Background Statement of ICAST 2020

Many African countries contend with critical challenges in their efforts to secure decent standards of living for their populations. These constraints include food insecurity, poor sanitation, infrastructural deficit, relatively low level of productivity, etc. which had culminated in low economic growth rate. The relatively high levels of unemployment and household poverty among the population threaten their aspirations toward better living conditions. The depravations experienced are partly ascribed to low level of science and technology-based skills needed to exploit the rich natural resource endowment in the Region. Thus, low levels of scientific and technological innovations in production of goods and services constitute a formidable barrier to growth and development.

There is the need for a realistic approach to deal with the constraints which continue to dampen the development of sub-Saharan African States. It is abundantly clear that, in this knowledge Century, application of science, technology and innovation holds the key to unlocking the potentials of nations in order to make socio-economic development a reality. This is because the application of science and technology facilitates acquisition of skills which in addition to economic entrepreneurship enable societies decisively tackle unemployment and poverty. Indeed, science, technology and innovation have been recognized as the main pillars for ensuring sustainable improvement in the quality of living.

In order to chart a new path of research and innovation, there is the need for an educational system which has potential to generate knowledge in science and technology to facilitate skills development among the contemporary youth and the teeming workforce to address the skills gap. The absence of clear focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has led to mismatch between education and industry needs for labour, thereby resulting in high unemployment and underemployment among graduates from tertiary institutions. In view of this, skills development through TVET is critically needed to raise and transform economies of our continent and bring about multiplier effects on living standards. This is because, TVET has strong linkage with industry; and since industry’s demand is based on the desires and expectations of clients (population); this makes it responsive to the needs and aspirations of society.  

Through TVET, skills acquisition would propel society to benefit significantly from science, technology and innovation and thereby ensure food security, clean water, efficient transportation and energy, effective communication, sustainable environment, healthcare, decent shelter, etc. Therefore, TVET has the potential to ensure that the continent makes giant strides in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following from the above, Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) in collaboration with its partners is organizing the 6th International Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology (ICAST) scheduled for October 7 - 8, 2020 on the theme: Technical and Vocational Education: the Bedrock for National Development. Among other things, the Conference is intended to provide a platform for exchange of ideas, insights, experiences, research findings and knowledge among academia, industry players, policy makers, civil society institutions, development practitioners, etc. in fields such as Engineering, Science, ICT, Industry, Housing, Business, Environment  and Sanitation, Planning, Agriculture and Food Processing, Management, Creative and Applied Arts, etc.

Therefore, KsTU is inviting researchers, scholars, policy makers, and industry players to submit papers for presentation at ICAST 2020 in areas related to, but not limited to the following thematic areas: Engineering, Agriculture/Food Technology; Business, Management and Administration; Creative and Applied Arts; Computer Science and Technology; Economics & Statistics; Health/ Natural Sciences; Hospitality and Tourism; Housing and Waste Management; as well as Socio-Cultural Studies.