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"I expect these graduates to be change champions in their Institutions" - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has charged over a hundred public and civil service employees who have graduated out of the DigSMART pilot programme to be change champions in their various Institutions.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking at DigSMART, an event powered by TBI Digital Academy aimed at fast tracking digitalization for service delivery.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalization, said "I expect these graduates to be change champions in their organizations providing visionary leadership, promoting digital solutions in the public and civil service, and demonstrating exemplars on tech transformation and policy”

"You are at the fore-front helping form the way we work in civil and the public service. It is not enough to assume that you will know what to do to roll-out digital initiatives. Sometimes we make the mistake thinking that public servant appointed to positions organically acquire the knowledge and skills that they need to undertake their obligations"

"It is important that the various heads of Institutions to know, understand the terminologies and what it is all about"

"Have the requisite skills to guide the process of moving from largely manual processes to digitalized workplaces.

Taking his turn, the newly appointed Head of the Office of the Head of Civil Services, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darkoh, challenged the pioneer DigSMART participants to be torchbearers of the digital transformation of the civil service.

He charged them to ensure that technology becomes the vehicle that enables their success.

"Being DigSMART and harnessing digital prowess for the greater good”

"It is important that we strife in this digital age"

Dr. Aggrey-Darkoh stressed that leaders must view technology as an enabler, catalyst and a strategic asset.

"We have to cultivate our ability to use technology and also inform actions to create new opportunities, solve problems in the quest for developments and we need to bridge the inequality and quality gap to solve unemployment problems and reduce poverty tremendously"

Chief Director, Ministry of Finance, Eva Mends said "Government over the past years have been making strategic interventions to fast-track digitalization initiatives"

"These are towards a robust digital economy. This supports and accelerates the development of our country's communication and digitalization infrastructure to support the country as a regional hub for digital services"

She appealed to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization to ensure that all public and civil service employees across the country to be trained in the DigSMART pilot programme.

"I am looking forward to more training so that all of us are well-equipped to ensure Ghana has a better economy"

As a collaboration between the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization through its GhanaCARES Delivery Unit, and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), the programme offered, forty (40) leaders, seventy (70) managers, and 60 officers from six (6) ministries, departments, and agencies, an in-depth digital skills training.

Over a six-month period, the DigSMART graduates received face-to-face group or plenary sessions, at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (KACE), and online training covering various aspects of digital skills and knowledge necessary for effective digital leadership and transformation, in government.

They were also introduced to emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, metaverse and their applications. 

Their curriculum focused on digital strategy, digital leadership and governance, digital transformation, digital change management principles and processes.  

The graduating cohorts represented the Office of The President, the Office of the Head of Civil Service, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Planning and Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, as well as Controller and Accountants General.

Daniel Busscher, Senior Advisor of Digital and Tech Transformation, explained that DigSMART (a contraction of Digital Smartness), “was branded and first launched in Ghana in March 2023, as a flagship programme for Tony Blair Digital Academy. It aims to build digital skills, culture, and leadership in the public sector to achieve a more cohesive and accelerated digital transformation in Ghana.”

He commented that the midterm evaluation of the programme showing a 95.29% participation rate, was encouraging enough for an up-scaling of the programme.

Piloted simultaneously in Ghana, Senegal, and Malawi. DigSMART will expand in 2024 to train an additional eight hundred and thirty (830) public and civil servants in Ghana, alone.

The programme will enroll participants from 20 additional Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, and be implemented by KACE (face-to-face sessions) and TBI Digital Academy (online sessions).

The DigSMART programme is one of many undertaken by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, to further its goal of promoting the development of Ghana into a knowledge-based country, with a smart economy using digital tools.

DigSMART is preparing the civil service for a digital government future, where citizens are served efficiently and effectively by its government: fast-tracking digitalization in Ghana.

Some ten well-deserving participants were rewarded with a two-day trip to Kigali, Rwanda to partake in an upcoming Digitalization programme.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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