The World is supporting Ghana’s digital transformation as part of efforts to help address development challenges such as providing access to information, overcoming remoteness, exclusion and offering economic opportunity for youth empowerment.
Mr Victor Adadjie, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, eTransform Project Ghana, said the World Bank had provided support through the transform project to the tune of $3.1 million towards the digital entrepreneurship and skills agenda of the Government for the establishment of an mlab (a fully managed cloud database service that hosts databases) and two iHubs (Innovation hub) and implementation of innovation programmes.
He said the mlab, which is also known as the Ghana Tech Lab received $1.2 million, whilst the iHub Accra and iHub Kumasi were allocated $1.4m and $0.5m respectively.
He said the mlab Accra, which was responsible for implementing the robotics and coding component of the innovation programme, had one of the best equipped mobile App Labs in the West African sub-region.
Mr Adadjie said this in Accra at the Youth Transforming Africa Roundtable, organised by the World Bank as part of activities marking the 2019 World Youth Skills Day on the theme “Preparing Young Africans for the Future of Work by Developing their Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)”.
The World Development Report 2019 focused on the ‘’Changing Nature of Work’’, in a context where the progress of technology is reshaping work.
The Accra forum, which was also a live video-conference, was observed by youth across major cities in Africa such as Abuja, Dakar, Nairobi, Niamey, Abidjan, Cotonou and Maseru.
In attendance were students from Methodist Girls’ Senior High School at Mamfe Akuapem in the Eastern Region, winners of the 2019 World ROBOFEST Competition held in Michigan in the United States of America.
Mr Adadjie noted that they were successfully implementing a National Mobile App training programme in Ghana, and that, the demand for a National App Development training of which coding was part was very high.
He said the four stages of the National Mobile App training were preliminary, training, hackathon and post hackathon.
On robotics, Mr Adadjie noted that an arduino class had been organised for 30 persons for a one month period.
He said tools and equipment for robotics had just been procured by mlab and the installation was expected to be completed by the end of August.
He said first full-scale robotics training was scheduled for September this year.
Mr Adadjie said the Al Rayan International School in East Legon, Accra, had already expressed interest in the training.
Madam Josberta Gyan Kwakye, Head of Communication, Free Senior High School Secretariat, Ministry of Education, said the world was fast moving towards a digital innovation and creative world, hence the need to train the youth in the area of STEM so that they would stay competitive and remain relevant to job market.
She said there were a lot of reforms that the Ministry of Education was putting in place to ensure the country achieved this goal.
Madam Diarietou Gaye, Director, Strategy and Operations, the World Bank Group, Africa Region, speaking via a video-conference, said the World Bank was interested in ensuring that something was done for the young people of Africa.
She said this was because about 11 million young Africans come every year on the world market, adding that, they were confronted with a market for which they were not prepared.
“So, this day is really to give you all an opportunity to understand what the future of job is going to be. And to give you an opportunity to look at what is happening in areas like digital technology, mathematics and science, which are where the future career of the world are going to be.”