Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Energy, on Monday pledged the Ministry’s support to build the competencies of researchers in order to undertake various researches into pressing national policies for optimal benefit to Ghanaians.
He noted that, for good government policies to succeed, there was the need to undertake research to garner inputs from experienced researchers.
Mr Amewu made the remarks at the establishment of the Environment and Natural Resource Research Unit (ENRRU) at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, in Accra.The ENRRU is intended to focus on high-quality policy-relevant research as well as research capacity building among decision- makers and academics.
“My doors are open for discussions on how to make ENRRU succeed and I am happy to support this initiative within my capacity as the Energy Minister of the country,” Mr Amewu assured.
The Minister said as a developing nation, endowed with significant amounts of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, there was the need to research into the rate of extinction of those natural resources, in order to keep decision-makers informed to safeguard the interest of the citizenry.
“The development of our human capital, is a very intangible assets, in this regard, we will go a long way to optimising the policy decisions taken by government for the good people of Ghana.
“As decision makers, though we have experts at our various sectors, we sometimes struggle when determining which policy directions to take due to inadequate high-quality policy-relevant researchers.
“Based on that, I welcome the noble idea of having this Research Unit at the University,” Mr Amewu assured. The Minister cited the gaps in the country’s fisheries regulations coupled with inadequate enforcement of catch rules, which had created opportunities for foreign vessels to plunder the country’s fish stock with little benefit to Ghanaians.
Mr Amewu said over the years, the country had relied predominantly on hydropower, which is susceptible to drought; therefore, government was exploring avenues to improve the energy mix to ensure a reliable, adequate and sustainable energy supply for domestic use, as well as biomass and waste energy and wind power.
He said government had plans of promoting renewable energy among off-grid communities across the country.