131 Sunflower Hub, an entrepreneurial impact hub based in the Adentan Municipality in partnership with Ghana Tech Lab with support from World Bank, Young Africa Works,MasterCard Foundation and Ministry of Communication held its inaugural consultative engagement under the theme “The Role of Mobile Application in Transforming the Local economy for Job Creation and Economic Development.”
The engagement was organised at the 131 Sunflower Hub, Lakeside Estates, Ashaley Botwe. Mr Dennis Okoe Coleman, the Hub Manager of 131 Sunflower Hub, addressing the meeting, said mobile applications had become a tool for battling the staggering graduate youth unemployment rate in the country.
The focus of the engagement was not only to create a platform for stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges hindering the transformation of the local economy, but also for gathering feedback and recommended strategies on the innovative ways to ensure sustainable employment avenues for the youth, especially women through mobile applications development.
Mr Coleman stated that the outcome of the engagement would throw light on the need for institutions as a collective whole to channel resources into a well-structured and informed series of interventions with the goal of equipping the youth with mobile application development skills.
The engagement pooled together stakeholders from 6 main pillars of society; including the Human Capital pillar, Support and infrastructure pillar, Media pillar, Market pillar, Finance,and the Policy and Government pillar. These pillars were composed of participants from the public and private sectors.
“It is essential for us to understand that acquiring mobile applications development skills is not an end, but a means to an end. The youth must understand that the key to overcoming the challenges of the local economy is having the requisite skills to adapt to the rapidly changing job market”, Mr Coleman iterated.
Madam Jemimah Arthur, the Regional Coordinator of the Ghana Enterprises Agency commended 131 Sunflower Hub for the efforts being taken to ensure more ladies are introduced to digital technology.
Young people are the world’s most important source of human capital and are key to achieving Agenda 2063 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. With enhanced digital skills, access to markets, networks, finance, information, voice and representation, young Africans can both benefit from and contribute to their countries’ digital transformation and long-term development.
As society moves into the digital age, the Regional Coordinator further advised young ladies to express more interest in channeling digital skills into businesses, which in turn will accelerate their progression and their independence. According to her, the nurtured skills can be commercialized to generate revenue which will bridge the social economic gap that exists in our ecosystem.
Mrs Claudette Ahiabor, the CEO for Ahiabor Group Limited and a participant called on various institutions to support startups to accelerate their development.
Jonathan Mensah, Proprietor of Alpha Star Academy, elaborated on the need to tap into the enthusiasm the youth show in mobile apps development at a young age. He explained that there are several digital apps young students are conversant with without the guidance or mentorship from teachers or parents due to the high level of enthusiasm. He stated that such potential would go a long way if capitalised on at an early age by introducing kids to programming and web development courses.
“By virtue of this programme, we have been able to factor out the pressing challenges facing our stakeholders on a daily basis. Notes have been made and feedback is being sent to Ghana Tech Lab to shape partnerships towards advancing the course of digital skills development to boost the local economy ”. the CEO said.
131 Sunflower Hub programme’s approach is comprehensive, targeted and evidence-driven, and based on the principles of inclusion, participation and respect for human rights. The hub delivers initiatives developed through consultation with young people, governments, educators and digital economy partners in the public and private sectors. One of such recent
programmes is the Pathway to Sustainable Employment(PaSE) and Digital Skills Training(DST).
Ghana Tech Lab (GTL), a collaborative tech and innovation-driven organization established under the Ministry of Communications’ e-Transform project with funding from the World Bank and a product of the Pathways to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) project, commenced an intensive 6-month training in Digital Media. This initiative to offer free training in collaboration with fifteen (15) tech hubs across the nation was born from how the organization basks on making positive changes and creating employment opportunities for the youth in the country regardless of their educational qualifications.
The Digital Skills Training program will cover six (6) digital media courses: Graphic Design, Photography, Videography, Sound Design, Digital Marketing, and Creative Writing and Blogging.