Mrs Obo-Nai speaking at the conference
CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has emphasised that digitilisation is not just about technology but its accessibility to all, particularly society’s most vulnerable.
“What we should see in our scope of work is that we’re changing lives… touching lives by the very technology that we develop and the way we use it,” she said.
The Vodafone CEO was speaking at the 2023 Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition plenary on the topic, “Harnessing Digitalisation for Effective Social Change.”
Mrs. Obo-Nai highlighted SuperCare, a digital platform that has made a significant difference in the lives of people who are speech impaired or deaf. She shared how the Vodafone Ghana team employed sign language experts, trained some customer-facing employees, and introduced customised packages to help this vulnerable group stay connected.
She also talked about Instant Schools, a learning platform that connects thousands of teachers and students in Ghana to e-learning materials from the basic to the secondary level of education.
Over 25,000 learners in Ghana are now connected and can engage with basic curriculum, whether at home or in school.
Highlighting some key issues standing in the way of digital connectivity in Africa, Patricia pointed to poor network coverage, low device penetration, low digital literacy, and a lack of relevant digital content.
She emphasised the need for a deeper collaboration between governments and the private sector. “No one agency or company can address this problem. We must all work together to ensure that we leave no one behind,” she said.
Patricia also stressed that digitalisation efforts must consider the unique challenges that women and girls face, citing examples like Code-Like-A-Girl and Female Engineering Scholarship Scheme Programme, which both challenge gender stereotypes in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri