The 10th edition of the Tech in Ghana conference has ended in Accra with a call on players in the technology space to provide innovations targeted at solving Africa’s existing challenges.
The two-day conference which began on Tuesday 29th to Thursday 30th November 2022 at the Accra Digital Centre brought together eligible players in Ghana’s Tech industry to share their knowledge and to build the invaluable connections that connect the Tech ecosystem both here in Ghana and the UK.
The high-level event featured over 450 speakers and tech companies since 2017, as well as received support and partnerships from entities including the Office of the Vice President of Ghana, Ministry of Communications & Digitalisation, Ghana High Commission UK, British High Commission Accra and the World Bank, among others.
Delivering the welcome keynote address, British High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Harriet Thompson noted that there was the need to invest in the Tech business because it is the future and as a country, investing in the tech business would not only create jobs but go a long way to put Ghana on the map in terms of digitalization.
“We’re investing in Tech because all of Ghana’s main sectors in the country can not only build the economy for the future but in doing so can create jobs, can enhance security, can improve lives and can put Ghana on the map alongside nations right around the world in leading that global, digital economy”, she noted.
According to her, “it is imperative to recognize the power that Tech innovation has had on careers as well as education, especially in terms of activism to prevent violent attacks against women and girls”, as she believes this would also help with the empowerment of women here in Ghana and around the world.
She added that as part of the UK government’s commitment to building a long-lasting relationship with Ghana, her government had already set in motion some projects such as working hand in hand with the Ghana Revenue Authority to develop a Digital Return Tracker, which will help secure financial systems.
“We’ve worked with the Ghana Revenue Authority to help them to develop a digital return tracker, communication is stable and secure financial systems, in other words, people across the country are now able to balance tax obligations with the day-to-day running of their business because they can pay their taxes more easily, more efficiently and more securely.
“We also provided Ghana training on how to use open-source intelligence and tools to detect, investigate and prosecute and recover the proceeds of cyber-enabled crime,” she added.
Her Excellency Harriet Thompson lauded the organisers for putting up such a conference and assured of support to ensure Ghana leads Tech innovation not only in West Africa but across the continent.
The Founder of Tech in Ghana, Akosua Annobil in her introductory remarks expressed appreciation to participants and attendees for coming together to trade ideas and knowledge in the tech industry.
She averred that the Tech in Ghana Conference is a platform where fintech organisations and individuals come and tell their stories, share experiences and knowledge to help expand the tech space in Africa and beyond.
Head of Licensing and Product Authorization within the Fintech and Innovation Office of the Bank of Ghana, Nancy Arhinfuwaa Imadi, in an address disclosed that Ghana’s tech ecosystem is one that has been very resilient, adding that Ghana in terms of tech ecosystem has done very well, hence leading to the opening of the fintech and innovation office by the Bank of Ghana.
“Our ecosystem is one that started out across the continent as being very resilient. Ghana has done very well, in fact our ecosystem started with the opening of the Fintech and innovation office by the Bank of Ghana. That shows the seriousness the bank attaches to the space so we are excited about the various ongoing activities”, she stated.
According to her, “the Bank of Ghana expects to provide enough regulatory framework to ensure and guarantee that we have a sound digital payment ecosystem”.
She cited the launch of Sandbox, a platform that allows innovators, startups, licensed, unlicensed entities who have innovative ideas, solutions, business models, and immature digital financial solutions that are currently not covered under implied or explicit regulations to come within a live environment and test these innovations so that at the end of the day we can find out whether they are viable and ready for the market.
Head of Operations at the Ghana Digital Centre, David Ofori eulogized the founder of Tech in Ghana, Akosua Annobil for her efforts so far in terms of building the Tech in Ghana brand and also used the opportunity to call on the public as well as necessary stakeholders for their support.
“I think I dare say that it’s the go-to event for West Africa, if not for the continent. If you look at audience participation, there’s almost nobody who plays within the Tech, and the Digital Ecosystem in Ghana, who hasn’t been on this path, for almost everyone from policymakers, government officials, everybody,” he averred.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Tech in Ghana conference, founder of Global Tech Advocates an international grassroots tech community, uniting the private sector in multiple cities and regions worldwide, Russ Shaw expressed his satisfaction with the launch of Tech Ghana Advocates adding that the group being the first of its kind in Africa is a huge and long-awaited climacteric.
“It is a privilege to be in Accra for the launch of Tech Ghana Advocates – our first group in Africa is a huge and long-awaited milestone for GTA. The willingness of the tech community in Ghana to kick start this group and the enthusiasm for its potential impact fills me with excitement for where this group could go,” he said.
The conference saw in attendance the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Harriet Thompson as well as stakeholder institutions such as Visa, Global Tech Advocates, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, International Trade Centre, Tony Blair Institute, Bank of Ghana, Farmerline, and Taptap Send among others.
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