The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has urged Ghanaian youth to fully leverage the technological innovations defining this particular era to unleash their full potential.
She said digital technologies would have a huge influence on the types of jobs that would be available in the future hence the need for them to brace for the moment.
The minister, who gave the advice last Friday in a speech read on her behalf at a Virtual Skills Fair organised by Vodafone Ghana, said “Youth empowerment and human capital development means a lot to me and I am very passionate about this laudable initiative that seeks to prepare our future leaders on a world’s rapidly evolving job market.”
Virtual skills fair
Dubbed: “LevelUp”, the skills fair forms part of Vodafone’s commitment to support government’s agenda to address unemployment and digital skills gap among the youth.
Over 4000 participants who joined virtually were provided career guidance, access to training content and informed about career choices through a series of speaker sessions.
She said her ministry had taken a keen interest in how emerging technologies wer shaping the future and that it was focused to ensure that the youth would be well equipped to participate in the digital economy.
“Technology is an interesting path of the digital future also known as the 4th industrial revolution.With that in mind, what we need to focus on is to equip our Ghanaian youth with the right skills to prepare them to navigate to the rapidly dynamic labour market,” she stated.
The digital skills, she said, included technology skills as well as business skills for building Ghana’s economy.
She explained that in this new age, for Ghana to build a robust digital economy, it was necessary to have a digitally literate workforce to enhance the widespread acquisition in the use of digital products and services by all Ghanaians, irrespective of geographical location and economic activities.
“Our digital economy holds a lot of prospects and opportunities and I believe our youths are hungry for knowledge and skills to do amazing things once they are given the exposure and right opportunities.I have no doubt that this career fair will provide the guidance and access to training required to meet this future demand,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai, said her organisation had made a commitment to use its resources, expertise and technology to contribute significantly to developing the country’s human capital.
She said over the years, Vodafone Ghana had been investing in initiatives such as its Discovery programme, Female Engineering Students Scholarship Programme (FESSP), National Coding, Codelikea Girl programme and apprenticeship programme under its broad objective.
Growing skills gap
She said one of the leading drivers of unemployment was a growing skills gap among young people yet businesses were struggling to fill a wide range of digital and technology roles that were critical for future growth.
Mrs Obo-Nai explained that the pandemic had also accelerated the adoption of technology and changed the dynamics of workplaces and skills in demand.
“I keep saying that on-time education is no longer enough. Life-long learning, reskilling and upskilling have become critical to ensuring that both individuals and businesses have access to the talent they need for the jobs of the future.
“We at Vodafone will continue to invest in programmes and initiatives that are aimed at helping to connect the new generation to the new world of work,” she noted.
Speakers for the virtual event included Vodafone CEO, Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai; the Founder and Executive Director of Salt & Light Ministries and a former Minister of State, Rev. Dr Joyce Aryee; the Human Resource Director at Vodafone Ghana, Mrs Hannah Ashiokai Akrong; retired Ghanaian professional footballer, Mr Stephen Appiah, and the Lead Enabler Marketing & Communications Professional, Mr Stephen N. Boadi.