Ghana Technology Park: A Brief History, 2003-2004
We have returned to New York and are pleased to confirm the reports you have received that the mission Ghana Cyber Group so skillfully arranged, provided us with major opportunities to explore the Science and Technology Park prospects for Ghana, more opportunities than we ever expected. We are preparing a written version of the oral report of our observations presented to the Ministers and their representatives on Friday morning. We will be sure to share a copy of that with you as soon as it is completed. Our conclusion is: on the basis of the information that we could gather on a one-week visit, we cannot imagine that another African country could have more assets that Ghana possesses relevant to a science and technology park.
JULY 2003, Washington, DC
Sam Eshun, the GCG Chief Operating Officer & Country Director of World Links Ghana Limited; and Yaw Owusu, GCG Chief Executive Officer meet to discuss the growing IT economy in Ghana. They exchange ideas on strategies for encouraging investments in a modern infrastructure to support the technology industry as Ghana competes for a lucrative niche in the $500 billion global outsourcing market, currently dominated by India and China. The idea of establishing an upscale business and innovation center ? Ghana Technology Park ? is born.
AUGUST 2003, Columbia University, New York
Charles Obimpeh and Yaw Owusu draft a business plan and a 40-page presentation for a marketing pitch to U.S. firms to raise capital for the Ghana Technology Park venture. The London-based Commonwealth Business Council, the private sector unit of the 53-nation Commonwealth Network, invites GCG to participate in the 6th Commonwealth Business Forum in Abuja, Nigeria on December 2-4, 2003. The Commonwealth publishes a 1,500-word overview of the Ghana Technology Park project in its Modernizing Commonwealth Government Report.
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation writes: ?Your initiative seems like a wonderful idea, and I am happy that the Commonwealth Business Council has invited you to make a presentation of your plans in Abuja in December.?
Gregg Pascal Zachary, former staff writer of the Wall Street Journal; Dr. Michael Best, Director of MIT?s Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Awo Quaison-Sackey, President & CEO of AQ Solutions, New Haven, Connecticut; Jojo Sarpong, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Kojo Ben Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Symetriq, Inc., Bloomington, Minnesota join the park initiative as members of the board of advisors.
SEPTEMBER 2003, Columbia University, New York
GCG hosts the 1st Ghana Conference on Technology & Outsourcing at Columbia Law School and presents the Ghana Technology Proposal to the public for the first time. The office of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a former Harvard economist and current Director of Columbia University?s Earth Institute, provide funding for the conference.
President Kufuor outlines Ghana?s vision of becoming a middle-income earning economy in the next decade in an address to 300 delegates at the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University, just an hour before the technology conference in a different auditorium on the campus. The World Leaders Forum also features Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Download video of President Kufuor's speech:
Ghana Cyber Group writes to Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a special advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. GCG: ?We appreciate the funding your office provided for the hosting of the Ghana Conference on Technology & Outsourcing, which brought corporate executives in the United States to learn more about the emerging technology and business process outsourcing opportunities in Ghana. Men and women from our part of the world are paying close attention to your continued efforts to help improve the quality of life in Ghana and Africa.?
OCTOBER 2003, Columbia University, New York
The United Nations invites Yaw Owusu and GCG Board Chairman Dr. Walter Alhassan to speak at the 2nd UN Forum on Science & Technology Parks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The UN Forum Committee is charged with the responsibility of selecting an African country to which the United Nations would provide funding and technical expertise for the building of a technology park.
NOVEMBER 2003, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The UN Forum on Science & Technology Parks kicks off on November 30 with a reception at the French Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia. Yaw Owusu and Dr. Alhassan present the GCG Ghana Technology Park proposal while representatives from Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya and Malawi outline similar papers to compete for the UN funding.
DECEMBER 2003, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
UN Forum ends with Ghana emerging as the strongest contender for the multi-million dollar venture. GCG invites the UN Advisory Committee to visit Ghana in March 2004 to learn more about the ICT development in the country.
The Ghana Tech Park team (Eshun, Alhassan, Owusu, Sarpong, Obimpeh) solicits funding from Microsoft, Dell, IBM and other U.S. corporations to augment the expected working capital from the United Nations.
GCG announces a date (March 27-April 3 ) for the UN visit to Ghana and arranges for the delegates to meet government representatives, including:
H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, President, Republic of Ghana
Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communications & Technology
Hon. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade & Industry
Hon. Kasim Kasanga, Minister of Science & Environment
Hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education
Chief Executive Kwasi Abeasi, Ghana Investment Promotion Center
Prof. Kwesi Andam, VC, University of Science & Technology
MARCH 2004, Accra, Ghana
A three-member United Nations Advisory Committee on technology parks led by Dr. Walter Shearer arrives in Accra to begin due diligence work on the size, scope and location of the proposed Ghana Technology Park. They are accompanied by Neal Colton, a Pennsylvania corporate attorney, and Mark Horvit, an American journalist from the Star Telegram of Texas. Sam Eshun and Dr. Walter Alhassan, the former Director General of the Center for Scientific & Industrial Rearsearch, represent GCG at the week-long summit. The UN team calls GCG representatives in the United States from the University of Science & Technology with a constructive review on their meeting with the Vice Chancellor and technology experts on campus and a visit to ICT facilities at the faculties of engineering and computer science.
APRIL 2004, Accra-Kumasi
The UN business tour of Kumasi and Accra ends on April 2, 2004. The impressed delegates return to the United States and invite GCG for a debriefing luncheon at the UN headquarters in New York.
Ghana Cyber Group, Inc.
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