Digital Transformation Yet To Reach Rural Communities – GIZ

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Madam Regina Barbosa Bauerochse Country Director Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit Giz
Madam Regina Barbosa Bauerochse Country Director Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit Giz

Madam Regina Barbosa Bauerochse, Country Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has observed that rural areas and informal businesses in the country are yet to benefit from opportunities under digital transformation.

Madam Bauerochse said this at the maiden edition of the Africa Technovate Awards Night Gala in Accra over the weekend organised by AIDEC Consultancies International Limited.

The Award scheme was to recognise and reward African technology companies that have blazed the trail for several years and budding young innovative and creative tech companies charting a path for Africa in a fast digitally transforming world.

Themed: “Information Technology and the Way Forward for Africa under the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the Africa Technovate Awards 2021, sought to challenge and motivate technological companies driving digital solutions to do more to make Africa stay competitive, especially under the era of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

It awarded 17 companies and individuals in various categories, including the FinTech Company of the Year, Digital Agri-Business of the Year, Tech Insurance Company of the Year, Young Tech Start-up Company of the Year, Ambitious Tech Company of the year and Quality Standards Award.

Madam Bauerochse said digitalisation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, had huge potential for growth and employment, however, lack of digital skills or the awareness of such services prevented them from adopting and using the tools and mediums available.

She said the long-term successes of start-ups serving the African market often depended on their ability to cater for those target groups.

‘‘For instance through agent networks, or access to their services through feature phones,’’ the Country Director added.

She noted that for over a decade, Africa had shown the potential of dynamic innovation ecosystems in combination with the tech-savvy population to realise economic opportunities while simultaneously reducing disparities.

The Digital Development Strategy (2020-2023), an integral factor in the pursuit of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, she said, emphasised the role of digital transformation as a lever for integrated sustainable and inclusive development.

Madam Bauerochse said it addressed the untapped potential of millions of online and unbanked inhabitants while considering risks arising from an existing and growing digital, income and gender gap.

‘‘We are committed to the principles for Digital Development as well as the 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’’ she assured.

The Country Director said GIZ shared the same vision with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation of making the country the hub of digitalisation in West Africa.

Ghana and Germany have a long-standing relationship in international cooperation for more than 35 years, which includes the setup of the Digital Transformation Center to pursue the digitalisation agenda of the Ghanaian Government.

 

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