Mr Yang Chen, Vice-President, Huawei Southern Africa Region, says, “we need more Information Communication Technology (ICT) savvy policymakers, who understand the technology and the benefits of a digital economy.”
He said these policy makers needed to support best practices in the ICT development of the country.
He said there was the need to upskill the ICT workforce to better innovate for inclusive development.
The two-year duration LEAP programme is expected to leapfrog Ghana into a bright digital future with 100,000 plus ICT talents by 2024.
“We need to encourage and empower the youth to follow ICT-related studies so the country will have a strong pool of digital talents,” he added.
The Vice-President said the most fundamental layer was the need to promote digital literacy among all citizens, so no one would be left behind.
He said the ICT talent programme being launched was based on observation, and it talks about national strategies of using ICT to teach and teach ICT.
He said under the programme, they sought to provide ICT training to 100,000 people in two years in Ghana together with their partners from Academia and Industry.
Mr Yang said through LEAP, they try to cultivate more youth leaders in ICT in Ghana, empowering and enabling them to explore more possibilities for themselves, their family, community and ultimately the country.
He expressed gratitude to the Ministers of Employment and Labour Relations and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation for their support and guidance as they opened a new chapter with a shared vision of creating more jobs for the youth in the ICT sector.
He said the goals of ICT talent development and adequate digital skills provisioning could not be achieved by anyone alone.
“We need a close government-industry-academia collaboration, we need to motivate more domestic and international resources, partners, and expertise, and we need to create an ecosystem where everyone can contribute to it and everyone can also benefit from it,” he added.
Mr Tommy Zhou, Managing Director of Huawei Ghana, said they were taking another step towards their commitment to growing with Ghana through the development of Ghana’s ICT Talent to propel the country into digital sustainability.
He said the technology could empower people and open economies and “we saw how it played its crucial role in combating the recent pandemic and the role it continued to play in reviving economies.”
“The world is in a digital era and every country including, Ghana is working to have a thriving digital economy that is crisis resilient,” he added.
The Managing Director said the Government had been prioritising digitalisation over the past few years and this was evident in the many reforms and initiatives surrounding us.
He said the Government had therefore set a goal of increasing the contribution of Science and Technology to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current input which was a little over 1 per cent to the African average of 2.5 per cent.
He said the LEAP initiative would focus on the four key layers in the areas of Digital Leadership, Skilled ICT Professionals, Young Digital Talent Development and Digitally literate Citizens.
The Managing Director said they had made special arrangements and commitments specifically dedicated to Ghana over the next two years by 2024.
In the area of Digital Leadership, they will offer training to Government Officials and Civil Servants in Digital Economy, Smart Ghana Development, and ICT Policy training among others.
They will also train industry professionals to equip them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through leading industry technologies and hands-on practice.
He said in terms of addressing Ghana’s need for Skilled ICT Professionals, the ICT Job fair today is a key initiative to address this under LEAP.
Mr Zhou said the third layer of the programme would focus on Youth Empowerment through the development of Ghana’s young digital talent pool.
“Our commitment to Ghana is to enrol and train 5000+ students through our ICT Academy by 2024. We will also give more students the opportunity to take part in our Seeds for the Future Program each year,” he added.