Dr Thomas O. Mensah, the Ghanaian-American prolific inventor and Chemical Engineer, has iterated his advice to the Government to take advantage of the digital age to leapfrog national development using technological innovation.
He said countries such as China and Malaysia had developed their relevant infrastructure through the effective use of technology and it behoved Ghana to follow suit.
Dr Mensah was speaking at a Pan-Nkrumaists Convention, on Thursday, in Accra, to mark Founder’s Day, which is marked every September 21, to honour Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Dr Mensah’s works are in fields relating to the development of fibre optics and nanotechnology. He has 14 patents, seven of which were awarded within six years. He was inducted into the United States National Academy of Inventors in 2015.
The event, organised by the Concerned Nkrumaists of North America, was on the theme:” Is there a place for Nkrumah’s Ideas in Ghana today?”
He said China was able to move six hundred million of its people out of poverty between 1981 and 2004; and through the use of technology in Agriculture, was feeding about one billion of its population.
“Africans must invest in agriculture to liberate its people from poverty,” he stated. “Africans should prepare to meet the challenging world; we cannot remain the same way we do things”.
He said Dr Nkrumah’s was determined to ensure that the country was successful in all spheres, hence his passion for the attainment of independence.
Dr Mensah said Dr Nkrumah believed in the ingenuity of the African and thus worked hard towards the liberation of the country from the shackles of foreign domination so that it could steer its own affairs.
In view of this, he stated, massive infrastructure development, including the Tema Harbour and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, were initiated by the First President.
“The Government needs to do more to expand the scope of development,” he declared.
“Africans are capable of doing great things, all we need to do is to be determined and believe in ourselves but avoid the notion that the expatriates are all knowing”.
On the theme for discussion, Dr Mensah said he believed that the ideas of Dr Nkrumah were relevant in today’s democratic dispensation and charged Ghanaians to learn from his enviable legacy, which the Government must build on.
Dr Nicholas Atampugre, an Independent Consultant, said Nkrumah made the country a hub of technology and innovation and sensitised Ghanaians and Africans at large, on the importance of projecting their positive personality.
He also encouraged them to develop their cultural heritage and mobilised the youth to be patriotic for national development.
He said the progressive forces of Nkrumaists were fragmented and disunited today because they had since marginalised the youth and women.
He advised Nkrumaists to form strategic linkages with Pan-Africanists and Socialist Movement and parties in West Africa and also nurture linkages with progressive forces in Central Africa.
“We need to link the practical needs of the masses with the political mobilisation for power, review and develop a strategy for radically changing Ghana’s neo-colonial governance architecture,” he said.