Accra, Ghana//-MTN today cut sod for the construction of Ghana ICT Hub Project which is expected to create thousands of jobs for the youth when completed.
“The Ghana ICT Hub project” scheduled to be completed in 18 months is only a small part of a broader project called the “Ghana Innovation Hub” project.
Under the “Ghana Innovation Hub” project, there are three pillars: Ghana ICT Hub; Accra Innovation City; and the Ghana Education Platform.
The project is being financed by part of the telecoms company’s 25th anniversary’s $25 million commitment.
During MTN Ghana’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2021, the MTN Group CEO, Ralph Mupita, made a commitment to the Ministry of Communications & Digitalization (MoCD) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to support Ghana’s digitalization agenda.
Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh said: “The Ghana ICT Hub aims to develop an ICT ecosystem in the areas of health, agriculture and education through on-site and remote access delivery to facilitate skills development and job creation for the youth in Ghana”.
Today marks the beginning of the fulfilment of that promise. Despite the current economic challenges our beloved country is going through, we remain committed to keeping our promise of being a partner to Ghana’s national development agenda and in empowering our youth and future leaders of tomorrow”, Mr Adadevoh said.
“As a country, we can only be relevant tomorrow, if we invest in the right initiatives today and this project promises significant and exceptional transformational potential”.
The Ghana ICT Hub, according to him, is a physical infrastructure designed to provide 4,000 square meters of space with ancillary facilities and unique features.
Expected impact of the hub
When completed, the Ghana ICT Hub is expected to train over 200,000 youth with ICT and digital skills and generate more than 100,000 jobs within the first three years.
The hub will be an ultra-modern office facility, providing office spaces and meeting venues for more than 100 tech companies that will incubate new ideas and innovations, driving the start-up buzz in the hub after completion.
The Ghana ICT Hub will also create an ICT ecosystem in the health, agriculture, and education sectors, Mr Adadevoh added.
Youth focused hub
The CEO further noted that the establishment of the Ghana ICT Hub would “help build the future we want for our youth and foster new sources of economic growth for Ghana”.
Ghana’s population age structure is transitioning from one dominated by children (0-14 years) to one dominated by youth (15-35 years).
Amongst the youth, there are several misconceptions about ICT and in some cases, financial and other barriers that diminish the level of consideration placed on ICT as a viable career path and employment option.
“A digital infrastructure such as the Ghana ICT Hub has very high myth and misconception busting potential that we believe would be a game changer for Ghana’s youth and budding entrepreneurs in the digital space”.
As the world continues to evolve, it is important for Ghana’s youth to be equipped with ICT and digital skills to stay relevant and competitive, especially within the region when one thinks of the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).
“Beyond that, ICT is being used globally to solve the many problems our society is bedevilled with. As an organization that is leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, we know that reskilling and upskilling Africa’s youth is critical if Africa has a chance to stamp its mark on the global battleground”, Mr Adadevoh said.
This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is trying to achieve by driving us to Lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
Our aim really is to accelerate growth by building the largest and most valuable digital platform businesses fuelled by the youth”.
The Board Chairman of MTN Ghana, Ismael Yamson added they recognise the crucial role that ICT plays in driving economic growth and development.
“We are committed to investing in the infrastructure needed for leveraging technology to create innovative solutions that address the needs of Ghanaians. We believe that this ICT hub will play a key role in achieving this”.
For Ghana to remain relevant into the future, we have no option but to act now in arming our youth with the relevant ICT skills, tools and supporting policies to give them a chance to thrive in a regional and global marketplace”.
The digital economy presents numerous opportunities for Ghana’s burgeoning startups, SMEs, businesses, and entrepreneurs to leverage digital skills to explore opportunities within the digital ecosystem.
The Minister of Communications & Digitalization, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the decision by the MTN Group to build an ICT hub in Ghana as part of its 25th anniversary and committing to it, was one of the best pieces of information amid all the cacophony relating to global uncertainties.
She expressed government’s gratitude to the MTN Group and MTN Ghana leadership for this gesture and to borrow the words of His Excellency the President during his launch of MTN’s 25th anniversary in June 2021, “You have become a model for emulation”.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that MTN’s continuous commitment, partnerships, and efforts to be at the frontier of championing digital innovations in Ghana is extremely commendable.
“This ICT hub will facilitate the paradigm shift needed to accelerate Ghana’s progress with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, we have over 600 tech hubs forming the backbone of Africa’s tech ecosystem, largely supported by mobile operators and internet providers, due to their close involvement in the digital space”.
Like other countries, this ICT hub will be the venue for Ghana’s creative minds and innovators to explore and nurture ideas to address economic problems, provide technical support to startups, deepen digital literacy, especially among our young girls, broaden participation of women in ICT, encourage research and development and most importantly ensure Ghanaians embrace the full use of ICT.
The ICT hub will complement Ghana Digital Centers Limited’s focus on a nationwide network of digital transformation centers and interventions nurturing new businesses, according to her.
The Government believes that innovation is the hallmark of entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship provides huge opportunities for job creation and economic growth.
Like the tech Hubs in the United States of America, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Singapore, China, Dubai, Nigeria, and others, Government remains committed to creating an enabling environment that supports innovation, entrepreneurship, inclusion, and digital transformation for development.