Telecoms, ICT offer Ghanaian youth new avenues of employment

The increasing numbers of consumers of ICT and telecommunications products in Ghana attest to the growth of her telecommunications and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors.

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ICT sector
ICT

This is particularly noticeable through innovations that are transforming the sector into a key driver of economic development and job creation.

ICTThanks to key global technology firms such as China’s Huawei, Microsoft, IBM, and Samsung, investments in the sector continue to attract global attention.

For example, by the close of December 2015, Ghana’s teledensity had risen to 129.63 percent, comprising 35,283,957 telephone subscribers, with mobile data subscribers reaching 18,031,188 or 65.74 percent of the 27 million population, according to the Ministry of Communications.

All these contribute to the sterling performance of Information and Communications Technology under the services sector.

The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from 4.1 percent in 2007 to 13.4 percent in 2015. At constant market price, the value of the performance moved from 483 million Ghana cedis (125.13 million dollars) in 2007 to 2.51 billion cedis in (650.27 million dollars) in 2015.

Acknowledging the potential of ICT and telecommunications for job creation and economic development, the government, with support from its stakeholders, has been putting some critical investments into the sector.

Opening the three-day Third Annual Africa Mobile Expo (MOBEX -2016) here on Tuesday, President John Dramani Mahama said 10,000 new jobs would be created with the commissioning of the new Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Center near Kwame Nkrumah Circle in the heart of the capital.

“One of government’s initiatives and infrastructural investments that would create opportunity for sustainable business and entrepreneurial employment for 10,000 of our young people in the digital eco system is the development of the BPO center near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange,“ Mahama announced.

With support from world leading ICT firm, Huawei of China, the country has also built a state-of-the art National Data Center that will be able to host data racks for both commercial and non-commercial entities.

This is in addition to the M-Labs, I-hubs, the Kumasi Business Incubator, regional innovation centers and the ICT Park in Tema to boost the innovation digital system.

The Eastern Corridor Fiber Optic network, which was commissioned in 2015, is complementing the inland fiber stock in the country to improve communications services.

The government also seeks to create a conducive environment for talented, creative and IT conscious youth in Ghana to develop applications and softwares that can solve problems.

“The availability of broadband connectivity is expanding significantly. The opportunities this offers in creating new businesses are numerous. With massive development by software developers, relevant local content will drive demand and more businesses would soon begin to transform the ideas into value in the market,” the president stressed.

The Ministry of Communications is also constructing 120 LTE (Long Term Evolution) sites across the country to enhance public service delivery, according to sector Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah.

To improve further universal access and bridge the digital divide, the minister said 21 enhanced Community Information Centers had been constructed across the 10 regions of Ghana.

Notable names in Ghana’s ICT industry include Herman Chienery Hesse of Soft Tribe, with products such as ‘Hey julor’ for security, and ‘Akatua’, a payroll software, as well as Bright Simons of mPedigree who has developed softwares for detecting counterfeited drugs, textile prints and fertilizer tracking.

Hatua Solutions Ltd, set up by Nehemiah Attigah, a Ghanaian software engineer, provides business intelligence and data solutions , system audit , digital media strategy and process analysis in Ghana , Gambia, Nigeria , South Africa , Kenya, Sierra Leone and USA.

Furthermore, Esoko, an ICT service company set up in Ghana for agricultural markets in Africa, uses cellular phone tools to provide advice to farmers on market prices and weather forecasts, among many other services.

Some of these companies which were among the hundreds of exhibitors at the just ended MOBEX 2016 have very vibrant youth as their ICT experts, threby strengthening the hope of the country in ICT to provide jobs for the youth.

George Spencer Quaye, Chief Executive Officer of Coasters Company Limited, organizers of MOBEX, observed that technology and innovation were being powered by the internet all over the world as the most potent tools for accelerating global economic growth and human development in the 21stCentury.

“Economies are bracing themselves today for a wave of disruptions presenting multiple opportunities for new growth and development

“This is an ongoing transformation of the global economy powered by the new economic phenomenon which is changing how we interact, affecting human relations and disrupting businesses,” Quaye noted, warning that businesses that shy away from innovation risked going under. Enditem.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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