When Ghana celebrates its 50th independence anniversary this year, indications are that one of the major side attractions would be the opening of a brand new computer factory in Accra, built by Nigerian indigenous computer company, Omatek Computers.
The Omatek factory is an offspring of Omatek Computers ( Ghana) Limited which the company incorporated as part of its larger vision of creating an African brand for a global market. The factory, may also officially kick off a technology acquisition campaign for indigenous capacity building across the continent, which the company recently launched.
The new factory in Ghana, which is actually the company's second establishment in the country is positioned to build systems from scratch, provide employment for indigenous skills and open a new window for technology training in the country.
The made-in-Ghana systems also, are said to carry the insignia of Ghanaian logo and would compete for space against other global brands.
Announcing this development recently, as a delegation from the Ghanaian government visited the company on an inspection tour, CEO of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki, said that the decision for her company to launch the new computer company during Ghana's independence anniversary, was to add colour to the celebration and as well express the level of respect that the company has for the Ghanaian economy since its independence.
Seriki said the major drive was to ensure that Ghanaian youths benefit from the technological transfer from the traditional to the computing age, in order to compete favourable with their counterparts in the developed world, in the information society.
According to her, entering Ghana represents the fulfillment of a belief that African cause needs to be advanced by bringing technology knowledge and a window for knowledge acquisition to all Africans.
For her, “we have always believed that Africa can catch up with the rest of the world by investing on ICT. Our goal in Omatek is to be part of that renaissance at uplifting the continent. We believe that the Millennium Development Goals are achievable and that 2015, though near by, is not a mirage and Africa can uplift its economy by leveraging on technology. We are aligned to the NEPAD's dream of creating a new deal for the continent using our fort in Omatek as a computer company to achieve all the set goals. Africa is an important focus for us”
After inspecting the Omatek Nigerian factory, the Ghanaian delegation led by the country's Deputy Minister of Communications Dr Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, said that the technological growth of Nigeria was impressive, leading to the country's interest in seeking for Nigerian collaborators in building the technological base of Ghana.
Ntim confirmed that “Omatek is starting something new and impressive in Ghana and our presence here is to affirm that we identify with the Omatek project .What we have seen here has convinced us that Africa must look inward to liberate itself technologically. We only need to harness what we already have as a people to achieve the MDGs. We would be working closely with Omatek to ensure effective building of capacity among our young people in the universities in Ghana” .
Also in the Ghanaian delegation are Professor Clement Dzidonu of Valley University , Accra,
Mr Amuda Iddi Muhammed, Director, Policy Planning, Ministry of Communications and leading Ghanaian media houses including Ghana Television, Daily Graphic and Business Standard. Established nearly a decade ago in Nigeria to rollout computers and build a knowledge army, Omatek is one of the drivers of Computer for All Nigerians Initiative, CANI, which is focused to giving Nigerians access to affordable computers. The company has won global accolade and got the endorsement of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) about four years ago as a driver of technological change in Africa. The world telecommunication body bought an Omatek system for its Geneva office as a symbolic recognition of the company's efforts at building indigenous capacity and helping to bridge the digital divide through the provision of robust and affordable systems in a continent where PC and internet penetration remain the least among all continents.