Ghana has launched an ICT Innovation Project aimed at nurturing tech start-ups to promote digital entrepreneurship and create jobs for the youth.
The project under eTransform Ghana consists of a Mobile Applications Laboratory (mLab) and an Innovation Hub (iHub).
The mLab according to the Communications Ministry will function as business incubator, with offices, a testing lab (for testing prototype mobile applications), robotics and AI labs, a Board Room, and a regular rotation of resident firms.
Whiles the iHub will be a “pre-incubation” space, for start-ups and entrepreneurs, with a large events space to host events that will attract more established firms.
According to Mr. Eric Ofosu Nkansah, the Acting Managing Director of the Accra Digital Centre, government expects the programme to result in addition of high-value jobs to the Ghanaian economy through the setting up of the Tech startups.
With the initiation of the project, there will be increased investment in entrepreneurial ventures in the digital technologies sector; Increased revenue from entrepreneurial ventures; and Digitization of government records, and training of young Ghanaian interns to undertake such activities as a foundation for building careers in the digital economy.
It will leverage resources and knowledge already invested in existing infrastructure in the Ghanaian ecosystem and partnerships provided by government, industry and academia.
In addition to providing physical locations for the development and growth of tech startups, the mLab and iHub will also provide virtual (i.e. online) services to encourage and support greater collaboration between innovation stakeholders our ecosystem.
The mLab and iHubs will facilitate further development of the overall ecosystem in several ways.
This includes: Connecting local entrepreneurs into broader regional and international ecosystems, Inspiring and stimulating innovation in the ecosystem through creating partnerships, spaces and support channels for innovation, with the goal of raising the profile of digital innovation in Ghana, Cultivating linkages between organizations in the ecosystem such as private sector firms, existing innovation spaces, co-working spaces and tech hubs, academic institutions, investors, and other stakeholders.
The Ministry of Communications, which is the supervising ministry for the project will establish a Board to oversee the operations of the mLab and iHub.
The mLab and iHub are expected to be ready for use in few weeks’ time.
The mLab is being implemented by an Innohub/Kumasi Hive joint Venture while the iHub is being implemented by MDF West Africa/Ghana Technology University/BlueSpace joint Venture.