Ghana government urges enabling environment for young ICT developers

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Vice President Amissah-Arthur ?
Vice President Amissah-Arthur ?

The Vice President of Ghana, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Wednesday urged industry players in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to create the enabling environment for young innovators and Applications (App) developers in the sector.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur ?
Vice President Amissah-Arthur
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This, he said, was crucial for Ghana?s competitiveness in the global world of ICT and mobile technology.
The Vice-President made this plea when he opened the first ever African Mobile and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Exhibition (MOBEX) here.

He was of the view that Ghana had developed a substantial and growing number of technology innovators, software and app developers, adding: ?It is this creativity of the Ghanaian that is helping us in the new way of doing old things.?

?But I also know the frustrations of young developers in our country. I have many examples, people from Ashesi University, the dream oval team, the development of the i-wallet, the frustrations that the young men have gone in, because older people like us are unable to understand the concepts and adopt them so we put barriers in their way.?
Since mobile telephony was introduced into the country in 1992, the penetration of the technology has grown to 32 million mobile users and some 16 million mobile internet users in a country of over 25 million people.
?There are 10 percent more mobile devices than there are people in Ghana. The world is now in the palms of our hands,? Amissah-Arthur noted.

Although Ghana cannot compete with global giants in hardware and equipment manufacturing, the Vice-President said the sector needed to develop to the point Ghana could carve a niche for itself in software and apps development.

He said the mobile device had come to stay and would continue to transform lives in many ways politically, socially, economically, culturally and even in religions.

?Since we cannot halt its progress, we therefore just need to embrace it and exploit the benefits that it provides to enable us to keep up with the pace of development of our competitors in the global race.

?Most crucially, we must ensure that our education system provides our students with the skills for matching this pace in order to make them relevant in the job market and many opportunities in the ICT field,? he added.
There were over 60 exhibitors already set up at the venue at the start of the three-day program.
Deputy Minister of Communications Ato Sarpong said Ghana had come a long way in embracing technology as an essential part of life.

?The pervasiveness of mobile phones all over the country attests to the dominant roles technology has come to assume in our lives. The internet has and continues to permeate every aspect of our lives, be it social, economic, cultural, and educational or even political,? the deputy minister pointed out.
Sarpong noted that Africa was a hotbed for growth and development while Ghana was the hotbed for the mobile device and mobile technology revolution.

He entreated investors and innovators to take advantage of the opportunities in Africa to invest in the field of technology.

?Opportunities abound and the brave who dare venture into this arena will be the beneficiaries of this booming industry,? Sarpong insisted.

George Spencer Quaye, Chief Entrepreneur of Coasters Ltd, organizers of MOBEX 2015, expressed the confidence that MOBEX would become Africa?s own renaissance, giving birth to a new breed of disruptive innovators. Enditem

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