Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has specifically called on MTN Ghana to “hold the hands” of the Ministry of Education and assist them to properly digitize education in Ghana.
He made the call in a speech read on his behalf by Senior Advisor to the President, Yaw Osafo Marfo at MTN Ghana’s 25th Anniversary dinner, where MTN hosted an august audience of industry stakeholders including state dignitaries, regulators, distributors, journalists, and even some competitors among others.
In his keynote address, the Vice President noted that the student population in Ghana constitute a captive market for MTN’s operations and a backbone to its future in Ghana.
He then asked “What plans has MTN got to assist our Ministry of Education to make a success of digitalization in education?
“Please think through this and open discussions with the Ministry of Education in this crusade. Education must drive digitalization and you need to hold the hands of the Ministry to make this happen,” he said.
The Vice President noted that digitalization has become so critical that any country that is not digitalizing will soon not have much of an economy, and that is why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has made digitalization an economic strategy.
He said government has observed that institutions that digitalize made better revenue, meanwhile, an estimated 10 to 15 per cent of government revenue is lost due the inefficiencies of the manual system of revenue mobilization.
Dr. Bawumia said government is therefore going all out on digitalization, but the success of it will require key private sector collaborators such as MTN and other industry players.
“Within this context I am pleased to know that MTN’s strategy going forward is to lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress, a key priority which is to build the largest and most valuable platforms. These platforms will greatly benefit other industry players and become indispensable to the government’s digitalization ambition in all sectors of the economy,” he said.
MTN CSI in education
Already, the MTN Ghana has invested some US$15 million into 158 corporate social responsibility projects, out of which about 90 are in education alone.
A significant part of the 90 education projects are either wholly or partially ICT related, from robotics labs for a number of second cycle schools to ultra-modern ICT labs for several basic, secondary and tertiary institutions across the country.
Not long ago, MTN also donated a whopping GHS10 million to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization for the Girls in ICT Project, which is benefitting thousands of girls across the country.
At the dinner, MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh also announced that the company will next year invest an additional GHS1.2 million into building a robotics lab for the Mamphe Girls Senior High School.
He said, on the whole, the company has earmarked over US$1 billion to support the entire Digital Agenda Agenda over the next five year, beginning now.
Earlier in the year, he had announced that MTN has readied some 1,322 base stations across the country for 5G, which will be rolled out hopefully next year.
Selorm Adadevoh believes that Ghana’s vision to become a technology hub, particularly because it is the host of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, requires immediate action by government and private sector industry players in Ghana.
In that light, he said MTN is working with government to build West Africa’s first ever innovation city in Ghana so that the country can play its lead role in driving the AfCFTA vision.