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UN agencies support digitalisation agenda

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Lady Marieme Jamme (4th from left), Founder of LamtheCode, presenting computer kits to  Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey (3rd from right), Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
Lady Marieme Jamme (4th from left), Founder of LamtheCode, presenting computer kits to Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey (3rd from right), Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI

UN agencies in Ghana have begun the implementation of digitalisation programmes across various sectors of national development in support of the government’s digitalisation agenda.

The over 50 initiatives involve sectors such as agriculture, education, Fintech, social protection, health and climate.

They are aimed at improving the lives of marginalised and vulnerable groups, such as the youth, women and persons living with disabilities.

Event

The UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, said this at the launch of a digital and reproductive health learning programme for boys and girls in informal settlements, a collaborative programme between UN-Habitat and IamtheCODE Foundation, an NGO, that is designed to train beneficiaries in computer literacy and coding skills.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Ashaiman, Ablekuma Central and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem Municipal assemblies are to benefit from the programme.

In all, about 25,000 boys and girls in the country will benefit from the training, while about a million girls will be targeted globally by 2030.

The four beneficiary assemblies were presented with 100 computers and kits for the digital training exercise.

“We in the UN are keen to support the digital transformation agenda and its clear pertinence to accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We are keen to promote a variety of initiatives that cover investment in digital infrastructure and economy, digital tools and systems for improved service delivery, digital skills and learning and digital tools and systems for transparency, accountability and good governance,” Mr Abani added.

COVID-19 impact

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, he said the challenges posed by the pandemic provided an opportunity to leverage the vast potential of digitalisation to improve on the lot of the people.

“Bridging the information and communications technology (ICT) gap and incorporating digital literacy into community-initiated development projects are critical to advancing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship and Design (STEAMED).

“Together, we can rise to the challenges of digital transformation in Ghana and Africa and I invite us to emulate the Adinkra symbol: ‘Ti koro nko agyina’ in the spirit of cooperation and the collective effort to realise our goals,” he said.

Mr Abani commended IamtheCODE for the building of skills and digital infrastructure, especially for women and girls, saying such initiatives would promote Africa’s drive towards becoming creators and producers of digital products and not just consumers.

Advice

The Founder of IamtheCODE, Lady Marieme Jamme, advised beneficiaries to take the training programme seriously to improve on their skills.

The Head of Agency of UN-Habitat, Abena Ntori, said the launch was a follow up to the visit by the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN to Ghana.

The Chief Executive of the AMA, Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, thanked the benefactors and expressed hope that the programme would ensure the holistic development of young people, including the reduction in teenage pregnancy and early fatherhood.