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Who is Who in ICT4D in Ghana, West Africa?

By Tsega Belachew on January 3, 2011

I am an Ethiopian that has not been back in Africa in 4 years and so I am counting down to my very first trip to Ghana and I am excited. Ghana is arguably one of the main hubs for ICT in Africa.

With 5 mobile providers operating in country it has highly dynamic mobile markets that are still growing. Ghana is also a place with strong wireless internet infrastructure. Ghana Telecom, currently owned by Vodaphone, owns a majority of the telecommunication infrastructure, however, the National Communications Authority has granted licenses to many ISPs to operate their own international satellite gateways as well.

Most interestingly for ICT4D, the Ghanaian government has embraced the idea that the ICT can be key a tool for sustainable development in their Ghana ICT4D National Policy:

The information and communication technology for accelerated development (ICT4AD) Policy is the result of a three phased process to develop an ICT-driven socio-economic development policy and plan that aims to aid Ghana’s developmental effort and facilitate the process of becoming a knowledge based information society and economy in the shortest possible time.

This makes it exciting for an ICT4D enthusiast like me to venture into a country where there is a homegrown ICT university the “Ghana Telecom University.” that draws students from across West Africa and where Microsoft is planning to open a training site. Even Google wants in on this party, having recently launched Google Maps in Ghana. The only other Sub-Saharan African countries with this utility are Kenya and South Africa.

So from one enthusiast to another, I would love to hear from those of you that have experience working with ICT4D in Ghana or have any ideas about things I should look for, ICT4D things to do, people I should talk with etc. If you yourself are in Ghana and would like to connect, that would be great as well!

Though at this moment, my biggest question after rummaging across Washington DC to get the visa, packing and related travel rituals covered has to do with ICT. So I went searching on the twitterverse and Facebook for an answer to this question:

How does one go about using an iPhone4 in Ghana given the smaller simcard used for IPhone4’s?

The good news is, according to most accounts, the innovation on the ground has developed to a point where there are sim-cutters and sim cards abound and very affordable from all service providers. But I still would love your advice about ICT in Accra.

Thanks and see you in Accra!


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A global development enthusiast originally from Ethiopia particularly focusing on innovation; social and technological toward paving the way of the future for positive global sustainable development.With a background in life sciences, African studies and global health, I have worked in the National Institutes of Health doing project administration and on mobile health initiatives across the globe through the Health Unbound project with the mHealth Alliance. My interest in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) is in the fact that technology rests between silos as an enabler, informer, efficiency builder and connector. As a writer for Inveneo, a social enterprise that focuses on technology, I will bring you information about social and technological innovations.
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2 Comments to “Who is Who in ICT4D in Ghana, West Africa?”

  1. If you are interested in meeting other people in Ghana interested in ICT4D than join GINKS. The Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (www.ginks.org) organises face to face meetings on several ICT4D topics, but also has a lively online discussion.

  2. Hi,
    My name is Stephen and i am a keen follower and practitioner of ICT4D in Ghana. I blog on http://www.agbedela.blogspot.com I live in work in Tamale (sorry….not Accra)

    I work for Savana Signatures, http://www.savsign.org a registered charity NGO based in the northern part of Ghana. We are into ICT4D.

    In Ghana, the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing, GINKS, who are our partners are about the organisation where the bus should end if you are looking for an ICT4D group. GINKS http://www.ginks.org is a network of both organisations and individuals who are interested in sharing knowledge on ICT4D.

    GINKS is into knowledge sharing and there are presently two nodes of GINKS. The southern node and the Northern Node. I am coordinator for the Northern Node of GINKS. We do knowledge sharing. I particularly enjoy the monthly ICT4D Forum that is held both in Accra and Tamale. The northern ICT4D forum is a monthly forum that affords stakeholders the opportunity of networking while sharing knowledge on a particular ICT4D topic/discussion for the month.

    Take a look at the websites indicated above to learn more.