Introduction At the Institute, 2017 has been an exciting year. The year witnessed the birth of this great movement of ICT professionals across Ghan
At the Institute, 2017 has been an exciting year. The year witnessed the birth of this great movement of ICT professionals across Ghana and beyond who are ready to ignite a big transformation in the ICT space. Although the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH) was established just beginning of 2017, our activities, membership mobilization and recognition by major organization in the ICT industry are early signs of an organization that would soon become a major partner in promoting ICT.
The Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana (IIPGH) is a non-profit professional body which is currently made up of over 680 registered professionals in various domains of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) practice. The Institute has been formed to help tackle the ICT human resource constraint in developing countries such as Ghana. The vision of the Institute is to become a connector by bringing together Government MDAs, big corporations, start-ups, educational institutions, investors and the civil society organizations on one platform in order to create a vibrant ICT ecosystem. The organization aims at using this platform to equip professionals and students with skills in emerging technologies needed for entrepreneurship and employment in today’s fast moving technological world. In addition, use the expertise at its disposal to advice government and other stakeholders on best practices and public policies that would enable the use of ICT in our socio-economic development.
As stated by the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg “People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things” so 2017 being our first year with this new concept we tried many things in a very fast way. From conception of the idea we quickly moved into action. The institute was first registered to have the legal authority to operate. The constitution was drafted and the leaders embarked on a roadshow to explain the vision and objectives of the institute to a cross section of professionals in various ICT organizations. Airtel, MTN, Vodafone, Busy Internet were among the organizations visited where discussions were held on how to develop the institute.
After the first round of introductory workshops and presentations, the first general meeting was convened in June where the draft constitution was adopted. This enabled the interim executives to officially start administrative work, collect dues and allocate membership IDs. Other institutions such as Ashesi University and Achimota schools were visited to introduce IIPGH. The discussions were also taken to MTN staff in Kumasi.
Office space was rented and three Administrative Team members namely; David Gowu, Kuuku Sam & Richard Amanfu started working fulltime at the secretariat of the institute.
The Executive Council also known as the Board of Directors of the institute was constituted according to the constitution to help shape the establishment of the institute. Experienced ICT practitioners from various domains were contacted and appointed to serve on the board of the institute. The names of the board members are: Dr. Fred MacBagonluri (Dean of Engineering, Ashesi University), Mrs. Veronica Boateng (ICT Application Director, NITA), Mrs. Amma Benneh-Amponsah (Executive HR, MTN Ghana), Mr. Prince Sefah (Dep. Director General, NCA), Mrs. Lucy Quist (Former CEO, Airtel Ghana), Ing. Ken Ashigbey (CEO, Ghana Chamber of Telecoms), Mr. David Gowu (Ag. Executive Director, IIPGH), Mr. Kuuku Sam (Director of Admin, IIPGH), Mr. Francis Gatsi (Director of Research, IIPGH). The board has met once since its formation in August and planning for the next meeting early next year to discuss annual activity plan and governance structures.
IIPGH is open to all ICT Professionals across all domains, any other professional with interest in ICT, Students and all stakeholders in the ICT space. A person shall be recognized as a member of IIPGH when he/she is allocated a membership ID.
Two Online payment systems have been designed for dues payment and automatic allocation of Membership IDs. A prospective member shall register online and pay annual dues of 100 Cedis (Professionals) or 20 Cedis (Student) by dialing our customized USSD code *800*30# or login and pay through membership portal on our website https://iipgh.org/membership/
Affiliations and Partnerships
The message of IIPGH was well received; professionals, businesses, educational institutions and civil society organizations are willing to collaborate with the institute to deepen ICT education and ICT business startups to stimulate growth and reduce unemployment especially among the youth. In line with this commitment, a number of these organizations signed MoUs with IIPGH or are in talks with the institute to collaborate in the areas such as trainings, professional services, education or advocacy.
Some of these partners are; Admintelecom Academy, MTN Ghana, Frize Media, TheSquealer, Africa Invent Age, Business & Financial Times (B&FT), iPay, Wigal, Adroit Web Services, Ghana National Association of ICT Teachers (GNAiT), Memberz.org, Delta3 International, Maxim Nyansa, The Drive Concept, The Ghana Telecom Chambers, Gocreate, GIT Plus etc.
In order to achieve the objectives of the institute, four major platforms have been setup shown below. These platforms would serve as the vehicles that would drive IIPGH activities in 2018.
Professional Membership Platform – all professionals, corporate organizations and students shall register. Individual portal have been created for members to login, provide essential information that would help in mapping, analysis, networking and professional development and seeking for job opportunities per qualification. This can be accessed using this link https://iipgh.org/membership/
Learning & Development Platform – Academy platform has been designed for trainings, workshops; seminars etc. to be posted for members to develop their skills in new and emerging technologies. Educational institutions/consultancy firms that are into training in ICT are being contacted to help offer trainings. Details can be accessed using this link https://iipgh.org/academy/
Professional Services Platform – Services platform has also been created for the institute to offer professional services such as advisory services, technical consultancy, ICT Human Resource placement and others to organizations to create job opportunities for members. The institute will collaborate with businesses in the ICT ecosystem to achieve this objective. https://iipgh.org/services/
Foundation Platform – IIPGH Foundation has been created to focus on helping unserved and underserved communities, schools, other institutions to use ICT for teaching and learning. In addition offer public education on the benefits of using ICT for socio-economic development to achieve the Sustainable development goals (SDGs). Use this link for details https://iipgh.org/foundation/
IIPGH being a not for profit organization is faced with the peculiar challenge of funding as experienced by most non-profit organizations. While a lot of professionals are enthusiastic about the institute and registered online, majority have not paid their annual dues to complete the membership process to be allocated membership ID. The dues collected not enough so the institute depends on some founding members to pay for office rent. Members working fulltime for the institute are not being paid any stipend to take care of their expenses being made on behalf of the institute.
Another major challenge of the institute is that although it is a professional body for ICT professionals, most professionals are not willing to dedicate time to offer voluntary service to design software or other applications for the institute. With no funds to contract other established firms to setup these administrative and system structures, the institute is depending on members who can offer these services at their spare times which slows down progress of activities of the institute.
The first year of the establishment of IIPGH has been hailed as hugely successful however for us at the institute; this is just the beginning of greater achievements. Another general meeting shall be organized in 2018 where updated constitution based on input received from members shall be tabled for deliberation and adoption.
The Executive Council would like to use this opportunity to thank all pioneers who worked tirelessly towards the establishment of this great initiative. Wish you a happy festive season!