Vanessa Otchere may have her sights on becoming one of Africa’s business leaders, but she fears Ghana is leaving some people behind.
Vanessa Otchere, journalism student, "techpreneur", blogger and founder of a startup called TicketEx
Vanessa Otchere, a journalism student in her final year, is what Ghanaians call a “techpreneur” – a label given to the burgeoning class of business owners starting their own companies using the Internet. She recently launched a startup called TicketEx, a platform for selling bus tickets. As a frequent blogger, Vanessa explores the way the digital revolution is transforming employment and the media. But like so many others, she is concerned about the costs of data and rural connectivity.
Tech-related businesses are turning their attention to Ghana because they believe the country has potential for growth. At my company, for example, we are a team of three – and we’re seeking investors.
The Internet is everything. You basically live your life on the net. If you want to do research you go to the Internet. So it is very important to me. I write about new tech innovations on my blog.
Nowadays, people do everything on the net. They don`t want to read newspapers any more, they want to go online. Editors are trying to keep up with the Internet and the phone, so that newspapers do not become irrelevant. It is a step in the right direction.
I think there is more work to be done in driving up digital participation in rural areas. Most of the time workshops on how to use the Internet or other technologies are organized in the big cities. So those in the rural areas don’t have the opportunity to join in.
So we have to digitize Ghana ourselves. With my business I am seeing to that. I believe that there will come a time when TicketEx will be known not only in Ghana but also across Africa.
Maxwell Suuk / Matthew Moore
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer