The government of Ghana in a move to transform and strengthen the ICT sector in the country and to also create jobs initiated the Tema ICT park (somewhat a smaller version of Silicon Valley maybe). The $400 million ICT Park project which is a Public/Private Partnership initiative created to boost the technology base in Ghana.
The Government of Ghana has demonstrated its commitment by initiating the construction of the project with a $10 million facility being a sub component of the project as of 2013.
Since initiation, the project has somewhat slowed down due to reason we’re unawareness, but if we should think of it, it might be financial challenges. Recent updates on the project indicates that Mauritius is to invest $260 million to develop the Tema Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Park into an ICT enclave for Ghana and countries in the West African sub-region.
Mauritius is known the be a major player in the ICT sector on the African Continent. Mauritius ranks 70th in the global ICT Development Index but 1st in Africa according to the ITU’s report in 2014. There is more into the country than being known for its beautiful islands.
Under the partnership arrangement, the Ghana government will provide land, utilities and technology infrastructure for the project..
The partnership, which is spearheaded by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), is expected to create about 5,000 jobs for young graduates in ICT. (What’s in for them?)
The multi-purpose facility, which will comprise technology buildings and business offices, will also serve as offices for ICT companies such as Samsung and Microsoft. At a joint press conference in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of the Board of Investment of Mauritius, Mr Gérard Sanspeur, said Mauritius had chosen to invest in the project to assist in the training of Ghanaian entrepreneurs in ICT.
Besides, he said, the project would provide the opportunity for Mauritian investors to develop interest in investing in Ghana. Mr Sanspeur said Mauritius could encourage investors who wanted to invest in other countries, in addition to Mauritius, to invest in the ICT park.
That, he said, was in line with the new business climate where investors wanted to invest in two or more countries in a region, instead of concentrating their investment in only one country. A Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Edward Ato Sarpong, said the government’s objective was to create the enabling environment for the private sector to flourish in all sectors, including ICT, to create more jobs for the youth.
He indicated that under the partnership, Ghana would not incur any debt as a result of the project. He said the two countries would manage the ICT park for a period of time until Mauritius recouped its investment in the project. The Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mrs Mawuena Trebarh, said the master plan was being finalised to pave the way for the agreement to be signed.
She said President John Dramani Mahama, who is scheduled to visit Mauritius in a couple of weeks, was expected to sign the master agreement during the visit.