“University teaches you how to learn, it does not cook the food for you nor employ you.” These are some of the thought provoking statements made by Tara Squire, Director of Mobile at Tigo Ghana at the just ended BarCamp networking forum in Cape Coast in the Central region.
Speaking to a broad cross-section of students and entrepreneurs on the topic “driving innovation through digital technology”, Mr. Squire urged university students in the country to be ambitious and invest time in innovation that can make meaningful differences in society.
He stressed the importance of innovation and passion; and shared personal insights into his career successes.
Drawing from his vast experience in product development and innovation, strategy and execution, Mr. Squire explained that smartphone usage and data adoption in the country could increase due to factors such as device subsides, data and device fairs, relevant value added services, and great product portfolios, coupled with training and education.
He also spoke about Tigo’s vision of being the digital lifestyle brand of choice for Ghanaians, and the company’s commitment to helping young Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
“We have APIs and a Developer Program for developers, young entrepreneurs and IT companies. We offer funding support, tools and business advice, and allow developers to retain full ownership of the apps they come up with.”
This initiative is part of the company’s digital lifestyle agenda. “We have gained momentum and excited to move in this direction,” said Mr. Squire.
Touching on how technology creators could explore opportunities, he cited BarCamp, and TEDx among others as platforms creators can associate with to boost their brands.
He also noted that “creators should develop products that have local relevance like Hello Food, I Do Ghana, Accra City App and Snoo Code.”
The 5th BarCamp is organised by the GhanaThink Foundation focused on information sharing to enable participants plan their future better. The Lead of the Barcamp Cape Coast Team, Mark Valentine Aikins, said this year’s Barcamp offered the youth insights on how to create the future they want to have.
“We are happy that participants have been equipped with the necessary tools to effect the change they want to experience in the future.”
The event featured multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology, development, and topics relevant to the Central region and beyond. Special speed mentoring sessions were also held for mentors to give insights and answers to questions from attendees.