A click of a button by President John Mahama officially marked the beginning of Rlg's Hope City project, a world class ICT project aimed at bringing all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country.
The project, a six high rise towers designed with the architecture of Ghana's mud houses in mind will house over 25,000 people and create over 50,000 jobs when completed.
It will have a computer hardware assembly plant, ICT training centre, banks, shops, pleasure, sports, medical and educational facilities all occupying a 150,000 square miles of space at Kasoa a suburb of Accra.
President Mahama, who did not have to dig the ground with a pick axe, as is the practice for many sod cutting ceremonies-but had to click a button- said the Rlg dream is a great example of partnership between the government and private investors.
He said Ghana will now rely on the private sector to move the country from the current lower middle income status to a fully fledged middle income status.
He also stated that the path to development in the 21st century is by investing in services and knowledge economy, adding, wealth and economic growth is no longer dependent on the oil, cocoa, timber and other natural resources.
“Government is particularly excited that this business initiative is being led by a local company, RLG and the project has many potential for the sustainable creation of jobs for our young people.
“I want to assure that government will offer the necessary support to rlg and any such business entity to guarantee the successful execution of this and similar project.
He said the project will compliment the national technology park that is currently under construction by government in Tema.
“The completion of both projects will contribute greatly to making Ghana an ICT hub for the sub-region he added.
“The projects will be complimentary to each other and not in competition with each other,” he emphasised.
The Chairman of the Agams Group and CEO of Rlg Roland Agambire said the Hope City project will be one of the “hopes that this country will ever witness in the history of its life time.”
Whilst bemoaning the lack of local expertise in the telecommunication sector in the country he believes that rlg is ready to take its rightful place in the sector.
He said the crucial partnership signed with the world's largest software and programmes developer, Microsoft Corporation is to ensure the exportation of made in Ghana and made in Africa technology across the world.
“It is my dream to see hope city export technology across the globe. Today Ghana sits in the middle of the world and it is much easier to export anything from this country to any part of the world.
“This is the place where hope begins. Rlg will continue to lift high the flag of Ghana on the international stage and what we are witnessing today is an ample testimony of our resolve to operate at that level of excellence.
“What we are also seeking to do with Hope City is collaborate with Microsoft in a new initiative to create economic opportunities for over 300 million youth across the whole of Africa between the ages of 15-24, he stated”
Agambire noted it is time to modernize the public sector and to create a paperless work place, a phenomenon he said will be made possible by Hope City.
He applauded the Akwabon and Oson State Governors of Nigeria who believed in the Rlg dream and through their support, rlg has now set up an assembly plant in Oson state to serve the whole of Nigeria as well as the implementation of the paperless systems in his schools in Nigeria.
He said the challenge of Hope City is bring optimism about a new day and provide them with the willingness to face the challenges.
He charged the youth to take their destinies into their own hands saying, “The youth are today's leaders but not the future leaders. I dare say that I am a symbol of that hope.”
“It is time to dream, it is time to create history and it is time to contribute one's quota to the development of this continent,” he said.
The Senior Vice President of Microsoft in charge of Corporate Business Mr Ali Farmawey reiterated the role of information technology in the growth and development of any country.
He said ICT is the “enabler of a better tomorrow” and remains crucial in every facet of development.
He also charged the youth to develop and harness their skills in order to fit in the new world of technology.
He disclosed that Microsoft will begin a training programme that will ensure training across the African continent.
The ceremony was also attended by Ministers of State, Governors of the Oson and Akwabon States of Nigeria, business men and traditional leaders.