The intention of transforming Ghana into an information-rich and knowledge-based society and economy is a very good one. The framers of the policy document that is meant to guide us identified certain priority areas we have to always keep in mind in our pursuit of this agenda.
In writing this new series, I intend to draw the attention of us all as stakeholders to the very key features defined to guide us into achieving the Ghana we want.
Our bane as Ghanaians has always been difficulty in implementing the various great documented policies.
I will be highlighting the areas we must begin looking to focus on, as we work to achieve the information-rich and knowledge-based Ghana.
The following are the outlined focused areas:
Accelerated Human Resources Development
- Promoting ICT in Education- The Deployment and Exploitation of ICTs in Education
- Facilitating Government Administration and Service Delivery – Promoting Electronic Government and Governance
- Facilitating Development of the Private Sector
- Developing an Export–Oriented ICT Products and Services Industry
- Modernisation of Agriculture and the Development of an Agro-Business Industry
- Developing a Globally Competitive Value-Added Service Sector – A Regional Business Service ICT Hub
- Deployment and Spread of ICTs in the Community
- Promotion of National Health
- Rapid ICT and Enabling Physical Infrastructure Development
- Research and Development (R&D), Scientific and Industrial Research Capacity Development
- Legal, Regulatory and Institutional Framework Provisions
- Promoting Local and Foreign Direct Investment Drives in ICT
- Facilitating National Security and Law and Order
Let us delve a little a bit into the first focus area, which is intended to ensure that every citizen in Ghana is onboard the ICT revolution.
- Accelerated Human Resources Development
The aspirations of the ICT4AD that Ghana has adopted will only become possible when the citizenry are equipped or retooled to be receptive to whatever innovation will be created.
Human resources are critical to every developmental goal, and so it is for moving Ghana into a predominated info- and knowledge-based society and economy.
During the time of formulating the policy, only a few of the qualified applicants were gaining admission into universities to receive higher education. There was a big consideration of how as a people we can make our human resources capable of not only using emerging technologies, but also being able to initiate, support and also maintain it.
To achieve the socio-economic growth we all crave, we need to grow that set of professionals who are skilled to man the ICT infrastructure we need.
Also identified was the need to purposefully train people in both the private and public sectors to use ICT for work. The skilled individuals to undertake the required training were also in short supply then. Must we say the same for today, that we don’t have the resource persons to handle effective training of our people in ICT for work?
There is also a need to have people trained to help continuously identify and integrate new technological tools into the working environment for efficiency.
Intent of the Policy Statement
It was identified that we can transform, especially the youth, into an ICT-ready human asset for the country’s drive toward our big vision for ICT4AD. Critical areas within the economy are to be identified and the skill gaps within those spaces outlined. These will become the key areas of focus as we try to equip the younger generation to initiate, deploy and maintain the various ICT infrastructures we will bring in.
Among the objectives to get human resources ready for ICT development and growth are the intents to:
- Promote and facilitate skills-upgrade of the existing human resources in both the public and private sectors
- Target priority areas and train technical and managerial expertise for them
- Also develop a pool of Knowledge ICT workforces whose task it will be to research and contribute to the country’s info-knowledge economy.
- Our teaching institutions are also to be equipped with not only facilities but also human resource to help drive training
- Transform our country into an information and knowledge-driven ICT-literate nation
- Support and facilitate the training of women in key skills required by the information and knowledge economy
- Ensure an increase in access to technical and vocational education and training for all categories of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups
- Enact laws that provide equal access for physically-challenged and vulnerable groups to ICT training and education
- Promote world-class standards to support nation-wide professional ICT skills accreditation
To achieve all these good intentions, there is a need to have certain instruments that will help get us there. Prominent among these is the facilitation of an investment climate for the mobilisation of financial and technical resources; as well as promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) specifically targetting attractive investments which have knowledge and expertise transfer components.
We as a people are all charged to play our parts in ensuring that the human resources of this nation are ICT-ready to help transform our society into an info-knowledge one.