Accra, September 28, 2016 – Dean of Engineering School, Fred McBagonluri and Lecturer in the Business Administration Department, Nepeti Nicanor, shared insights into innovation within education and the informal sectors, at the inaugural edition of the Innovation Ghana Conference.

Under the theme Development Innovation – Putting the pieces together, the conference was organised by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The goal of the conference was to help foster networks of scholars, professionals and entrepreneurs driving innovative research in Ghana and West Africa on the whole.

Speaking on his paper, New and Dynamic Approaches to Innovation Education, Dr. McBagonluri shared insights into Ashesi’s Engineering curriculum, providing a framework for attendees to develop and successfully adopt innovation into educational institutions.

“The most important place to start an innovation process is in our schools, and we need to start that very early,” he said. “We need to develop an educational ecosystem that produces men and women, who together can move our nation forward. For us to start having the discussion about what innovation should look like in Africa, we need to look at giving our students the right tools to use.”

Nepeti Nicanor, on the other hand, spoke on the role of the informal sector in Sub Saharan Africa, in driving innovation. Her presentation was based on her paper, Artisans: The Missing Link in Development Innovation. “Though artisans create value to our society through provision of goods and services, many of them do not grow their business beyond subsistence or micro levels,” she explained. “We need to harness their skills through stronger collaboration and networks with faculty and students from higher educational institutions to help them grow.”