Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has inaugurated a nine-member Governing Board of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), which is the Ministry’s ICT Capacity Development Agency.
The board is chaired by Mr. Kwame Owusu, with Dr. Tony Bediako, Dr. Maria Lovelace Johnson, Mr. Eric Agyeman, Madam Kesewaa Brown, Mr. Kwabena Afum-Dankwa, Dr. Collins Yeboah Afari, Mr. Francis K. Boachie, and Ms. Farida Bedwei, as members of the Board.
Speaking during the inauguration of the board, which took place on February 22, 2022, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stated that AITI-KACE was established in 2003 through the ingenuity of the then UN Secretary-General, H.E. Kofi Annan, former President John Agyekum Kufuor and a partnership between the Government of India.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the Centre works to stimulate the growth of the ICT Sector in the ECOWAS sub-region and beyond.
“As Ghana’s first Advanced Information Technology Institute, the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT has built capacity for over 40,000 students in Ghana, and other parts of the continent since inception. These high-end skilled personnel churned out are contributing their quota to their respective nations and in various fields in the public and private sectors. This is attributable to the quality demonstrated in the Centre’s rigorous hands-on curriculum, an experienced faculty, and the high value Ghana’s industry places on the Centre’s products,” she noted.
She also added that “in the last few years, AITI-KACE has opened Centres in Sunyani and Bolgatanga with the view to expanding the operations of the Centre to cater for the middle and northern belts of Ghana. This has yielded much fruit, as the Bolgatanga Resource Centre for instance, developed Ghana’s first fully-functional GNU/Linux Operating system –The Nyansapo Operating System (NOSS). This indigenous operating system is available to African MDAs, schools and organisations for free.”
“Nyansapo’s education variant EduNOS is currently being piloted in the Upper East, North East, Savannah and Greater Accra regions of Ghana and has been accepted by the UN as a Digital Public Good, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region. AITI-KACE has also signed an MOU with the Ministry of Education to explore the use of their EDUNOS in the core IT curriculum of the GES.The Centre has stepped up the development of several IT and e-Government solutions to promote the integration of ICT in the operations of the Public and Civil Services,” she said.
AITI-KACE has developed the e-Asset system for managing public assets from procurement to decommissioning, the e-leave app for light human resource management functions and the cashless e-Invoicing platform for processing of non-tax revenue and receipts/payments. Others include e-Learning platforms, Data and web portal for government agencies, a real-time information-sharing platform for SMEs and an election collation and reporting platform.
AITI-KACE has also rolled out a number of digital skills training programmes for the Civil Service, Public Services and the private sector to facilitate the integration of ICT in the operations of these sectors as a key component in Ghana’s Digitalisation Agenda.
“These achievements have gained government recognition with approvals from my Ministry, the Public Services Commission and the Ministry of Finance to recruit additional staff to support the increasing activities of the Centre. Furthermore, we want to position KACE as the IT finishing school in the Public sector to ensure the IT class attains or acquires minimum standards of proficiency in their jobs, first like GIMPA has done for Public Administration. Every IT professional in the civil and public service should work to some minimum study set in collaboration between NITA and KACE, regular CET as this is a fast-evolving sector to upgrade their skills or ensure they can manage the IT infrastructure and services put in at great cost by GoG.”
The sector Minister indicated that, despite these achievements, there are critical areas of urgent concern the Board will be expected to attend to. Key among them is the need for funding to scale-up digital skills training to promote the digital economy, collaboration with key stakeholders to drive research and capacity building activities, visibility and wide adoption of AITI-KACE e-Government solutions.
“There is the urgent need for the expansion of office and operational space, especially in Accra, and capacity building and motivation for staff to drive revenue generation. Given the potential of the Centre, I would urge the Board to marshal all efforts to pay particular attention to helping management to improve the revenue generation capabilities of the Centre,” she stressed.
“With the depth of knowledge and expertise on this Board, I am fully convinced that you will work together as a strong team to steer the Centre to effectively deliver on its mandate. I have no doubt that your Board will live up to expectations. I will take this opportunity to assure the Board and management of the Centre that the Ministry will continue to support the Centre in all its endeavours.”
Speaking on behalf of the newly inaugurated board, the chairperson of the Board, Mr Kwame Owusu, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, for their appointment and pledged the readiness of the board to work to achieve the aims and objectives of the AITI-KACE.