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Meeting on local digital economy held in Ho

BY: Jemima Achivors
Some of the stakeholders in a group session
Some of the stakeholders in a group session

A consultative stakeholder meeting on Ghana’s fast-changing digital economy has been held in Ho to highlight key factors for sustainable development through digital skills and entrepreneurship.

The meeting which was facilitated by a digital skills hub based in Ho, Node 8 and its partner, Ghana Tech Lab, formed part of its Pathways to Sustainable Employment Programme (PaSE) aimed at shining light on the potential of e-commerce in the local digital economy and how it drives youth employment in Ho.

The meeting which was held last Saturday on the theme, “The Role of E-Commerce in Transforming the Local Economy for Job Creation and Economic Development,” had stakeholders from variously identified pillars from Node 8’s Ecosystem Mapping Exercise on Human Capital, Support, Market, Media and Culture, Finance, Government, and Regulations in the local sector in attendance.

Significance

The meeting became necessary due to the increasing demand for goods and services in the digital space and the prominence of e-commerce in Ghana, which calls for financially responsible entrepreneurs who are also adequately skilled in the digital economy.

 According to Kepois, a social media organisation, there were over 16 million internet users in Ghana representing 53 per cent of the population, with 8.80 million active social media users.

With this figure also comes an increase in e-commerce transactions conducted across several platforms including social media such as TikTok.

 Technology experts have posited that “across developing countries, people often don’t see tangible benefits in digital skilling for basic skills and, therefore, don’t show a willingness to pay and learn.”

The International Finance Corporation, in a recent report revealed a strong demand for digital skills in Sub-Saharan Africa and Ghana. It also projected that over nine million jobs would require digital skills in Ghana by 2030.

Meeting

 The stakeholders at the meeting outlined skills gaps, challenges, opportunities, strategies and collective policies for transforming the local economy.

The attendees also identified the current market needs of industries/companies and skills gaps to help single out interventions to aid bridge or eliminating the skills gap.

 An Investment and Finance Advisor of the GCB Bank, Jeremiah Kpeli, a keynote speaker at the event, urged entrepreneurs to adopt sustainable financial habits for their business expansion