Vice President John Dramani Mahama has praised the Chief Executive Officer of rLG Communications Limited, Roland Agambire, for taking a bold step to level the digital playing field in Ghana and asked other local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) firms to emulate his example.
rLG Communications is one of Ghana’s young, vibrant and innovative ICT companies which has commissioned the first-ever mobile phone and laptop assembly plant in Ghana and the entire African continent.
The Vice President, who commissioned the new ultra-modern assembly plant in Accra last Friday, cited Mr Agambire as an example of a successful entrepreneur under whose care the company had grown from strength to strength in recent months and urged the youth to take a cue from him.
“As young people, we must seek not only to be employees, but also to become employers employing other people. What makes successful entrepreneurs different from the rest of us is that they see opportunities and take advantage of it,” Mr Mahama stated.
The Vice President urged Ghanaians, especially the youth, who are aiming to set up their own business, to go beyond commerce and trading by using their hands and brains as instruments for a secure future.
He said the Better Ghana Agenda ICT Project could not be achieved without the support and participation of local IT companies and pledged government’s support for the development and growth of ICT in Ghana.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of rLG, Roland Agambire, noted that his outfit had a vision to empower the youth of Ghana and elsewhere in Africa, with the applied ICT skills needed to boost Africa’s economic emancipation.
He said although Ghana was endowed with numerous resources, these resources had failed to provide the country the needed geometric growth to economic prosperity, because of its weak technological base.
“We are very much aware of the enormous responsibilities on us as a business when we decided to venture into the assembling of mobile phones in Ghana here because that area has been a preserve of the Whiteman for years.
However, for us in rLG, we believe that the youth must be at forefront in projecting the positive image of Ghana to the rest of the world,” he noted, stating that the time had come for Ghanaians to patronise locally-made products.
Mr. Agambire said rLG Communications Limited has planned to set up an ultra-modern manufacturing plant by 2012, using the by-products of the down-stream oil industry as the main input to fabricate all its hardware components.
Other plans, he noted, were the establishment of a first-class technological research center to train and export technological expertise to the rest of the world, employ 30,000 youth under the ICT Module of the National Youth Employment Programme as well as listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange by 2011.
About 30,000 youth were trained by rLG under the NYEP ICT module. To support the realization of this dream, the company has fashioned out an integrated and robust exit strategy for the beneficiary youth under the module.
The beneficiaries, Mr. Agambire noted, would be engaged as instructors in the ever-expanding rLG Institute of Technology, employed as technicians and factory hands on the plant. He added that beneficiaries would also be set up at independent sales and service centers in demarcated territories.
rLG Communications was established in March 2001 as a private entity and has so far spread its tentacles to The Gambia and Nigeria. The company is the first in sub-saharan Africa to assemble mobile handsets. rLG Communications also trains the youth in mobile phone repairs and maintenance as well as the sale and servicing of mobile phones nationwide.
With its head office at Osu –Accra, rLG Communications has branch offices in all the ten regions in Ghana which undertake youth training in mobile phone repairs and the sale and repair of mobile phones. Additionally, each branch has a minimum of eight and a maximum of 16 sales and service centers which are all managed by trainees of the regional training institutions.
The company is currently running a project with the Ministry of Manpower Youth and Employment under the National Youth Employment programme (NYEP), with support from MASLOC.
rLG Communications is the sole implementer of the ICT Module of the NYEP. This project is aimed at training the youth in mobile phone repairs and servicing. The key objective of the project is to equip the unemployed youth with employable skills in mobile phone repairs, managerial and marketing skills that will guarantee financial freedom. This training programme has since 2008 passed out 1,000 trainees in Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions alone.
As part of the training programme, trainees are set up or employed in the company’s sales and service centers on a permanent basis. The sales and service centers of the company are business centers run by grandaunts of the training institutions, with the main task of undertaking sales and repairs of mobile phones and phone spare parts.
From Business Desk