Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has reiterated the Government’s unblemished desire to leverage on the potentials of information communication technology (ICT) to transforming the national economy for growth.
He said the current socio-economic challenges the nation was grappling with was largely due to a knowledge-gap, instead of a resource-gap, noting that ‘‘the quicker we bridge the knowledge-gap, the quicker we will develop our economy’’.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led Government was in a hurry and determined to bridge the knowledge-gap to attain the ‘‘Ghana beyond aid’’ agenda.
To that end, he said, the government, on assuming the reins of national administration last year, started building the necessary foundation to propel the country’s development agenda.
Some of the policies included; the national digital property addressing system, electronic-business registration and paperless ports system, as well as smart drivers’ licensing, mobile money payment interoperability, among other digital platforms, as the building blocks for development.
Vice President Bawumia said this when he delivered a farewell address for the 2018 Class of Huawei’s Ghana Seeds for the Future initiative at the Jubilee House, in Accra on Friday.
The Huawei’s Seeds for the Future initiative started in 2008 as its global flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), to create opportunities for 1,000 tertiary students and young government officials working in ICT-related departments every year to embark on a two-week study trip its headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
So far, over 90,000 students from 96 countries worldwide have benefitted from the programme since its inception.
The programme enabled the beneficiaries to learn cutting-edge technologies and offered them opportunities for hands-on practice in Huawei’s most advanced laboratories.
The study trip also helps beneficiaries to learn more about Chinese culture, and gain cross-cultural work experience in a global business environment.
Last year, 15 students from Ghana participated in the trip to China and some are working in both the private and public institutions across the country offering their skills and services towards the advancements of the nation,
Ten (10) students from Ghana’s universities have been selected to take part in the study trip this year.
Vice President Bawumia said ICT played a pivotal role in driving the economy forward in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, education, trade and industry, noting that, the government was systematically putting the necessary digital infrastructure for socio-economic development.
He described Huawei as one of the leading technological companies in the world with about 80,000 researchers and, thus, urged the beneficiaries to take full advantage to develop their skills and capacity in order to make a headway in life.
‘‘You are really very lucky because you are going to work in a leading multinational and a major technological company in the world, and you must take advantage to learn and enhance your capacities, ’’Dr Bawumia advised the beneficiaries.
The Vice President said the nation was endowed with talented young human resource and asked the beneficiaries to utilise the era of the knowledge revolution to enhance themselves, adding; ‘‘with knowledge, you can conquer the world’’.
He applauded Huawei for instituting the CSR initiatives and urged them to continue the good works and assured that, the government would continue her good relations with the company towards enhancing the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Mr Tommy Zhou, the Managing Director of the Huawei-Ghana, in his welcoming address, said ICT had become an important growth engine in many industries, therefore, as global leader in ICT solutions, it would continue to drive long term economic, social and environmental sustainability of Ghana.
He said it believed that access to education would create opportunities to support fair and sustainable development, hence the company focused its global flagship CSR initiative on education and knowledge-transfer, which would afford the beneficiaries the opportunity to build a global business outlook.
He said 40 students from Ghana’s universities had so far benefitted from the programme since 2015, and urged the beneficiaries to take full advantage of the programme to build their capacities.
To develop more ICT talents in Ghana, he said, earlier this year, the company collaborated with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to introduce the Huawei Authorised Network Information at the Network Academy (HANA) programme.
He said the programme enabled the KNUST’s students to acquire cutting-edge technologies and gain hands-on practical training experiences and expressed delight that Ghanaian students won top prizes at the HANA Africa contest.
Mr Zhou said Ghana had been endowed with many talents and would support Ghanaian students to empower them to compete favourable on the stage and take the nation to the new ICT era.
Mr Kojo Atiemo, a student from the KNUST, who benefitted from the Huawei’s study trip to China last year, shared his experiences with the gathering.
He said the trip enabled him and his colleagues to gain further insights into the Huawei’s concept, which had changed his perception about the ICT world.
Mr Atiemo said he had teamed up with one of the beneficiaries, to build a programme known as the ‘‘GH Ticket’’, an online bus ticketing system, for easy booking of ticket to travel.