About 2500 underprivileged youth in the rural communities across the country have been equipped with Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills under the Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development Project.
Out of the beneficiaries of the one-week ICT training, 1500 constituting 60 per cent were women and the remaining were men.
The project, implemented by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) in collaboration with GIZ was to enhance the business and improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
The goal of the seven-day programme is to strengthen the digital capacities of residents in rural communities.
The beneficiaries including hairdressers, artisans, and seamstresses were trained in the use of social media tools to enhance their business and trade.
Speaking at the national climax of the Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development Project here on Tuesday to present certificates to beneficiaries, the Deputy Administrator of GIFEC, Mrs Eva Andoh-Poku, said the impact of ICT had been significant to the transformation of societies across the world.
She said ICT had played a pivotal role in various functions of global economies in the areas of commerce and agriculture.
“ICT is a key factor in the economic and social development of countries because it has positive effects on economic growth, productivity, and employment”, she said.
The Deputy Administrator of GIFEC said her outfit had made key strides to facilitate ICT infrastructural development, equipment and resource provision and capacity building, in unserved and underserved communities across the country and thus introduced the Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for Rural Development Project, with the objective to expand the digital skills of Rural Women and Youth through ICT capacity building, education, and awareness.
The Municipal Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly, Akosua Asabea Annoh, in her remarks commended GIFEC for the training to build the capacity of the beneficiaries with ICT skills.
She said although there had been tremendous increase in the use of mobile phones over the years, its usage had largely been limited to the making and receiving of calls.
The MCE said the knowledge and access to other ICT tools such as the internet and computers remained largely absent in rural Ghana and the partnership with GIZ in this project “is therefore very thoughtful and has great potential to change the narrative.”
The Kyebihene, Osabarima Marfo Okwabrane, in remarks made on his behalf by Mratofohene of Kyebi, Brakwante Agyeman, lauded GIFEC, GIZ and Digital Transformation Ghana for the training.
He advised the beneficiaries of the programme to put in practice the knowledge they had acquired to improve their lives and businesses.
The Development Advisor of GIZ, Stephanie Huber, said her outfit was excited the programme was targeted at residents of rural and underserved communities.
FROM KINGSLEY ASARE, KYEBI