Ghanaian IT firms urged to forge partnerships with African peers to explore opportunities

Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has called on Ghanaian Information Technology (IT) firms to forge partnerships with their African counterparts to explore market potentials in the IT sector.

Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has called on Ghanaian Information Technology (IT) firms to forge partnerships with their African counterparts to explore market potentials in the IT sector.

He said the 21st century has witnessed one of the major transformations in many sectors of the world economy.

Mr Kyerematen was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Fareed Arthur, Senior Technical Advisor and Coordinator of the National African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Coordination Office of the Ministry at the Information Technology Fair in Accra.
The two-day Fair organized by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in collaboration with the Accra Digital Centre (ADC) is to highlight the need for Ghana and the African continent to use technology for its socioeconomic development.

The Fair will showcase the various offerings by Ghanaian technology firms in the Fintech, Agritech, Big Data, Business Artificial Intelligence space and among others.

The Fair was on the theme “Growing our own: the need to use Africa tech solutions.” It is to expose the value-added services offered by selected IT or IT-enabled firms in the country through a virtual and in-person platform to potential consumers in the ECOWAS and the larger AfCFTA.

He commended the GEPA and the ADC for the initiative to organize an information and technology fair.

“These major changes would not have been possible without the catalytic and transformative support of IT,” he said.

He said the world now revolves around IT and life would be unbearable without it, lives and daily tasks were made simple due to the ingenuity and foresight of the actors in the IT space.
Mr Kyerematen said the manufacturing industry had adopted more Artificial intelligence technologies than ever to optimize production lines, testing systems and inventory management to enhance industrial automation and thus improve operational efficiency.

“Realizing the enormous potential of this sector, the government has designated specific areas to be used as industrial and technology parks for businesses including firms operating in the IT space,” he added.

He said it was gratifying that some Ghanaian technology firms had made strides locally, and have begun to offer fantastic services to other countries.

The Minister said the government was committed to the implementation of the AfCFTA and would not relent in efforts to support activities that promoted intra- African Trade.

He said the government had carried out some activities, including the establishment of key national institutional structures to oversee the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, said the focus of government was to invest in areas that would strengthen the ecosystem to ensure that technology and technology related businesses flourish to enable Ghana to derive the maximum benefits from IT.

“The government priorities to strengthen the sector included Digital infrastructure and connectivity, Digital skills, research and innovation, Data protection, privacy and trust for digital networks and services and Legal, regulatory and policy framework,” she said.

She said for Ghana to be able to take the IT opportunities, there was the need to nurture the growth of the IT and IT enabled services sector in general.

The Communications Minister said government’s deliberate efforts to create core IT entrepreneurs resulted in the establishment of the Accra Digital Centre to harness the digital potential of Ghana.

She said effective collaboration with other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other stakeholders would produce the requisite synergy necessary to produce quick results.

Dr Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the Authority through its focused strategy as outlined in the National Export Development Strategy had identified some strategic services sub-sectors for intense market development and promotion across the ECOWAS and the entire AfCFTA.

This includes Medical Tourism with emphasis on specialized Centres (both private and public), Consultancy Services/Professional Services, Educational Services and Business Processing Outsourcing (BPOs)/IT.

Dr Asare said the country was poised to take the lead role in the sub-region when it comes to IT and IT Enabled Services.

Dr Asare stated that the larger GEPA strategy was to develop the sector to the extent that it could contribute more than 10 per cent of total NTE earnings annually.

Source: GNA

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