GTL has trained youth from mobile app development, to gaining a better understanding of the use and benefits of AI, robotics and digital media, and a comprehensive knowledge exchange across all data sciences being realised in our global community.
Ghana Tech Lab (GTL) has been established as a series of strategically-placed ecosystem hubs, providing the country with Africa’s leading tech hubs to accelerate and catalyse a highly-skilled digital workforce drawn from its pool of innovative youth.
Using technology, their business ideas produce market accelerators for products and services created across a diverse platform of promising start-ups which are ready made for early-stage investment.
Ghana Tech Lab falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications E-transform project with funding from the World Bank.
GTL works with ecosystem partners to drive tech innovation and advance digital transformation in Ghana through appropriate skills training for aspiring entrepreneurs. GTL also gives them access to tech and commercial mentors and related investors, to support numerous incubation programmes in the country.
GTL also provides Startup scaling support through their carefully-crafted Accelerator Programme and Startup Business Advisory Support Programme (StartupBAS).
In addition, GTL strategically collaborates with a range of organisations to create paid internships for their digital skills trainees under our Employability Programme.
In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we are proud to be a 21st century solution to African youth employment.
Through a dynamic collaborative effort, our work supports the ambitions, creativity and aspirations of young Ghanaians under the Pathway to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) Project. Undoubtedly, practical ideas are turned into big startup ideas for a range of solutions, products and services that solve diverse societal needs.
Ghana Tech Lab has produced exceptional stories, about exceptional young people, nurtured and honed by extraordinary GTL employees, mentors and trainers.
Since our existence in 2018, we have digitally trained over 10,000 young people in a range of specialist areas. GTL has trained youth from mobile app development, to gaining a better understanding of the use and benefits of AI, robotics and digital media, and a comprehensive knowledge exchange across all data sciences being realised in our global community.
We have supported 200 early and growth stage startups. We have created high end jobs for 1,940 young Ghanaians, and created over 630 internship placements across 16 regions of Ghana.
Serving at the helm of the multi-disciplinary tech training hub, I am both inspired, excited and privileged to work with such a dynamic specialist team at these pivotal Ghanaian tech innovation hubs. We have worked tirelessly to create the most functional, relevant and enabling environment for young entrepreneurs and innovators, who are in the process of developing startups in all corners of Ghana.
Currently, GTL manages 32 tech innovation hubs in 16 regions across the country. Our team are pioneers in their development of a nationwide ecosystem mapping project, a reliable up-to-date interactive national ecosystem stakeholder data platform. They both explain and stimulate entrepreneurial growth and interactions across policy decision tables.
Ecosystem mapping provides a situational analysis of local business and enterprise systems, detailing their startup survival strategies and progress. This mapping platform promotes startup innovations and success stories in real time. It also highlights how dynamic our web of ecosystem hubs are around Ghana.
In this regard, we identify and bridge the salient gaps in our Ghanaian entrepreneurial ecosystems, to keep building our network of shared productivity across the country.
I played an instrumental role in co-designing, developing and leading the team to include hundreds of individuals and organisations in their skills transfer hubs. These range from the Startup Business Advisory Services (a free business advisory service for anyone who needs assistance); the National Mentorship Network; the Startup Coach School for the training of business development associates to keep abreast of their trade and associated market-based trends.
We can also mention the Startup Scaling Fund (a zero interest revolving fund to aid early stage startups seeking funds but which do not have the required banking compliance prior to their funding applications); Ghana Ladies in Tech (a curated community to bridge the gender gap in the tech community, going the extra mile to support lactating and single mothers in our programs).
The rest are the National Acceleration Programme, to help prepare startups for investment readiness; National Pre-Tech Programme, a women-focused training program for tech and digital skills; National Local Investment Network, a regional crowdfunding network for each respective ecosystem hub; and the Ghana Tech Lab, the National Service Scheme Graduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Service Programme.
Ghana Tech Lab
Ghana Tech Lab is helping to revolutionise the NSS to address high graduate unemployment where graduates leave GTL’s training programme skilled to enter the formal workforce or well prepared to start their own businesses using technology and their own ideas.
Our institutional hub strengthening programmes provide strong, relevant and appropriate capacity building, from corporate governance, safeguarding and HR, to legal and related financial policies.
Our 32 tech innovation hubs are essential to scale our training delivery, to help diversify our skills training, and create systems which dovetail into programmes that allow our trainees and the hubs to achieve their vision for the greater socio-economic good of themselves and their local economies.
We provide laptops to aid access to quality education platforms, salary support to the business development leads to assist startups across all our regions, media toolkits to communicate their impact stories, all year-round free access to internet data for trainees and partner hub operations. We also subsidize hub rent advances and furniture support, to ensure our participating trainees feel at home at GTL and its partner hubs across Ghana.
I am personally driven to deliver entrepreneurial tech-supported opportunities to young people in Ghana.
This is integral to my mission to transform lives and inspire change in African economies and society through the development and implementation of viable businesses and services to the Ghanaian people.
The writer is the Ecosystem Development Manager, Ghana Tech lab