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Regulating IT Businesses and Practitioners in Ghana: Challenges & Opportunities

Every industry starts with inventors and innovators. However, there comes a time when regulation is required to help formalize the industry and create opportunities and address some challenges of an unregulated sector. Regulation, when formulated and implemented well, can propel a relatively new industry like Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to become a large industry that employs more people and supports other sectors of the economy.

According to Lisa Quest, a London-based partner in the Public Sector practice and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Centre for Risk and Regulation, “One way governments can put tech companies on a level playing field would be to introduce a regulator for the tech industry”.

 Background of NITA’s Regulation Process

To start the regulation process, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) a public service institution established by Act 771 in 2008 as the ICT policy implementing arm of the Ministry of Communications is inviting all IT practitioners and IT business owners to its maiden stakeholders’ forum on regulating the IT sector in Ghana. NITA is the agency responsible for implementing Ghana’s IT policies. Its mandate includes identifying, promoting, and developing innovative technologies, standards, guidelines, and practices among government agencies and local governments, as well as ensuring the sustainable growth of ICT via research & development planning and technology acquisition strategies to facilitate Ghana’s prospect of becoming a technology-driven, knowledge and values-based economy as espoused in the e-Ghana project which ideally seeks to assist the Government in generating growth and employment, by leveraging ICT and public-private partnerships. To regulate the IT ecosystem in Ghana, NITA has embarked on registration and subsequent accreditation of IT businesses and practitioners.

The forum has been designed to help NITA and the stakeholders in the ICT sector to dialogue where the regulator would share the process, and stakeholders from the industry will provide their input in shaping the regulation.

 

The objective of the Stakeholders’ Forum

To educate stakeholders on the benefits of this registration process and to mitigate any challenges during the process, a forum is being organized to bring together Information Technology (IT) managers, practitioners, and businesses to brainstorm and share best practices in regulating IT professionals and businesses. This One-day stakeholders’ forum will bring together technology entrepreneurs, managers of IT infrastructure and services, and practitioners across public and private sector institutions. IT practitioners from academia will also be invited to discuss how IT students can be registered while still in school. The NITA ICT stakeholders Forum is an event initiated by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in partnership with the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH), a vibrant ICT Association for professionals, businesses, and students in Ghana. This maiden edition of the forum is scheduled for 7th December 2022 at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (KACE) – Ridge, Accra. The forum will serve as a platform for collaboration between NITA and other public and private organizations within the technology ecosystem in Ghana.

The highlights of the one-day forum starting at 9:00 am through to 2:00 pm shall focus on the regulatory activities NITA will conduct, and the primary objectives include:

  • to educate stakeholders on the benefits of NITA’s registration process and mitigate challenges that may be faced during the process,
  • to bring together Information Technology (IT) practitioners and businesses to brainstorm and share best practices in regulating IT professionals and businesses
  • to create a platform for collaboration and advocacy between NITA and other public and private organizations within the technology ecosystem in Ghana, and others.

 Target Group

The forum aims at IT managers, professionals, and businesses in the IT space in Ghana. Educational Institutions, students, and professionals will also participate in discussing the registration process for students and other professionals in academia.

Delivery of the Events

The NITA ICT stakeholders Forum for professionals and businesses is a FREE event and no prior event registration is required to participate. As several other professionals and businesses across the country cannot attend, the events shall be organized in a hybrid mode: physical and online connectivity via platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Facebook, or YouTube for remote participation.

NITA will mobilize IT managers, practitioners, and businesses from the public sector while IIPGH mobilizes businesses and professionals from the private sector for maximum participation in this important consultative forum.

Event summary:

Theme: Regulating IT Businesses and Practitioners in Ghana: Challenges & Opportunities

The event will be broadcasted live on Facebook via NITAGHANA. A Microsoft Teams link will also be shared later for those who cannot join physically to do so remotely.

Expected Outcomes of the Events

The engagement outcomes will be used as a guide for the registration and accreditation of businesses and professionals in the IT industry in Ghana. A summary of discussions and feedback from partners shall be published.

About the Partner Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana

The Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH) is a professional association that is made up of professionals in various domains of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) practice. The Institute is a connector of ICT professionals from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), educational institutions, corporate organizations, start-ups, investors, and civil society organizations to create a vibrant ICT ecosystem.

The objectives of the institute are accomplished by mobilizing all ICT professionals, students, and businesses under one professional association to positively influence policy, development, standardization, and delivery of ICT across Ghana and beyond. The institute also aims to train and certify professionals, provide opportunities through networking, educate the public, and lead in technology advocacy. Our vision is to become the most reliable partner in ICT development in Ghana and beyond.

 

Author: David Gowu–Executive Director, Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana

For comments, contact david.gowu@iipgh.org or Mobile: +233242773762

 

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