80 Ghanaian students to learn programming techniques

BY: Daily Graphic
File photo
File photo

A group of 80 students in Ghana will be offered the opportunity to learn functional programming techniques and how to build smart contract applications, known as blockchain-based self-executing contracts.

The course in the Haskell programming language will enable a new generation of Ghanaian innovators to autonomously develop solutions to tackle day-to-day challenges faced in the country, from applications to creating a more accessible financial industry.

The course will be held in Accra, Ghana, with two delivery partners. They are the Pan-African Tech Foundation (PATF), a not-for-profit foundation which promotes technological development in Africa, and blockchain research and development company, Input Output Global (IOG), the development arm behind the leading green blockchain platform, Cardano.

PATF and IOG will be liaising with technology-focused universities and hubs to ensure the best candidates for the course are selected, and those who excel at the course will also have job opportunities at IOG.

The founder of Pan-African Tech Foundation (PATF), Ms Elaine Bannerman, and her world-class team of professionals, would facilitate the Haskell training launch in Ghana.

Focus

It will also enable them to build projects to grow the arts and music industry with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – unique blockchain-based digital collectibles which artists can sell to fans.

NFTs are unique assets that cannot be replaced with something else, and are verified and stored using blockchain technology.

Training

Students will be trained in the Haskell programming language – a precise and secure programming language which is used in mission-critical industries such as aerospace, defence and finance, where high levels of accuracy are crucial.

And given Ghana’s drive to digitise its economy and the Bank of Ghana currently working towards a blockchain-based digital currency, the skills will be crucial for the next generation of technology leaders.

According to the training promoters, smart contracts were becoming an increasingly important skill for programmers – “they are heavily used in the financial technology space as they offer security, transparency and accuracy without compromising on credibility, while reducing regulatory costs.”

Empowering citizens

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IO Global, Mr Charles Hoskinson, said the company was committed to empowering citizens to autonomously develop solutions to day-to-day challenges in their own nations, the reason why the Haskell training courses were a fundamental part of its work.

“We have always taken an academic, research-first approach to blockchain development, so Haskell was our choice of programming language for our industry-leading green blockchain platform, Cardano,” he explained.

Mr Hoskinson added that with a generation of innovative tech leaders in Ghana capable of using such a secure and robust programming language, “we could see transformative applications built which shape the tech landscape in Ghana for decades to come.”