The government was urged to prioritize research to improve the country’s development.
According to Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, the country’s natural resources alone are not enough to develop as a nation without the support of individuals and institutions involved in research, as in developed countries.
“It’s high time we prioritized what the government can use to improve the country’s development, especially looking at how best to invest in research.” Our gold, our diamond and our oil alone cannot save us. This is just research,” he said.
He observed how countries like Japan and Germany, which lack Ghana’s natural resource boost, are doing better through research.
“We have the people to do the research. There are many doctorates. and good scientists, but where are the facilities? These are the things they (the government) need to look at in order to equip universities, research institutions and laboratories that are worth supporting”.
Prof Marfo-Owusu lamented the idea of politicians having big cars, V8s and all sorts of fast vehicles, describing it as not being the best for the country.
“We should rather invest so much money in all kinds of equipment that can do good research and get better results that can lead to better applications to improve the development of the country,” he said.
He made the remarks during the inaugural lecture of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Sunyani in the Bono region to celebrate his appointment as a professor.
Professor Marfo-Owusu is a chemical crystallologist and supramolecular chemist and Head of the Department of Chemical Sciences at UENR.
His inaugural lecture, as part of UENR’s 10th anniversary celebration, was on the theme “Ghana’s Development and Advancement Pathway in Research Breakthrough in Chemical, Material, Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences: X-ray crystallography and the supramolecular chemistry approach”.
He said that the application of X-ray crystallography and supramolecular chemistry concepts as scientific tools has revealed and solved many problems in the world as well as advanced science and technology.
Explaining further, he said it has contributed to research in medical sciences, virology, cancer research, enzymology, pharmaceuticals, superconductors, semiconductors, magnetic materials and many other areas.
He noted that some countries have made breakthroughs in the covid-19 virus and subsequent vaccines due to knowledge in crystallography.
As the only full lecturer in crystallography in Ghana currently, Prof Marfo-Owusu admits it is not well known in the country but hopes to see it treated as a major course in tertiary institutions in scientific vocation because of its importance for most sectors.
In Ghana, only UENR does supramolecular chemistry and some crystallography.
Professor Marfo-Owusu also said that the equipment used in crystallography is quite expensive but worth it. He therefore called on the government to consider supporting it for researchers.
He expressed his gratitude to all the people and institutions that motivated and played a role in his career.
Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, whose parents honored the occasion, holds a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (Obafemi Awolowo University), an MSc in Chemistry (Walter Sisulu University, South Africa) and a PhD in Engineering (Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo-Japan)
UENR Vice-Chancellor Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako said the University will continue to support staff to do more research for the benefit of teaching and learning at the institution and hopes that Professor Marfo-Owusu’s achievement will motivate others to greatness. .