Accra, Nov 21, GNA - Government will use its purchasing power to promote local entrepreneurs particularly in the Technology (Tech) industry, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, has said.
She said to illustrate this commitment despite the strident opposition, government decided to use a Ghanaian company to roll out the National Identity (ID) Project.
Mrs Ekuful said this at the opening ceremony of "Tech in Ghana Conference", an initiative organised by Africa Business 2020 and hosted by the Accra Digital Centre (ADC), under the auspices of the Ministry of Communication.
The two-day conference offers a unique opportunity to showcase Ghana’s locally developed, world-class technology to potential clients and investors, and as well provides a platform for dialogue between the government, private sector, small scale enterprises and tech start-ups.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said in the quest to push government’s Digital Ghana agenda, her Ministry was keen to engage with stakeholders from across the vibrant Ghana tech ecosystem and explore how they could work collectively in making Ghana a leading tech hub in the sub region.
The Communications Minister said in an effort to support the vibrant local start up ecosystem, Government was establishing Information Communication Technology (ICT) parks to promote entrepreneurship attract private investment and enhance ICT research and development.
She said among their objectives was to encourage the transfer of knowledge and development of human resource capacity, to meet the increasing digital demands of the country and to boost youth employment.
Mrs Ekuful said in an effort to bridge the digital divide, community information centres have been established across the country and these would be equipped as e-service centres to bring government closer to the people.
“This will also provide basic IT literacy education to our rural communities and be the venue for accessing and paying for provision of government services in all those localities," she added.
She said the introduction of paperless port operations, the integrated e-immigration system and e-procurement, which were all at various stages of implementation and the development of an interoperability system to integrate government databases, all represent significant milestones in Ghana’s journey to digitisation.
Mr Eric Ofosu Nkansah, Acting Managing Director of ADC, said the Centre’s vision was to help position Ghana as a regional ICT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) hub, as a preferred outsourcing destination in the sub region.
He said this was to enable Ghana leap into the digital age.
"Our mission is to provide the required infrastructure and support services to facilitate growth of the ICT and Information Technology Enables Services (ITES) sector, to augment the private sector’s role in providing relevant technology solutions to various sectors of the Ghanaian economy," he added.
Mr Nkansah said their services include office space for rent to IT and BPO firms, conference rooms, meeting facilities; whereas, one block of facility has been reserved for a Business Incubation Programme, to nurture tech start-ups and promote digital entrepreneurship among the youth.
He said other programmes include study tours, ecosystems meet-ups and conferences, angel’s networks, innovation contests and business plan competitions, among others; and expressed the hope to implement these programmes in partnership with the tech community.