Economics and Business

Invest In Developing Tech Skills of Ghanaian Youth – Dr Bawumia to Telecel Group

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on Telecommunication companies operating in the country to move beyond seeking to expand the physical infrastructure of their operations to investing in the human and other resources that are at the heart of their offerings to the Ghanaian and African market.

Speaking at the launch of operations for Telecel Ghana, new majority shareholders in the company formerly known as Vodafone Ghana, on Monday, March 11, 2024 Dr Bawumia reminded telcos, fintechs and stakeholders in the technology ecosystem that one of the surest ways of ensuring lasting success is investing in the youth, who are the future of any endeavor.

“Let me challenge you to look beyond physical infrastructure. Your corporate social responsibility must include a deliberate investment and development of the digital capabilities and capacities of young Ghanaians across the country at all levels. As we celebrate this momentous occasion, remember that you also have a role in shaping the future of our nation,” he reminded them.

Dr Bawumia reminded the leadership of Telecel that innovation is the heartbeat of success in the telecom and indeed the business environment, and challenged them to make a difference in the Ghanaian telcom market with offerings that would make their brand attractive.

“In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, innovation is key to staying ahead. Your customers require accessible, safe, affordable, and reliable network always. I am happy about Telecel’s commitment to expand their network and bring more innovation into this space. In that regard, you have the government’s firm support.

He continued: “I am also delighted to see the emphasis placed on inclusivity and accessibility in your services. In Ghana, like in many parts of the world, there are still underserved communities with limited access to telecommunications infrastructure. By expanding your reach and investing in infrastructure development, you are not only expanding access to communication but also creating opportunities for economic growth and social empowerment for the underprivileged.

Extolling the virtues of the introduction and growing use of Mobile Money, Vice President Bawumia urged the management of Telecel to explore the many opportunities available for deepening financial inclusion, saying although much had been done, there was more to do.

The value of mobile money transactions as of December 2016 was GH¢78.5billion. However, since the introduction of Mobile Money Interoperability between different networks and bank accounts, there has been a very rapid expansion in the volume of transactions. In 2023, mobile money transactions hit a record GHC199.3 trillion, which represents 64.3% increase from the previous year. This has made Ghana the number one country in Africa for financial inclusion, because we have achieved 100% availability and inclusion for every Ghanaian.

“The opportunities that the Mobile Money platform, backed by the introduction of Mobile Money Interoperability, has created is enormous. I commend your company for the role it has played in the past, but most importantly, I urge you to strive to do more as mobile money is one of the surest ways to promote financial inclusivity.”

Welcoming the Telecel Group to Ghana with a hearty “Akwaaba”, Dr Bawumia urged them to be worthy partners for national development.

“I applaud your commitment to corporate social responsibility through the Telecel Foundation and Africa Start-Up Initiative Programme (ASIP). Your initiatives to support education, healthcare, and support for start-ups reflect your dedication to making a meaningful impact beyond business success. This aligns perfectly with our government’s vision of building a more equitable and prosperous society for all Ghanaians.

“As key players in the telecommunications industry, I urge you to uphold the highest standards of ethics, transparency, and corporate governance in all your endeavours. I have no doubt that this brand will not only thrive but also contribute significantly to the advancement of our nation’s telecommunications sector.”

Telecel Group
The Telecel Group acquired Vodafone International’s 70% stake in Ghana Telecom in February 2023, with the Government of Ghana retaining its 30% stake. The two organisations have since been working to synergize their operations, with changes in leadership and operations. Patricia Obo-Nai, first Ghanaian CEO of Vodafone Ghana, has been tapped as the first CEO of Telecel Ghana.

Operating in over 27 countries, with over six million active subscribers, Telecel aims to digitally empower Africa through technology, connecting remote areas for inclusivity, and focusing on education as a catalyst for growth and accessibility, according to its Board.

Speaking at the launch, the Chairman and Co-founder of the Telecel Group, Mr. Nicolas Bourg, said the company intends to focus on “positive disruption and innovation in the Ghanaian telecoms market,” adding “we chose to invest in Ghana because of the manifest potential of the youth and people of Ghana.”

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