Eva Andoh Opoku (4th right) with officials from GIFEC and participants
THE GHANA Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) has climaxed the National Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development Project in Kyebi, the capital of the Abuakwa South Municipality, in the Eastern Region.
Addressing participants at the programme, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Administration of GIFEC, Eva Andoh Opoku, said the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been significant to the transformation of societies across the world.
According to her, it has played a pivotal role in various functions of global economies; education, health, commerce, agriculture, and even entertainment.
She explained that, “Over the last couple of years, the urgency of ICT development has been evident due to the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country witnessed first-hand the need to accelerate ICT deployment efforts.”
She added that the COVID-19 pandemic affirms the significance of the government’s digitalisation agenda, which seeks to transform the economy of Ghana through the development of robust infrastructure to connect and ensure the inclusion of every citizen, for socioeconomic development.
“As we wrap up this project, I would urge all participants across the country, to capitalise on the skills acquired through this rare opportunity, to enhance your businesses, employability and your lives in general, for economic benefits,” she added.
GIFEC has made key strides to facilitate ICT infrastructure development, resource provision, and capacity building, in unserved and underserved communities across the country.
The cyber labs programme, geared at providing communities and institutions with ICT equipment, has over the years deployed computers and accessories to over 1,000 basic, junior, and senior cycle institutions across the country, to facilitate teaching and learning.
30 new Community ICT Centres (CICs) have been established across the country to increase access to ICT equipment and services to unserved and underserved communities.
The purpose of the project is to expand the digital skills of rural women and youth through ICT capacity building, education, and awareness.
Beneficiaries include hairdressers, seamstresses, beauticians, market women, unemployed graduates and school dropouts in utilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to build and expand their businesses, while making them ready for the job market.
In all, a total of 1,500 women have been trained to enhance their businesses through the use of ICT and social media tools.
The project has also trained 2,500 participants in 40 select GIFEC Community ICT Centres (CICs) within seven days and further aspires to create awareness of the use and importance of the selected centres.
With a curriculum developed by the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, entrepreneurs and artisans were trained in the use of social media tools to enhance their businesses and trade, whilst unemployed graduates, in addition to basic ICT skills, were trained in capitalising on tools like LinkedIn to market their profiles and enhance their employability.
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Kyebi