4th Wa Start-Up Summit ends

Yison Tech Hub, an Information Technology (IT) NGO, in the Upper West Region has organised a summit for young people to present business ideas on digital innovation geared towards addressing societal problems with technology.

The summit which was dubbed ‘Wa Start-Up Summit’ was the fourth of its kind since 2018 and had propelled young people in the region to venture into digital marketing and create demand for goods and services needed for consumption.

The summit which focused on ‘the role of e-commerce in transforming the local economy for job creation and economic development’ was supported by the Ghana Tech Lab through the Young Africa Works, among others.

In an address at the summit at Wa on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hub, Mr Issahaku Serikpera Naa, said the summits aimed at creating a generation of youth who were innovative thinkers and could apply technology to solve societal problems.

The participants of the summit, who were taken through weeks of training by the firm, as noted by the CEO, were tasked to research into social problems and subsequently design innovative ways to address the problems identified using the technology.

According to the CEO, the digital business ideas would help solve problems relating to agriculture, health and marketing of goods and services as well as produce income for the teams involved in the innovation.

“E-commerce has been a major engine of economic development and employment growth worldwide; from its humble beginning as product distribution, many social media platforms have evolved into tools for building brands and communities”, he highlighted.

He was hopeful that if properly applied, the internet and technology would continue to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the region and beyond and also provide them with a permanent source of revenue as they endeavour to expose the region to the rest of the world.

For his part, a lecturer at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Mr George Dery, said that although e-commerce continued to transform local economies, its growth had been restricted in the region due to challenges with digitisation such as inadequate knowledge on technology, financial constraints and poor network.

He added that the essence of such engagements was geared towards bridging the gap that existed between residents and access to technology through the training of more young people, particularly women to take up the mandate of leading the training for digital transformation.

He was confident that with the continuous engagement of the youth in the IT space, a lot more people would be attracted to technology and endeavour to access IT training to enhance their capacity in the field.

Presentations on pitching of digital businesses ideas were made by seven separate teams of three members each, with names such as Unique Coders, Smart Developers, Tech Nerds and Smart Coders.

At the end of the presentations, Unique Coders was adjudged the team with the best business idea. All the teams would, however, be made to undergo three months’ digital business incubation to enable them to shape their business ideas into practical businesses.

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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