The Director for Institute of Research, Innovation and Development at the Kumasi Technical University (IRID -KsTU) , Prof. Smart Sarpong has called on the youth to acquire digital skills beyond the secondary and university certificate because it will open doors of opportunities for them.

Speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of KsTU, Prof. Gabriel Dwomoh, at a graduation ceremony for the first batch of students who have completed the Data Analytics program under the flagship re/Start initiative in Kumasi, Prof. Sarpong said adding value, especially digital skills, to ones academic qualification is an advantage is today’s digital era.

The Ghana India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) on Friday, December 15, held a graduation ceremony for the first batch of students who have completed the Data Analytics program under its flagship re/Start initiative in Kumasi.

The graduation ceremony which took place at the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU), was a collaboration between GI-KACE and KsTU to ensure that aside the Centre’s branches in Accra, Sunyani, and Bolgatanga where the re/Start initiative was happening, the Ashanti Region will also benefit from the program.
“Sometimes the additional skills that you acquire beyond the school certificate can open doors for you.

Tell the people outside this auditorium that yes, securing a job these days is very hard but for all those who add value to the certificates they have, especially digital value or IT skills value, no employer will overlook your competencies since you will be adding value to the organization,” Prof Sarpong disclosed.

He commended the graduates for being part of the first phase of the re/Start initiative and urged them to keep practicing what they have been taught for them to gain more insight and knowledge in Data Analytics.

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“I know all the courses are going to be opened once again for those who missed this first chance to take the opportunity to register once it is opened. We at KsTU are assuring GI-KACE that we will be able to allow over 400 youth to participate in this IT skill upgrade opportunity. If you fail to take advantage of this sponsored opportunity, one day, you will pay in dollars and pounds to learn some of the courses being offered under the re/Start program,” he added.

The re/START program is a capacity-building initiative tailored to equip the working force, people who want to chart a career path in ICT, and the unemployed, furloughed workers and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), with 21st-century Digital skills to create businesses as well as a source for jobs in emerging technologies.

The program sponsored by Smart Africa Digital Academy – SADA, the Ghana India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE), World Bank, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Ministry for Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) is expected to train over 10,000 people in Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing among others. But the first phase will train 1,550 people.

Speaking at the graduation event on behalf of the Director-General of GI-KACE, Dr. Collins Yeboah-Afari, Director for Corporate Affairs and Media, Kobi Hemaa Osisiadan-Bekoe stated that the Centre, which is an ICT capacity building agency of the Government of Ghana, has always played a pivotal role in shaping the ICT landscape by playing a key role in the government’s digitalisation agenda.

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She added that GI-KACE has been championing the re/Start initiative because it seeks to increase the digital technology competence among the youth population which will go a long way to reduce the rate of youth unemployment in Ghana.

GI-KACE has for the past 20years been focusing on developing innovative technologies that are meant to address our day-to-day problems, providing consultancy in all ICT-related projects and building capacity through the Centre’s tailor-made ICT programs like Cybersecurity and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) among others.

“Since the re/Start initiative was launched in November by the Hon. Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu -Ekuful, our three Centres in Accra, Bolgatanga and Sunyani have all been running the re/Start program. But during the consultation stages, we decided that we could take advantage of the relationship we have with KsTU to engage the good people of Ashanti Region, get them to also benefit from the re/Start program, and also leave footprints in Kumasi.

KsTU has been very instrumental in this initiative and I am glad to say that we will continue to foster this great relationship for future collaborations,” Mrs Osisiadan-Bekoe said.

She urged the graduating students who had completed the course in Data Analytics to take what they had learned seriously and build on it.

Over 120 participants graduated with a certificate in Data Analytics using Power BI and Python.

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