Software Adoption in Ghana: 5 Key Factors Driving its Growth
- by Eric Elikplim Dorvlo
- Updated February 24, 2023
Software adoption in Ghana has been on the rise over the past few years, driven by a number of key factors.
From government initiatives to entrepreneurship and innovation, here are some of the main reasons why Ghana has seen such a growth in software adoption.
The Ghanaian government has been playing an active role in promoting technology adoption in the country.
One of the most significant initiatives has been the development of national broadband infrastructure, which has increased internet penetration and made it easier for individuals and businesses to access online services and software applications.
As part of efforts to bridge the gap in the telecommunication network connectivity, the Government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has committed about €155 million to supplement universal service funds to boost broadband services in rural areas and narrow the digital divide.
Under the Ghana Beyond Aid policy framework, the government’s goal is to increase the contribution of ICT service exports from a 2017 baseline of 0.01% of GDP to a target of 1% in 2028 and to establish Ghana as an African leader in the digital economy.
In response to the pandemic, the Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) program seek to establish robust ICT infrastructure to support businesses and public service delivery.
Additionally, the government has established technology centers and introduced tax incentives for technology companies, which has encouraged innovation and investment in the sector.
Increased internet penetration
According to DataReportal, there were 16.99 million internet users in Ghana in January 2022.
Ghana’s internet penetration rate stood at 53.0 percent of the total population at the start of 2022. Kepios analysis indicates that internet users in Ghana increased by 350 thousand (+2.1 percent) between 2021 and 2022.
For perspective, these user figures reveal that 15.07 million people in Ghana did not use the internet at the start of 2022, meaning that 47.0 percent of the population remained offline at the beginning of the year.
As internet penetration continues to increase in Ghana, more people have access to online services and software applications.
This has been supported by the widespread availability of mobile technology, including smartphones and tablets. With mobile devices, individuals and businesses can access and use software applications from anywhere, at any time.
One of the key challenges facing Ghana in terms of digital literacy is the lack of access to digital infrastructure in many parts of the country. While there has been significant investment in broadband infrastructure in recent years, many areas still lack reliable internet access.
This can make it difficult for individuals and businesses to access online services and software applications, and can limit their ability to develop the skills needed to use digital technologies effectively.
Despite these challenges, there are several efforts being made to improve digital literacy in Ghana.
One of the most significant initiatives is the government’s “eTransform” program, which is aimed at promoting the adoption of digital technologies in various sectors of the economy. This program includes initiatives aimed at improving digital infrastructure, promoting digital literacy, and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the technology sector.
There are also several private sector initiatives aimed at improving digital literacy in Ghana. For example, some technology companies are developing training programs to help individuals and businesses develop the skills needed to use digital technologies effectively.
Additionally, some NGOs and other organizations are working to promote digital literacy among specific groups, such as women and girls, who may face particular challenges in accessing and using digital technologies.
These programs are aimed at increasing the skills of individuals and businesses in using technology, making it easier for them to adopt and incorporate new software technologies into their daily activities.
As Ghana continues to invest in digital infrastructure and develop the skills needed to use digital technologies effectively, we can expect to see continued growth and innovation in the technology sector, and improved outcomes for individuals and businesses across the country.
Entrepreneurship and innovation
The Ghanaian economy is driven by a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, with many startups and entrepreneurs developing software solutions to address local needs and challenges.
The Government of Ghana recently instituted the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP), a flagship policy initiative of the Government of Ghana.
Its primary objective is to provide integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses. It focuses primarily on providing business development services; startup incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them to grow and become successful.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) is therefore set within the context of Ghana’s long-term strategic vision of consolidating its middle-income status and building an industry-driven economy capable of providing decent jobs that are suitable and sustainable for development.
This has led to the growth of the software industry in Ghana, with innovative solutions being developed to cater to the specific needs of Ghanaian businesses and consumers.
Access to funding
Finally, access to funding has also played a significant role in the growth of software adoption in Ghana. The government has established a number of funds to support innovation and entrepreneurship, and there are also several private sector initiatives aimed at providing funding for startups and entrepreneurs.
According to VC4A, Ghana has emerged as one of the most robust and developed startup ecosystems on the continent, following Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa – as the major hubs on the continent.
Ghana’s growth is thanks to several strengths, including significant consumer and business markets, sophisticated entrepreneurial talent, and a strong corporate sector.
Ghana has access to local capital and ties to a growing number of international investors. High-tech startups thrive in the midst of a growing number of startup support organizations active in the ecosystem.
In 2022, around 148.6 million U.S. dollars were secured by tech startups in Ghana. In comparison to the previous year, this increased by around 652 percent.
In conclusion, the increase in software adoption in Ghana can be attributed to a combination of factors, including government support, increased internet penetration, digital literacy, entrepreneurship and innovation, and access to funding. As the country continues to invest in technology and innovation, we can expect to see continued growth in the software industry and more innovation emerging from Ghana.