The Director-General (DG) for the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Mr Richard Okyere-Fosu has affirmed that “on the African continent, Ghana stands out as one of the torchbearers when it comes to digitalization”.
He noted that as much as digitalization propels development and offers opportunities to leapfrog most of the challenges being faced as a developing country, it also comes with great risk if the prerequisite steps and right structures were not put in place to manage the process well, adding, that one of the areas of concern was the calibre of human capital and in the right numbers to support the digitalization agenda.
He said it was against this background that the government had invested a lot of resources in digitalizing the economy through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD).
According to the DG, the MoCD is in the final stages of drafting and adopting the Digital Economy Policy Document to ensure that “we are able to develop the right kind of skills to support our digital economy and emerging technologies. Achieving the objectives of the Skills Development Pillar of the Digital Economy Policy is a shared responsibility for all stakeholders in the ICT industry and even beyond.”
Mr Okyere-Fosu made these comments at the just-ended Tech Job Fair, organized by the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH), to create platforms for IT job seekers and potential employers to interface.
He reiterated, that “the essence of ICT and its impact on society’s development cannot be overemphasized – ICT is ubiquitous. As the central fulcrum on which almost everything evolves, we all know there is a lot more we can do to optimize and leverage on ICT”.
He, therefore, called on the academia to consulting the ICT industry, especially in their curriculum development for technology-related programs and adopt a more dynamic framework in the review of the course content for continuous improvement
“We on the side of the government will have to look into what kind of incentives we can put in place for businesses that collaborate with Academia and have a special budgetary allocation to help train our young graduates,” he stressed.
He indicated that NITA, the ICT regulator for Ghana is rolling out programs for the regulation of ICT Professionals and Businesses. The regulation, he added, would include the registration and certification of IT Professionals and Businesses.
He said that the Registration and certification would also provide an independent and additional layer of recognition for professionals and businesses in the ICT industry.
The DG stated that the registration process has started, and entreated Professionals and Businesses alike to visit the NITA website and begin the registration process. He added that businesses hoping to hire IT Professionals could use the portal as part of their due diligence process
In respect of that, he said, NITA as part of regulating IT Professionals and Businesses, was committed to maintaining the portal as a basic requirement in its hiring and procurement processes when it comes to IT Professionals and Businesses, IT Professionals and Businesses in good standing.
He said NITA was happy to be associated with the job fair and that his office would continue to partner with the organizers for more meaningful engagements in future.