Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, has advised secretarial and internet café operators to provide innovative services to remain in business.
“The digital technology keeps evolving but at the core of digitalisation is computer and internet access. Interestingly, those are your basic input. You, therefore, cannot be out of business once you adopt the right approach,”she said.
The Minister gave the advice at the launch of the National Association of Secretarial and Internet Café Operators-Ghana (NASICOG), in Accra.
It was on the theme: “Ghana’s Digitalization agenda, the role of internet café operators and secretarial service providers”.
The event also saw the inauguration of a seven-member National Executive Board to spearhead operations of the Association.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister said Government had recognised the contribution of NASICOG members to the Digital Transformation Agenda and that Government would continue to provide the enabling environment to facilitate the growth of all businesses in Ghana.
She said many of the interventions rolled out by Government since 2017 had led to massive improvements in the delivery of services and experiences, with NASICOG members playing a pivotal role.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that the emergence of mobile devices such as smart phones and laptops had negatively affected the patronage of internet cafés.
The Minister said that, however, was an opportunity for the Association to re-orient its members by building their capacity to serve as facilitators of access to those services.
Mr Bruce Thomas Suallah, NASICOG President, said even though NASICOG had the potential to drive Ghana’s Digitalisation agenda to the desired expectation, nobody cared about their operations.
“Whether we do things right or not no one cares. Institutions that have deployed online services do not engage us in anything,” he bemoaned, saying the Association was ready to support Government execute any technology related programme.
The National President said they would soon organise workshops for institutions and agencies that had deployed online services to train NASICOG members on how to effectively use their systems, and appealed to the institutions not to turn down those requests.
He also appealed to Telecommunication Companies to consider a special package for them because they used a greater chunk of their data.
He urged the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to consider making the National President of NASICOG a member of the WAEC board.
“In this way, the flow of information from WAEC to NASICOG members and from the members to WAEC would be fast and effective.”
“Payment for the yearly subscription of Biometric Machine should be abolished. This is because for the past three years, we have recorded very low turnout in the NOVDEC registration. As a result, we feel re-activation of the Biometric Machine should be made free,” he added.
He asked members to remain resolute and committed to the course of NASICOG and asked all who were yet to register with the Association to do so.
National Association of Secretarial and Internet Café Operators-Ghana (NASICOG) was birthed in 2020, on Telegram and WhatsApp platforms.
A constitution was drafted and adopted in September, 2020, after which 157 members contributed GH¢20.00 each for the registration of the Association at the Registrar General’s Department.
On October 7, 2021, the Association received its registration certificate.
Their major objective, among others, is to provide a common front that will promote their activities in a professional way and seek the general welfare of members.
The current membership is 1,695 across Ghana.