The launched coincided with the presentation of first ‘Innovation Hero’ awards to six innovative Ghanaian SMEs - Leti Games, FashionistaGH, Roots by Naa, Dream Oval, Ghana Decides, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry web-based product gallery in Accra on Wednesday.
The ‘Innovation Hero’ Award went to the six SMEs following their outstanding innovations where they used the Internet to deliver smart technological solutions to existing issues in Ghana.
"This initiative seeks to celebrate positive examples of individuals as well as SMEs using the Internet creatively to stimulate demand for locally produced goods and services. By using technology, we create a direct positive impact on the Ghanaian economy,” Trade and Industry Minister Haruna Iddrisu said.
According to him, through such support, enterprises would be transformed; trade and industrial activities would be boosted and jobs would also be created ultimately to improve the lives of Ghanaians.
The event also showcased a new Dalberg study, commissioned by Google, about the positive socio-economic impact of the Internet in Ghana and across Africa.
Dalberg’s study shows that SMEs are optimistic about the Internet’s potential as more than 80 percent of them expected that the Internet would help them grow their business.
In addition, the report identifies big opportunities for cost savings as businesses shift to enterprise systems powered by the Internet. It also reveals that the Internet can be better leveraged for growth if there is cohesion and collaboration in policy and strategy across the seven key sectors.
"The Innovation Awards reaffirms the findings of this new report that the Internet is a tremendous, undisputed force for economic growth and social change. We are excited to see this award presented to Ghanaians, and look forward to having more local businesses and individuals awarded using the Internet to support their businesses…” Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Google Ghana's Country Manager, said.
The Innovation Ghana heroes were each presented with a plague.
FashionistaGh is an online source of information on the Ghanaian fashion industry attracting over 598,000 views on its Youtube channel, with more than 12,000 Facebook fans.
Leti Games, the first game development studio in Ghana and second in Sub Saharan Africa, focuses on creating action heroes from local legacies.
Dream Oval aims at harnessing indigenous talent in Africa and developing countries to develop Internet and mobile apps that allow online payments, distribute information via SMS, and provide a great experience for users trying to conduct their daily activities online.
Ghana Decides is a non-partisan project, focuses on fostering a better-informed electorate for a free, fair and safe 2012 Election using online social media tools.
Roots by Naa, is a company dedicated to creating handmade fashion accessories out of Ghanaian textiles.
The national Web Based Products Gallery features locally manufactured products and services with the Government’s effort to transform enterprises, create job opportunities, strengthen Ghana’s trade and industrial position and improve livelihoods.