The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Digital Centre, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang has commended MTN Ghana for the establishment of the Ghana ICT Hub which is aimed at deepening the transformation of the country’s digitalization agenda.
The virtual sod-cutting ceremony for the country’s largest ICT Hub was held on Tuesday 28th March 2023 at the Accra Digital Centre.
In attendance was the Minister for Communication and Digitization, Hon Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Deputy Minister, Hon Ama Pomah, Government Officials, MP for Okaikwei South constituency, Hon Darkoa Newman, Minister for Works and Housing, Hon Asenso Boakye, Board Chair & Board Members of GDCL, MTN CEO and Executives at Accra Digital Centre.
”Our Ministry which is responsible for Digitalisation and Technological Innovation has taken a keen interest in how emerging technologies are shaping the future. Technology and Innovation have become an intrinsic part of the digital future, our focus as a government has therefore been to ensure that the youth will not be ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy (valued at $20 Trillion by 2025) and also to systematically create opportunities for homegrown start-ups in the space, to create value and wealth for our people,” he said.
As a way of addressing the gaps, the Ghana Digital Centers Limited (GDCL), a state-of-the-art mini-tech hub, was established to harness the digital potential of Ghana by driving Digital innovation entrepreneurship to create digital and ancillary jobs for the youth through the hosting of Tech firms and Digital startups.
The centre over the years has attracted a mix of technology ventures of various sizes and stages, including Start Ups, SMEs, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Companies. It has also built the capacity of over five thousand (5000) Ghanaian youth in different digital training programmes. Training in Digital marketing, call centre skills, basic IT, Microsoft office suite, and BPO skills amongst others.
Since its operationalization in 2017, a total of seven thousand, five hundred and fifteen (7,515) jobs have been created for the youth and vulnerable persons from low-income communities.
Currently, the Ghana Digital Centres Limited has allocated 100% of its space and achieved a 100% occupancy rate with many other tech companies still seeking space at the center.
The decision by the MTN Group to build an ICT hub in Ghana as part of its 25th anniversary and commit to it was therefore one of the best pieces of information amid all the cacophony relating to global uncertainties.
On behalf of the Government I would like to express my profound gratitude to the MTN Group and MTN Ghana leadership for this kind gesture and to borrow the words of His Excellency the President during his launch of MTN’s 25th anniversary in June 2021, “You have become a model for emulation”. I must say that your continuous commitment, partnerships, and efforts to be at the frontier of championing digital innovations in Ghana is extremely commendable.
This ICT hub will facilitate the paradigm shift needed to accelerate Ghana’s progress with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, we have over 600 tech hubs forming the backbone of Africa’s tech ecosystem, largely supported by mobile operators and internet providers, due to their close involvement in the digital space.
Like other countries, this ICT hub will be the venue for Ghana’s creative minds and innovators to explore and nurture ideas to address economic problems, provide technical support to startups, deepen digital literacy, especially among our young girls, broaden participation of women in ICT, encourage research and development and most importantly ensure Ghanaians embrace the full use of ICT.
The ICT hub will complement Ghana Digital Centers Limited’s focus on a nationwide network of digital transformation centers and interventions nurturing new businesses.
The Government believes that innovation is the hallmark of entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship provides huge opportunities for job creation and economic growth.
Like the tech Hubs in the United States of America, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Singapore, China, Dubai, Nigeria, and others, Government remains committed to creating an enabling environment that supports innovation, entrepreneurship, inclusion, and digital transformation for the development.
Following the 3D walkthrough of the edifice, I do not just see brick and mortar. I believe this edifice will significantly deepen Ghana’s current digital strides to reposition Ghana’s image within the Sub-region and the continent and will be the initiator of creating the first Unicorn in Ghana. This project comes at a time GDCL is intensifying collaborations with key stakeholders to develop dedicated infrastructure for driving innovation whilst creating opportunities that accelerate the growth of digital ventures to bridge the unemployed gap and accelerate entrepreneurship in the country.
Let me end by commending the working groups from the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, Ghana Digital Centers Limited, and MTN for their efforts in making the sod-cutting ceremony a success.
Adding that, the company looks forward to deepen collaborations and the prompt completion of the project.
By: Kofi Gyekye Tuffour