#CitiTrends Episode 32: Lobbying for tech in Ghana vrs Investing in African tech

Ethel Cofie, Founder of Women in Tech Africa

When there is a technology conversation to be had in Ghana, it happens on #CitiTrends.

The show this week features one of the women who has been advocating for the regularising of tech lobby groups in Ghana. She is the CEO of Edel Technology Consulting and founder of Women in Tech Africa, Ethel Cofie. I started off by asking Ethel if she thought Ghana really needed a tech lobby group in the first place.

The conversations about investing in African technology solutions then takes centre stage. Eric Osiakwan who is the managing partner at Chanzo Capital shares a little about his ‘KINGS’ concept. Amber Fowler who is a partner at Echo VC also talk about the some of the areas being invested in. Ben White, CEO of VC4Africa talks about where the investments were directed in Africa in terms of the technology space. Finally you hear from Vincent Kouwenhoven who is a managing partner at eVentures Africa Fund.

Awo Apaloo shares some insight about three mobile applications from three different platforms in the Apps segment of the show. There is Box from Windows mobile, Youtube Music from iOS and then Signal from Android. Nana Boakye-Yiadom then brings you up to date with the latest technology news in the Trending segment of the show.

Enough chatter. Get to listening.



3 Replies to “#CitiTrends Episode 32: Lobbying for tech in Ghana vrs Investing in African tech”

  1. Kofi, lobby groups are very important and I strongly believe that’s the way to go. Unfortunately we have not positioned technology as a problem solver that can propel the growth of our economy. We consistently showcase Technology as a tool for fun and entertainment and only do a little on economic benefits.

    Example is how all our Telcos will say “buy a smartphone to browse Facebook, watch music videos on YouTube, share funny videos and photos with friends, etc.” And these are the adverts that keep playing on our radios and TVs all day long.

    Again, these same telecom giants who can easily support to grow the tech industry and position it well rather put heavy funding into the entertainment industry and some peanuts into our own tech industry. For instance, Vodafone does Icons, 020 Live, X-concerts, not to talk of the several entertainment programmes that they sponsor on air. MTN is worse, then Airtel and Tigo follows.

    What am I trying to say here? If the awareness of technology is low people will not see much relevance in it. We need more awareness of what tech is and its contribution to livelihood, then the government can invite the experts to help with the national technology agenda as Ethel said. 3 or 4 years ago NITA tried it and called it ITAG (Information Technology Association of Ghana) but it hasn’t worked too well cos of funding.

    I want to use this opportunity to congratulate you for taking the first step in creating the awareness. Keep it up and I know Citi Trends will grow to become a technology influencer in Africa.

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