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Computer and Entrepreneurship Development Center, Ghana
 
 

Overview

In 2011, YAA sought a collaboration with Humanity Empowerment Alliance (HEAL), Ghana for the implementation of the CEDC in Ghana.

About HEAL

HEAL is a nonprofit organization with a mission to propose and implement projects to promote positive livelihood in Ghana making available knowledge, experience and resources to help all build a better life and eventually improve their communities. It was formed in Dzorwulo, Accra Ghana and registered under Number G-35,206.

Problem Statement

Ghana should be an African success story; it is fertile, rich in minerals, has a stable democracy, it's relatively free from conflict, and was the first black African nation to gain independence. Yet all of these powerful factors have not secured Ghana as an economically independent country. Ghana is one of the very few African countries to have taken advantage of the HIPC package, and come out of it in record time with a healthier economy. This offers an opportunity to foster economic development programs in a progressive economy. Despite its successes, Ghana is lacking in areas of technology and entrepreneurship. This has to do with the lack of any infrastructure and platforms that seek to foster technological advancements such as Youth Action Africa. The disparity gap between the low-income and high-income earners also accounts for the fact that very few Ghanaians are able to access technology such as the computer. Despite the declared freedom from HIPC, the majority of the Ghanaian population still lives below the poverty line and cannot afford basic computer literacy courses.

Ghana, despite its reputable universities, still struggles in its attempt to close the education gap. With most of its schools located in the cities, rural dwellers are forced to look for vocational institutions of which most of them do not graduate due to the high tuition fees. Rural dwellers are constantly attracted to the cities for better opportunities, which lead to an overpopulation in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Accra is one of the most populated and fastest growing metropolises in Africa with an annual growth rate of 3.36%. Although Accra has a sizeable number of computer users as compared to other cities, the ratio of users to the overall population of the city is significantly low (1000 people per 1 computer). Significant numbers of students coming out of Junior High School are unable to enter Senior High School due to high tuition rates and are left with no career to pursue due the absence of any recognized skills.

Due to the recent influx of multi-national corporations, foreign investments, and recent discovery of oil wells in Ghana, many industries have expressed the need for computer savvy individuals. The majority who are those that cannot afford the currently available courses, are forced to revert into cyber crimes and/or other meager jobs.

Current Environment

YAA in collaboration with HEAL, is currently setting a stage for the CEDC program. The Computer and Business Development Center is a business incubator type platform that will provide access to a variety of programs geared towards technology, entrepreneurship and implementation of sustainable development projects. YAA and HEAL believe that the key to alleviating Africa's myriad crisis is empowering its citizens with information for development and providing them with a platform to transform ideas into projects to be implemented in target sites. Therefore, their center will focus on three main areas that include: literacy, empowerment, and access.
So far the organizations have completed training 12 youths and classes have started for 13 youths. The participants were supported by funds raised by the directors of HEAL, GHANA and donations from friends of HEAL, Ghana. This program has been a success and participants have received encouragement from beneficiaries. The goal is to now extend this training into other communities to help those who wish to learn the use of the computer.
Currently, YAA and HEAL have an office space with 4 computers serving 25 participants since February 2011. These participants are mainly junior and high school students between the ages of 18- 25, a male to female ratio of about 2:3, a computer to person ratio of 1:5. The activities of this center are coordinated by two full-time staff (Sika Adomza (MBA), and Saeed Abdallah) assisted by 4 computer savvy volunteers. With such limited resources, efficiency and effectiveness of our operations cannot be achieved. Our volunteers work for long rotation hours in order to accommodate all participants on a daily basis.
In order to accommodate the increasing public demand, YAA and HEAL is looking to expand this program platform with a larger space to accommodate more computers.

 
 
 
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