World Bank Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, is optimistic that the eGhana project will address the unemployment challenge facing the country.
The eGhana project, which started in 2006, is to assist the government to generate growth and employment by leveraging Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and public-private partnerships to develop the Information Technology (IT) enabled service industry, and to improve efficiency and transparency of selected government functions through e-governance applications.
Speaking to Journalists during a one-day visit to Ghana Tech Lab and Ghana Innovation Hub at the Accra Digital Centre, Mr. Diagana said he was pleased to see the young men and women being trained in Robotics, Creative Writing, Web Development, developing business ideas and validating them to some sort of prototype, coaching and giving grants to some entrepreneurs among other things.
He expressed the belief that beneficiaries of this project will use the opportunity to create jobs for themselves and pledged to continue partnering with the government.
“We are committed to staying because job creation is certainly a challenge for the country, but this project is an opportunity and it is possible to address this challenge. So, I will reiterate the Bank’s availability and commitment to continue partnering with the government and make this project scalable and beneficial for the majority of youth. Let me seize this occasion to commend the minister for her vision,” he added.
Minister for Communication and Digitisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful who was also present, added that the Ghana Innovation Hub projects have already impacted over 5,000 individuals and several hundreds of jobs have already been created.
“I think with what we have seen today, just a little exposure to digital technologies, innovation and skills, they are doing amazing things. I am glad we have been able to do this with support from the World Bank. About 5,000 individuals have already been impacted, several hundred jobs have already been created and it is the right way the go,” she said.
“The support has been fantastic, and it is a small seed that has been showing very great fruit and results. I keep saying if we give our young people the digital skills that they require today, they will provide the human resource for the global world of work in 20 to 30 years,” she added.
For his part, Director-Management for Development Foundation (MDF) at Innovation Hub Ghana project, Richard Yeboah, also elaborated how they want to develop the place into a centre of excellence where skills and knowledge acquired are transformed to businesses.
“We are trying to make this place a Centre of Excellence, whereby all the knowledge we are developing here is really being seen so that we can reach more entrepreneurs. What we are really doing is making sure that a small business becomes a medium business. It will be able to employ more people and lead to job security, making sure that they are complying and investment-ready. Besides the direct employment, indirect employment is also created.”