With some significant strides chalked up in sustainability advocacy, Ghana is on the path to realising a sustainable and eco-friendly digital future, First Lady of the Republic, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has remarked.
One of such successes, according to the First Lady, is the partnership that led building West Africa’s first floating Hydro-Solar Hybrid plant that fuels a cashew processing factory in the Bono Region; a project that has created over 800 jobs for the people.
“Ghana has made significant strides in advocating for sustainability across various sectors of the economy. In the energy sector, Ghana is the first West African country to build a floating Hydro-solar hybrid plant as part of efforts in diversifying its energy mix. Significantly, this plant will fuel a cashew factory in the Bono Region and create employment for over 800 citizens including women.
“This cashew plant will not only provide employment opportunities but also equip beneficiaries with necessary skill sets to make a living on their own. The world is going green, and projects such as the Hydro-solar hybrid plant show that Ghana is on the right path toward the realisation of a sustainable and eco-friendly digital future.”
The First Lady made the remarks when delivering a speech virtually at the 2023 Huawei Sustainability Forum held on 21 November 2023 in Dongguan, China, under the theme ‘Thriving together with Tech: Realising Sustainable Development’.
Beyond its role in powering the national grid, the Hydro-Solar Hybrid plant – built by the Bui Power Authority (BPA) with support from Huawei – fuels operations of the cashew factory which is focused on equipping locals of the area in the cashew nut value chain business, producing between 1,000 and 2,000 metric tonnes monthly for the local and international market.
Highlighting Huawei’s contribution to improving the Ghanaian economy through technology, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said the cashew factory initiative introduces a more enhanced dynamism to the partnership between government and Huawei – which has trained over 6,000 Ghanaians in two years.
“Huawei is indeed contributing meaningfully to stimulating the Ghanaian economy. I can truly say that my office’s experience working with Huawei has been encouraging. Together, we have worked tirelessly in building the skills capacity of females in rural areas. Over 6,000 students and traders have been trained in a period of two years. My office is grateful for this collaboration.
“The cashew factory initiative introduces a more enhanced dynamism to our partnership with Huawei. Therefore, I believe this cashew factory will build on the successes we have achieved as partners, and contribute to the realisation of a new rural economy where no one is left behind.
“I would like to commend Bui Power Authority, which owns the factory, and Huawei for contributing their quota in support of this initiative to create employment opportunities for Ghanaians, especially women,” she added.
In 2022, Huawei joined the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Partner2Connect Digital Coalition. As part of the membership, Huawei pledged to bring connectivity to more than 120 million people across remote areas in more than 80 countries by 2025 by leveraging technologies and services such as 5G and AI.
“While it is important to ensure that everyone has basic connectivity, we should also remember the vital role technology plays in fuelling economic growth and protecting the natural world.
“Investments in broadband networks and other ICT infrastructure stimulate economies by encouraging entrepreneurs to start businesses and enabling companies to offer new services. At the same time, digital technology protects the environment by reducing the environmental impact of economic development,” Huawei’s statement prior to the forum said.
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General-International Telecommunication Union (ITU) who also delivered her speech virtually, underscored a need to leverage technology in the quest to achieve sustainable development goals.
“Let us not choose between tech and sustainable development. We need both. Let’s thrive together with tech. Let’s build a digital future that advances progress for people and the planet,” she pleaded.