The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has called on participants of the Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development Project to capitalize on the skills acquired through this rare opportunity to enhance their businesses.
Mrs Eva Andoh-Poku, Deputy Administrator of GIFEC, explained that the Project to enhance the employability and the lives in general of Ghanaians for economic benefits.
The Deputy Administrator of GIFEC disclosed that GIFEC collaborated with the GIZ, the German Agency for Development Corporation, to implement the Project, which is aimed to ignite interest and increase the participation in ICT for people living in unserved and underserved communities with emphasis on girls and women.
Mrs Eva Andoh-Poku indicated that the purpose of the project is to expand the digital skills of Rural women and youth through ICT capacity building, education, and awareness.
Beneficiaries include Hairdressers, Seamstress, Beauticians, Market women, unemployed graduates and school dropouts in utilizing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTS) to build and expand their businesses, while making them ready for the job market.
The Deputy Administrator said in all 1,500 women have been trained to enhance their businesses through the use of ICT and Social Media tools.
“A vital purpose of the project is to bridge the gender digital divide with 60 per cent of beneficiaries being women.”Mrs Eva Andoh-Poku
The administrator disclosed that the project has trained 2,500 participants in 40 selected GIFEC Community ICT Centres (CICs) within seven days and further aspired to create awareness on the use and importance of the selected centres.
Entrepreneurs and Artisans Trained in the use of Social Media
Mrs Andoh-Poku asserted that entrepreneurs and artisans were trained in the use of Social Media tools to enhance their businesses and trade. She stressed that the Fund has made key strides to facilitate ICT infrastructure development, equipment and resource provision and capacity building, in unserved and underserved communities across the country.
The Deputy Administrator intimated that research has shown that high income countries have benefitted enormously from ICT and Internet penetration, and middle-income countries were beginning to benefit from same.
Mrs Andoh-Poku noted that Western countries have leveraged ICT for the purposes of increasing productivity, promoting economic growth, and reducing poverty.
“Over the last couple of years, the urgency of ICT development has been evident due to the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a country, we have witnessed first-hand the need to accelerate ICT deployment efforts. Rebuilding and recovering from COVID has been largely driven by technology and innovation.”Mrs Andoh-Poku
Madam Akosua Asabea Annoh, the Municipal Chief Executive of Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly, on her part, said the government is keenly working towards the goal to build an inclusive digital society. She stated that although the country has seen a tremendous increase in the use of mobile phones over the years, its usage has largely been limited to the making and receiving of calls.
The MCE Indicated that the knowledge and access to other ICT tools such as the internet and computers remained largely absent in rural Ghana. She noted that the partnership with GIZ in the project was, therefore, very thoughtful and had great potential to change the narrative.
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