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ICT Sector Projected to Add $5bn to Ghana’s Economy by 2030 – ITA

(image: IT News Africa)

Story by Hayford Nyanor Kodua (editor)

Washington DC (GS) Ghana’s bustling Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is projected to contribute a significant share towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the latest figures released by the International Trade Administration (ITA), an agency under the US Department of Commerce in Washington DC, Ghana’s relentless focus on the development of the ICT sector through accelerated education and ICT infrastructure development, has positioned the country on the path towards integrating its mostly informal business domain into the current advanced world economy.

Led by the Telecommunications industry, the ICT sector added over One billion and Seven Hundred thousand US dollars (US $1.7bn) to Ghana’s economy in 2017 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration took over the reins of power from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, resulting in an increase of about 3% to the GDP.

Immediately after the smooth transfer of power from the NDC to the NPP in 2017, Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, launched a national crusade to stress the importance of the ICT sector to Ghana’s economic development. The Vice President made it a priority to promote the study of ICT in basic schools up to the university level to train and equip the younger generation with the skills and knowledge in the ICT sector.

Currently, the ICT sector (telephone companies, internet service providers, data processing and storage, television and radio stations, social media platforms, etc), is the fastest-growing industry in Ghana. Data from the ITA of the US Department of Commerce projects the ICT sector to increase to Five Billion US dollars (US $5bn) by the year 2030, contributing 6.25% to the country’s GDP.

Mr. ‘Digitalisation’, as Vice President Bawumia has become known due to his persistent efforts to improve upon ICT education and infrastructure development in Ghana, businesses in the country can now engage in trade and financial transactions with the push of a button. Financial Technology companies (fintechs), such as mobile money operators have made electronic money transfer the most popular means of payment among traders and employers. This has reduced the wait and travel time associated with in-person over-the-counter transactions.

(image: modernghana.com)

Under the leadership of Vice President Bawumia aka Mr. ‘Digitalisation’, the Accra Digital Center (ADC), National Communication Authority (NCA), and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), have all been resourced to enable them to operate effectively and offer ICT services to both the state and the private sectors. The Vice President is also involved in the setting up of ICT centers in Ghana’s basic schools and state universities and training colleges with free Wifi access to prepare the next generation of business leaders and innovators for the technologically embedded world economic order.

Ghana is now the second most developed ICT industry in West Africa with internet and mobile phone usage penetration of 68.2%, (World Bank figures), second only to the tiny Island-nation of Cape Verde. This figure has almost doubled since the NPP party took over from the NDC in 2017, (38%). To put it in context, West Africa’s economic powerhouse, Nigeria, can only boast of 55% internet usage among its population.

The infusion of capital and the rapid infrastructure development in the ICT sector has created lots of good-paying jobs for the youth Business owners have also been spared the hustle of waiting on paper checks to clear at the banks, which can take weeks to go through. Instant Mobile Money Transfer (MoMo) has made it possible to move cash around anywhere in Ghana for payment of salaries and wages, remittances, and to make deposits for goods and services.

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