Key stakeholders of Ghana’s science, research, education and innovation ecosystem will converge at the ‘LIBSENSE Open Science Symposium – Ghana’ to deliberate on developing and executing a national action plan for Open Science in the country.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.

This iteration of the Open Science Roadmap program themed ‘Narrowing the Gap among Research, Policy and Society’, is the latest in a series of Open Science Roadmap events in Anglophone and Francophone countries across Africa, including Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda and Tanzania.

The Accra iteration is hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Ghanaian Academic Research Network (GARNET) and the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Ghana (CARLIGH) with the support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), UK and the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN).

The Honorable Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, will deliver a keynote address and kick off talks and discussions among Ghanaian stakeholders, highlighting the importance of Open Science for inclusive, sustainable growth that addresses inequality and exclusion.

The UK Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana, Keith McMahon, the Executive Director of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Kathleen Shearer and representatives from the National Commission for UNESCO will also grace the momentous event.

According to Hon. Dr Kwaku Afriye, “collaboration has become the bedrock of quality research and innovation. Ghana has decided to place Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at the centre of the national development plan. MESTI is examining ways to strengthen the research and innovation ecosystem and provide essential support programs that unleash the creativity of Ghana’s researchers and innovators. As a result, MESTI is recommending adopting the Open Science approach for scientific research and knowledge dissemination for actors within our research and innovation ecosystem and their partners abroad.”

The CEO of GARNET, Lucas Chigabatia says, “GARNET sees the open Science symposium as a great opportunity for deepening the conversation and highlighting the work that we do in providing the requisite infrastructure and platforms to support research collaboration and access.

“CARLIGH and our member libraries provide access to a wide range of scholarly e-resources. Open access awareness raising and advocacy workshops over the years have resulted in many content-rich institutional repositories and journals, with an increase in the adoption of open access policies. Co-hosting this symposium complements our capacity-building efforts and allows us to bring this experience and expertise to bear in the collaboration to drive Open Science forward in Ghana,” Dr. MacAnthony Cobblah, Chair, CARLIGH.

Speaking ahead of the Symposium, Beverley Okoye, FCDO Climate Attaché and IWT Adviser, Ghana & West Africa says, “The UK is committed to being a leading science and technology partner across Africa, working together to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Science, Technology, and Innovation (ST&I) provide opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth while addressing inequality and exclusion. The UK implements a robust open and enhanced access policy for research that proactively invests in knowledge sharing as a global public good. Open science is a common interest between the UK and Ghana.

“Global and free access to quality research promises to accelerate the rate of discoveries and significantly increase the impact of research and education in Africa, including Ghana. However, open science must be adopted in a way to ensure there are real and substantial benefits for research and societies within the sub-continent. Part of the challenge is understanding the local landscape to identify strategic opportunities for intervention where contextually tailored solutions can be developed and aligned with global standards. We are pleased to partner with Ghana and other stakeholders to co-create opportunities in the ST&I ecosystem for open science,” She added.

“We have successfully connected with diverse actors in the Ghanaian innovation process. We expect a highly engaging time evolving a plan to leverage NRENs, Open Science and the UNESCO recommendations to foster economic and social development.” Omo Oaiya, Chief Strategy Officer of WACREN and LIBSENSE Coordinator.