and plant needs, and services including extension for knowledge and ideas, financing services (credit, guarantees, insurance), and marketing support.

She said that livestock farmers however would need good soil for the cultivation of grass for grazing, stressing that markets for animal feed production, transportation and supply logistics and financial services are critical.

Dr Leautier explained that the science, technology and innovation needed at each stage of the value chain makes a scale jump in productivity possible.

She said trade between Rwanda and Ghana also needs to be organised to make these markets and supply chain linkages happen.

Dr Léautier paid tribute to Prof Kwapong for spearheading education and knowledge dissemination not only in Africa but across the globe.

Prof Owusu also lauded Prof Kwapong for his remarkable contributions towards the advancement of knowledge and learning within and beyond the walls of this University.

The Vice Chancellor said the Prof Kwapong lecture series was a timely initiative with the potential to contribute significantly to their efforts, as academics and researchers, to close the gap between African scientific output and Africa’s development strategies.

He declared that, “platforms like this are critical to putting homegrown science within reach and at the service of our people.

“I see the Prof Kwapong Lectures by UNU-INRA as supportive of the mission of the UG, which is focused on creating an enabling environment that makes the University and its constituents increasingly relevant to national and regional development through cutting-edge research, teaching and learning,” he said.

Madam Patricia Appiah-Agyei, a Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the Kwapong lecture series comes against the background of a nation which was determined, more than ever, to pursue an agenda of rapid transformation.

She said charting new development pathways and leveraging the opportunities that science, innovation and technology make possible was apt.

She said a tangible demonstration of this commitment was the decision to devote one per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to research and development.

Madam Opokua Kwapong, one of the six daughters of the late Prof Kwapong, expressed their gratitude to the UG and UNU-IRA for honouring their father with the lecture series.

Madam Kwapong, is the Vice President of Research and Development Pepsicle Incorporated in the United States.

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