The country needs to narrow the gulf in cutting edge skill sets if it is to take full advantage of a digitalised economy, Director-General, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu, has said.
He said aggressive local development and deployment of ‘cutting-edge modern-day’ skill sets to support the country’s digitalisation will translate into opportunities for individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole.
“As a nation, we need to take a deliberate and well-crafted approach in skilling our human resource, which is our most prized asset, with the skill sets required for the development of a digital economy. We need to skill the populace with financial literacy, basic IT skills and a host of specialised skills – especially in the area of emerging technologies,” he said.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of this year’s Tech Job Fair in Accra, and argued that a new approach away from the traditional way of doing things is required to be successful at harnessing the opportunities digitalisation presents the country.
He said government’s deployment of technology as the core tool for managing the country – from business registration, tax administration, government procurement to healthcare delivery and the finance sector among others – means that businesses must equally invest in digitalisation to plug into the government system, remain competitive and reduce cost of operation as well.
“Digitalisation of the economy presents a whole new world of opportunities to businesses and citizens alike, especially the nation’s teeming youth. For us to take full advantage of these opportunities, we require cutting-edge modern-day skill sets,” Mr. Okyere-Fosu said.
Industry and academia must collaborate
Touching on the need for the Tech Job Fair, Mr. Okyere-Fosu, said preparing the country’s teeming unemployed graduates to take up opportunities presented by digitalisation must be seen as a shared responsibility by academia and industry.
“Industry needs to lend a collaborative hand to academia in developing our workforce,” he noted, saying this could be achieved through scholarship and support schemes – as well as internship programmes within firms to offer additional practical and industry exposure to both graduates and students.
Mr. Okyere-Fosu further implored industry to have budgetary allocations for research in areas of interest.
Tech Job Fair
The 2023 edition of the Tech Job Fair (TJF), scheduled to come off on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in Accra, will be held under the theme ‘Leveraging technology to create inclusive and sustainable jobs’.
Before the main event takes place, there will be several stakeholder engagements for employers and employees.
The one-day job fair will bring together companies looking for new talents, on one hand, and job-seeking graduates on the other to exhibit and fill job openings through an innovative rapid recruitment process.
Executive Director for the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH) – lead organiser of the Tech Job Fair, David Gowu, said the event will provide an avenue to understand the needs and expectations of all stakeholders and development partners concerned in creating opportunities related to jobs and the future of work.
He said the fair is part of a broader agenda “to ensure that an enabling environment is created for young people to access decent jobs, so they benefit from the digital transformation agenda of Ghana”.
The Tech Job Fair is part of the DigiCAP.gh initiative, a project funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via Sequa as part of the Special Initiative Partner Africa with AFOS Foundation – a business-oriented and value-based foundation for international development cooperation – as the implementing partner.