Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT

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The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT is Ghana’s first Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI) and hopes to establish itself as a home for Knowledge Entrepreneurs of West Africa. Established in 2003, through a partnership between the Government of Ghana and the Government of India, the state-of-the-art facility works to stimulate the growth of the ICT Sector in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and provides an enabling environment for innovation, teaching and learning as well as practical research on the application of ICT4D in Africa.

The Centre also houses West Africa's first supercomputer. The meeting and lecture rooms as well as the 802.11 wireless network guarantee that the AITI can host close to 1000 people at any given time.

AITI has professionals who are Buddhists, Christians, Moslems, Atheists, and Traditionalists, who speak English, Ewe, Fanti, French, Ga, German, Italian, Hausa, Latin, Spanish, and Twi, coming from Ghana as well as Australia, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Togo, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Brief history[edit]

Ghana, an emerging economy with a rapidly expanding need for technology partnered with India, a nation that is recognized as a pacesetter in the global knowledge economy to bridge the digital divide in Ghana and accelerate development.

In August 2002, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana, went to India on a four-day state visit, in search of business partners to invest and undertake joint ventures in Ghana. During that visit, the two Governments came to a historic bilateral agreement, to facilitate cooperation in the area of ICT. From there The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE) was born.

India provided computer hardware, software and other communication equipment as well as training for instructors and curriculum. Ghana provided the infrastructure as well as administrative and technical staff.

AITI-KACE was launched on 9 December 2003 by the President John Agyekum Kufuor and with the Prime Minister of India participating. The centre's name reflects the partnership between Ghana and India as well as the contribution and support of Kofi Annan (UN Secretary General) for the use of ICT to bring about accelerated development. The AITI is not formally affiliated to the UN.

Activities and initiatives[edit]

The Centre works with other institutions located in six continents, Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America, Europe and the United States. A public sector institution run on private sector lines with a strong emphasis on social development, AITI-KACE aims to represent the best in modern service delivery models.[citation needed]

AITI-KACE also offer specialised training courses to decision-makers and important social groups such as parliamentarians. Their outreach efforts are intended to stimulate interest as well as demystify ICT with special stakeholder groups including students in educational institutions throughout Ghana as well as important groups such as market women, taxi drivers, etc. The Centre also offers space to dedicated geeks such as the Accra Linux User Group. A special project the i2CAP (I Too Can Program) builds programming skills among students in Senior Secondary Schools.

Corporate training programmes are geared to improving productivity and profits towards overall competitiveness the three major areas of focus are Security including cyber-forensics; business simulation modeling and a set of specially targeted training for the sub-region's nascent Chief Information Officer (CIO) cadre including e-leadership, e-procurement etc.

Course participants at AITI-KACE can choose from a broad menu of course offerings in networking, web development and software training with an emphasis to developing practical hands-on skills. Special vendor partnerships with NOVELL, CISCO and ORACLE underpin offerings in those areas. Many core course offerings are based on curriculum developed by our partner in India, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. By popular demand course offerings in multi-media are being expanded to cover podcasting, blogging etc.

Both corporate as well as core programmes receive considerable interest from nationals within ECOWAS. A programme of outreach to Liberian refugees is in its second year. Specially designed courses for governments within the sub-region are to roll out within the next six months.[when?]

In addition to core capacity-building programmes, AITI-KACE offers consulting services designed to assist individuals, institutions and businesses to keep pace with the rapid developments in information and communication technologies. A software development team works to respond to demands for specialized software. The multi-media group works with top web developers to raise the quality and quantity of African content on the web. The research programme is building a West African network in supercomputing designed to help build bridges between specialist researchers within the sub-region. The primary focus of this work is climate modeling.

ICT for Development projects involve working with communities to test innovative ICT solutions in different rural and urban settings. This work is based on the premise that ICT is a tool for empowerment and for reducing all nature of divides between society's 'haves' and 'have nots'. A new dimension to the Centre's ICT4D work is the support to Ministry of Communications programme of launching Community Information Centres in every district in Ghana.

Additional principal focus areas for the 2005–2006 biennium included expansion of activities linked to Open Source solutions, Content Development, Geographical Information Systems, Creative Commons and Multimedia and Gaming.

Mission statement[edit]

At AITI it is their mission to employ a world class Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facility and to be the Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology for West Africa.[citation needed]

  • For market oriented training of ICT professionals.
  • To develop and apply research and innovative technologies for socio-economic development for West Africa
  • To catalyse the growth of the ICT sector in ECOWAS in collaboration with our partners

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Coordinates: 5°33′34.5″N 0°11′31.4″W / 5.559583°N 0.192056°W / 5.559583; -0.192056