Digital skills literacy, as identified by the likes of ITU, UNDP, etc. as being essential for everyone living today in our digitally enabled world, underlines the vision of DigilifeGH. With the big vision of ensuring that every one of us is well-informed on best practices, trends, insights, etc. to stay relevant today, DigilifeGH has been carrying out various awareness activities over the years.
With its sister initiative, Smartkliq, focused on students mainly at primary and secondary levels since 2012. Various fora involving selected private schools and public schools in conjunction with District GES secretariats have been successfully organised. During these events, attendees were taken through various digital appropriate skills, highlighting opportunities as well as caution to be taken in the online/digital world. Various information products such as booklets and card games were distributed which reinforces the message of responsible cyber culture.
However, under the DigilifeGh arm, the focus is extended to cover others within the communities. These include working adults, the self-employed, youth in entrepreneurship, the aged, etc. This has become necessary as a result of the need for enhanced effort toward getting all of us digitally literate enough to take advantage of the various opportunities the digital transformation is offering.
In this regard, DigilifeGH, in collaboration with the Greater Accra Regional National Youth Authority (NYA), successfully organised a digital media training workshop for youth entrepreneurs at the SDA Church (Middle East branch) in the Ashaiman District. Although slated for the youth, participants in the programme included some working adults who were eager to join. There were market women who wanted to know how to leverage digital platforms for their business growth.
Among the participants were also corporate executives who wanted to know ways to market their side hustles using for example, WhatsApp Business to get some additional income. Carpenters, masons, caterers and other artisans were excited at the revelations the programme gave them about using online channels to enhance their works.
Participants at the training workshop at the SDA church – Ashaiman Middle East Branch
Directors from the NYA were present and gave some great remarks to the participants. Madam Sonia Banini, the Municipal Youth Facilitator NYA – Ashaiman, said she herself is a living witness of how using social media platforms for side hustles have helped her to get some great income. The Ningo Prampram District NYA Administrator, Madam Mary Debrah, reiterated the need for participants to take such studies seriously because, often, such channels may bring in bigger revenue than even their regular jobs.
Mr. Mathias Kofi Blay, the Regional Director, Greater Accra National Youth Authority, said that this is a pilot project for a regional plan to roll out digital media skills training for the youth across the various districts. He also expressed gratitude to the church leadership for hosting the programme. Also present was the Greater Accra Regional Youth Parliament Minority Leader, Mr. Samuel Azuri.
Mr. Ernest Boateng, who is the Ningo Prampram District Director of NYA, and a key planning committee member of the event, cautioned participants against being victims of social engineering fraud as a result of giving too much information away in public places such as in lorries, where criminals can get them and use it for fraudulent acts.
DigilifeGH’s director, Mr. Theodore Lawson, who was the resource person, gave a very detailed presentation and led the practical sessions for participants’ hands-on experiences. Practical activities undertaken by participants included: Setting a business profile on Google and pinning their local businesses on Google Maps to enhance being found during searches. Also on the agenda were Professional WhatsApp Business profile creation and Facebook Business Page Setting.
As a certified IT project manager and renowned e-commerce business founder himself, Mr. Lawson told the participants that: “Time spent online is never free, with every minute spent someone is making money, why won’t you also learn to make money online?”
He further made it clear that these lessons, which are part of the digital marketing mix, are paid for in either consultancy or training, and so they (participants) should take it seriously.
There is indeed need to bring regular updates on happenings in our digital world to help equip our citizens for the information-based economy agenda. Today we have e-levy with us, but many citizens are either oblivious or misinformed about it. DigilifeGH, as part of its mission, is looking at ways to keep citizens of all ages and social classes informed on the various digital happenings in the country and beyond.