ICT, oil and gas has become ‘hot cake’ in these times as a vehicle for driving economic development for most nations.The
3rd Graphic Business Forum took place at Alisa hotel, today, 26th January, 2012 in Accra, Ghana. In my quest to give readers of baahduodu the best of stories, I monitored it and filed this. The theme for this year’s forum was “Leveraging ICT and Oil & Gas Resources to Accelerating Ghana’s Economic Development”.
In his goodwill message, Mr. Appiah from Vodafone, emphasized that ICT and for that matter telecom industry has contributed to the economy by providing 6000 direct and 1.5million indirect employment. Also, 10 years ago, Ghana had 240,000 mobile phone lines as compared to the current 21million mobile phone lines. These contribute to 2% GDP, 7% investment, and 10% government income.
According to Mr. Appiah, Vodafone have made $500 million investment to be ready for the data era (internet) which faces the world from now.
In his key note speech, the Vice President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama said he was happy he witnessed a diverse background of participants in this year’s forum. He stressed that oil and gas is the vehicle to propel social economic development and growth.
Touching on why Ghana’s oil sector would not be a curse, Mr. Mahama said Ghana is blessed already to have discovered the oil and gas in these times when there are a lot of materials and countries to learn from.
Asuch, the local content legislation about oil and gas is among the many tools to guide the players in the industry and Ghanaians to all work together to make the industry a success.
This forum is a welcomed one and we must commend Graphic and sponsors for it. But my worry is…what impact did the 1st and 2nd forum had on policy makers, Industries and Ghanaians in General? Do organizers have the data? For example, last year’s theme was “Ghana’s oil economy; prospects and challenges”. What prospects did we identify? Who were the beneficial? Did it help decrease unemployment and to what extent? Do organizers have data on that?
Sustainability is key. After 10 years of telecom industry growth in Ghana, companies should allow more local participation; be it employment or listing on Ghana’s stock exchange, among others.
What do you think? Your Comments are welcomed below…