GI-KACE Will Continue To Empower The Workforce With ICT Skills – Dr. Collins Yeboah-Afari

Dr. Collins Yeboah-Afari

The Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MOCD) as part of its efforts to bridge the digital divide and increase digital participation, has launched a scale-up program for DigSmart to improve the Digital Skills of Public and Civil Service workers in Ghana.

The DigSmart Scale-Up program aims to expand the Digital Skills training provided to 170 beneficiaries last year to 830 beneficiaries from the Public and Civil Service staff from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

The Director-General for Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE), Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari in his welcome address, indicated that GI-KACE has taken the responsibility to impact and ignite the passion for technology, improved digital skills and monitor digital paths.

“GI-KACE is a Centre where many have ignited their passion for technology, honed their digital crafts and charted digital paths. This is the noble responsibility of impact which we have carried upon our shoulders over the past 20 years,” Dr Yeboah-Afari said.

Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari emphasized the importance to scale-up the DigSmart initiative to help in the national development assignment adding that, research has proven that, “The future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum’, indicates that more than 70% of companies around the world are looking to adopt Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing, and big data among other emerging technologies.”

“This data also shows the global impact of digitalization on organisations and how the future workforce is going to look like. These are some foundational reasons why the DigSMART digital skills training program is critical to Ghana’s public sector and the realization of the goals of our digital economy policy.”

“After successfully executing the training program last year, the GhanaCARES team, in collaboration with TBI and GI-KACE, is training an additional 830 people this year to strategically scale up participants and equip them with the skills necessary to identify challenges addressable through digital technology.”

He noted that GI-KACE will actively fulfill its mandate by providing ICT capacity-building programs, which align with the government’s digitalization agenda.

“Beyond our specialized courses offered, the Centre continues to play a key role in delivering nationwide training initiatives such as the Girls in ICT, re/START program, Women in Tech, Coding For Kids, Females in Tech (FEMITECH), and various other Corporate training initiatives.”

“Following our 20th anniversary, the Centre has a renewed verve this year, to impact 10,000 more ladies, young Africans, public servants, unemployed and Persons with Disabilities with digital skills and capabilities to be able to thrive in the digital economy. We have embarked on several initiatives including re/START to equip women, young people, the unemployed and furloughed workers with advanced digital skills in Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing and Data Science. The demand is high and we require the support and collaboration of partners in this national development assignment.”

Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful at the launch, the Director General for the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu, indicated that the government has taken it upon itself to take charge and ensure that Ghanaians are digitally sound.

“Government bears the responsibility of ensuring that every Ghanaian enjoys the benefits of the digital economy. We aspire to create an environment conducive to technological innovation, aligning with our national goals,” Mr Okyere-Fosu stated.

He reiterated that the launch of DigSMART Scale-Up program, is a strategic initiative to expedite the digitalization of service delivery within the public sector, adding that, the Government of Ghana has strategically placed ‘Fast Track Digitisation’ on the program to rejuvenate an ultimate transformation.

He further stated that the focus of DigSmart aligns with her ministry’s commitment to fostering an increase in digital literacy and crafting a comprehensive National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

She commended all stakeholders and partners, especially the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), for their commitment to this transformative journey.

The Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darkoh, commended MoCD for the initiative to harness the power of digital innovation for the betterment of the citizens of Ghana and the optimization of government operations.

“I am happy to know that the committee has included the Civil Service Departments. I am informed that they have even included Officers in our regional offices. These are the institutions that implement government policies at the regional level in particular. Therefore, their capacities must be developed in technology to enhance service delivery.”

The country director for Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) Sam Mensah Baah, disclosed that DigSMART Scale-Up program is not merely a training program but a comprehensive six-month journey towards authentic transformation, focusing on shifting daily behaviours, attitudes, and mindsets.

He said the program’s potential is to empower and uplift Ghanaian citizens, leaving no one behind in the nation’s digital future.

“As we launch the DigSmart scale-up program, and TBI is solidly behind this course, let us collectively embrace this opportunity for a transformative journey towards a smarter and more digital Ghana”