Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged tertiary institutions in Ghana to develop programmes aimed at solving the problems of society.
According to him, Universities have a crucial role to play by producing students who are “creative thinkers” to help fix the challenges of the country.
Dr Bawumia emphasized capacity building is the panacea for Africa’s economic woes.
“You have a role to play as a University. Nurturing and stimulating creative thinking, undertaking basic research in problems confronting society and informing public policy making are the least we should expect from Universities,” the economist remarked.
He added: “Universities cannot decouple themselves from tackling the challenges in society. Universities must see themselves as also at the heart of helping to build stronger economies and stronger societies.
“Whether it is in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and mathematics, quality education is the bedrock of our problem-solving skills, of our creative thinking and generator of ideas,” Dr Bawumia said at the 3rd Advancement Lecture Series of the University of Cape Coast,
Speaking on the theme: “Developing stronger economies for the African continent: the missing link,” Dr Bawumia opined the era of ‘chew and poor’ is over.
According to him, programmes of the Universities must be geared towards “building our human capital and capabilities. The days of schooling for schooling sake, the “chew, pour pass and forgot” syndrome are over. Free SHS is not a bargain for low quality.”
Also, he noted that for Africa to catch up with the rest of the world, there is the need to be innovative, especially in the agriculture sector.
“Developing stronger economies requires transforming agriculture and food systems if we are to cope with the pressures of population growth, demographic dynamics and food security.
“Developing stronger economies also requires good governance and protecting the social and economic opportunities of citizens. It also requires a change in our attitude in the way we deal with our common wealth. Those who steal from the common wealth through embezzlement and corruption undermine our collective ability to build stronger economies because they distort incentives for work,” Dr. Bawumia stated.