The Advanced Information Technology Institute of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence (AITI-KACE) is living by its billing for developing a home-built software for use targeting especially Basic and Senior High Schools across the country.
The AITI-KACE Centre, Ghana Centre for Free and Open Source Software has therefore completed its first indigenous digital Nyansapo Operating System (NOS) in Ghana, which could be comparable to Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X or Linux OS.
The Centre, which was piloting the new Nyansapo operating System, a collection of instructions that enables the user to interact with a computer, its hardware or perform specific tasks, in three schools in the Upper East region.
The Schools are the Bolgatanga SHS, the Zuarungu SHS and the TI Ahmadiyya Primary and JHS in Bolgatanga, and with the resumption of academic work, it is expected that full-scale pilot would be activated through the Bolga Centre of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence, the Centre’s replica of the Silicon Valley of the United States, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic subsided.
Other deliverables of the operating system namely, EDUNOS, which specifically targets public schools, is a collection of software tools to assist in the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and all other subjects being taught in the school system, with the other, the NOSS, which is a desktop programme targeting government agencies and for use generally by the public.
The Nyansapo, was developed in eight months by five Ghanaians from the Centre and their two Indian counterparts from the Centre of Development for Advanced Computing (CDAC) under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology.
Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, Director-General of AITI-KACE, said the Centre was mandated to research, innovate and develop home-grown ICT (Information Communications Technology) solutions to meet the challenging needs of the country indicating ‘they are on course.’
He said the home-grown NOSS has come to replace the high purchasing license and proprietary software in changing or updating known software, estimated at some 20 million dollars annually, is another massive barrier to the implementation of ICT education in Ghana.
ICT education is a human right and every country should provide quality ICT education to the school ecosystem because their skills and knowledge form key ingredients in the development process of any country and especially for Ghana.
Invariably, when one implements ICT education, operating systems therefore becomes one of the most critical ingredients in its implementation.
The Director-General said the benefits of the new operating system go far beyond cost reduction such as improved reliability, the chance to use innovative, cutting-edge technology, and a greener, more sustainable approach to computing as well as scientific and mathematical applications to boost STEM.
This operating system allows the freedom to use whichever software application one chooses and again the software fits more closely into a School’s own particular need.
The “Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecom and ICT Development” to shape the future of ICT sector was unanimously adopted at the ITU PP in 2018 conference to boost the deployment of IT.
The five pillars for the above would foster access to and increase the use of ICT in support of the digital economy and society, bridge the digital divide and provide broadband access for all, manage emerging risks, challenges and opportunities resulting from the rapid ICT growth, innovation and partnership.
Mr Kenneth Edem Ashigbey, Chief Executive, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, said an efficient telecommunications network is the good foundation upon which an information society is built and commended the AITI-KACE for this development.
He said leveraging digital infrastructure to spur economic recovery was apt and to be pursued.
Mr. Fred Yeboah, Director, Research and Innovation, said the product could be used globally and is resilient to viruses and hacking, which could be analogous to Mac OS X and Linux OS.
He disclosed that AITI-KACE had developed various programmes, which include Paperless Leave Management Systems, an online stress-free portal designed for use in the application of annual leave, apparently needed to be adopted by public and private institutions.
Another is an Application Programme Interface (API), which is also an application for easy bank connectivity and could be used by Ministries, Departments and Agencies to receive cash payment aimed at promoting a cashless society. The Centre is partnering this with Societé Generale (SG-Ghana).
Again, its E-Leisure, is also a one-stop solution programme designed to monitor revenue generation for organisations with branches in the various regions delivering real time notifications.
The Centre is currently working on digitising public institutions such as the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and Birth & Death Registry. The Centre has completed feasibility studies and designs with support from the Indian National Institution for Smart Governance.
Some other AITI-KACE developed systems include: AITI-HMS (a hospital management system),
AITI-HRMS (a human resource system), AITI-LMS (a library management system) and AITI-WRMS (a hospital waiting room management system).
Industries across all sectors leverage the power of ICT to perform their tasks. The benefits of ICT in the teaching, learning and work environment, for instance, include the development of new, innovative ways to interact and communicate with user-enablers for higher engagement rates, faster learning and improved teaching methods.
ICT is an enabler and provides governments, businesses and citizens for efficient processes and the thrust of developing ICT applications and information content for socio-economic development cannot be overemphasised.
Examples of ICT are software applications and operating systems, web-based information and applications such as distance learning, telephones and other telecommunications products, video equipment and multimedia products that may be distributed on videotapes, CDs, DVDs, email, or the World Wide Web.
ICT is widely used across various industries, from marketing and telecom to education. Global ICT spending is expected to surge to over six trillion dollars by 2022, according to a study.
The rise of AI, big data analytics and augmented reality contributes to the rapid growth of this industry. Organisations worldwide can leverage the advantages of ICT, which AITI-KACE is emboldened to pursue to increase productivity in the workplace and cut operational costs and improve customer experience.
AITI-KACE believes in one size does-not-fit-all approach to software development training. For that reason, the training focuses on personal creativity and dynamism to bring out the potential of each and every student. So let the public and the private sectors form a closer partnership with the Centre to transform mother Ghana.