By GBN, JOY NEWS |2nd November 2016

President John Dramani Mahama has inaugurated an $8.3 million Digital centre with a call on Ghanaians to accept reforms in all sectors of development.

He said: "Reforms are difficult to accept, but we need to face the challenges with available strategies and victory will be ours."

The Accra Digital Centre project, started in 2011 and financed by the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation, is a collection of 12 old warehouses of the Public Works Department, which have been renovated with each of the buildings occupying 735 square metres. It makes a total of 8,820 square metres.

The project is one of the Government's initiatives to create opportunity for sustainable entrepreneurial employment for young Ghanaians as it is estimated to provide 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. President Mahama said but for the reforms that were carried out in the telecommunication sector between 1996 and 1998, internet penetration would have remained minimal in the country.

He said Ghana now had a total of 37 million subscribers of cell phone lines although the population was about 27 million, because of the numerous reforms that allowed the private sector to invest in telecommunication. The President, therefore, said the current hue and cry over the privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana was because Ghanaians did not understand the repercussions and called on all to read and understand issues and move away from scepticism.

President Mahama announced that apart from the Accra Digital Centre, the Government was also putting finishing touches to a National Data Centre deemed to be the largest centre in West Africa.

"The Accra Digital Centre will boost job creation and enhance the drive for knowledge-led socio-economic growth and put Information, Communication Technology skills for self-sufficiency, " President Mahama added. On employment, President Mahama said apart from the absorption of about 10,000 youth at the Centre, the Government was also reviving some of the Kwame Nkrumah-led factories to provide more job opportunities.

The president said the launch of the project highlights the giant strides made in the ICT sector and the huge prospects to providing jobs for the youth in the ICT enabled sector.

"This is what I mean when I say we are changing lives and transforming Ghana," he said to a rapturous applause and smiling faces of ministers, government appointees and some members of the general public.

Job Creation

The president said the starting point of creating jobs is to create a stable economic environment, something his government has been able to do in the 2016 financial year.

"Stabilising the economy of the country will see accelerated growth of some 8 per cent next year," he promised, adding, last week Ghana was adjudged the best place to do business in West Africa better than Nigeria, Cote D'Ivoire. "Ghana is rising," he stated, assuring unemployed youth not to despair but remain confident that he will remain the champion of job creation in the country in the coming year.

He said some 69 companies have so far registered and set up in the free zones with the prospects of creating employment for the teeming unemployed youth.

The President said that government has identified a number of areas which will create more jobs, next year 2017 God willing. These areas include the areas of ICT. He added that, the inauguration of the Accra digital centre is enough testimony on this commitment to follow through on his promise and government will see to create more digital jobs for de digital view through projects such as the Ghana-Mauritius ICT initiative.

"There's another initiative we're working together on with the Mauritius government and that will create a new technology era to create more jobs in the digital sector".

Promotion of other start-ups through initiatives like the current Kumasi Business Incubator for ICT inclined view, some of who have developed many tech oriented products.

"The tenants at the KBI have so far included young companies, set up by young enterprising minds; and I'm in love with some of the names;

Adroit Bureau Ltd, Appnet Consult, Alloy Blue, Easy Hotel Search, Africa Innovation Academy, Raven Technologies, Green Life Natural Health Care, Ikernel Networks, J-TECH IT Solutions, KKYB Productions, AYA Multimedia Group, MAPTECH Logistics, TRAMO, SMEKLABS Developers, Paraguil Studios Ltd., Mnotify, and indeed there's one called Kente Master, Nexitive Company Ltd. Technology Solutions, TripVane, Orbital Incorporated, Centre One, Pixel Motion, MnM TEKNOLOGIES and VYL Investment Solutions, e.t.c. "

- President Mahama

The President again said, the way forward will also include, continuous strong investment in infrastructure and public work to create another half a million jobs and given our record in providing already 400,000 jobs thru the investment we have made in the past, you can be sure that this will be implemented.