Events in the tech industry in Ghana have been growing in popularity over the past few months. Obviously, a lot more talk, and hopefully action, is going on about tech as the major stakeholders begin to appreciate the way tech is changing lives and making life easier generally. Just about 6 weeks ago, the Africa Mobile & ICT Expo came off in Accra, showcasing tech in a spectacular way, and bringing stakeholders to discuss the mobile device as a tool for economic empowerment.
The yearly iWeek, organised by the Advance Information Technology Institute – Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence, is one of such events which, even though organised yearly, always raises pertinent issues in the tech industry and the way forward. This year’s iWeek sheds more light on mobile payments, and is titled “Digital Payments & Ecommerce: Embracing a Cash-lite Economy.”
The opening of the event saw several distinguished guests in attendance; the Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Kofi Wampah, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon, Director General of the AITI-KACE, SMSGH Boss Alex Adjei Bram, reps from GHIPPS, MTN, and WASPAG among many others.
Mrs. Dorothy Gordon expressed how Ghana has the opportunity to be on the forefront for the sub-regional mobile money eco-system. The MTN rep in his speech released some numbers which were quite encouraging, stating that there are about 15 million Mobile Money subscribers in Ghana operation about 19.6 million cedis in transactions per month. Alex Bram, SMSGh CEO, expressed his delight at how government is collaborating with younger companies and startups to take mobile payments a step further, while debunking any myths that cash is more secure than mobile money. He was encouraged by how some startups in the western markets are making money, and how all that is based on payments systems.
The BOG Boss was excited to be there and was glad he could have the opportunity to meet young entrepreneurs and developers who have intents of push the economy forward through mobile payments. He also revealed the Bank of Ghana’s notice of crypto-currencies and assured that the right measures and regulations will be put in place for such currencies to take legal effect in Ghana when necessary.
iWeek 2015 hosts several talks discussing Payment Gateways, Compliance and Controls with respect to a Regulatory Environment, Security, Privacy and Data Protection, Innovation Hubs, the Private sector, etc. Also in this year’s iWeek celebration is an API hackathon organised and moderated by VOTO Mobile which happens on Saturday, 12th September.
The schedule for the week’s events is available on aiti-kace.com.gh/iWeek2015
Electronic payments has been on the minds of many Ghanaians since e-commerce increased in popularity over the past 3-4 years. Hopefully, such discussions will help push the local payments systems forward through adoption and promotion.
AITI-KACE is one of Ghana’s most well-resourced IT training institutions. being one of the first centres to have a 3d printer and a super computer, the centre is a host to several tech events, and they are a proud supporter to building the tech community through collaboration.