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Unveiling the Policy Imperatives of the 24-Hour Economy, a Focus on Youth and ICT

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As the train of election 2024 approaches, the political landscape in Ghana becomes increasingly challenging for the governing party. However, for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), optimism abounds, with many polls suggesting a resounding victory for President Mahama and his party. A critical factor in this electoral equation is the burgeoning concept of the 24-Hour
Economy, a policy that, if effectively communicated, could significantly bolster the NDC’s margin of victory. This article aims to deep delve into the intricacies of the 24-Hour Economy, with a specific focus on its implications for the youth and the Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) subsector.
Historically, the NDC has been recognized for its substantial contributions to ICT infrastructure development. From establishing the largest Tier-3 National Data Centre in West Africa to laying an extensive 800-kilometer Eastern Corridor Fiber optic cable, the party, during its tenure, laid a robust foundation for the digitalization and digitization of Ghana’s economy.
As stated in the 2016 national budget statement and economic policy of the government, the 800 kilometers of fiber optic infrastructure ran through 126 communities along the eastern corridor from Ho in the Volta Region to Bawku in the Upper East Region with a link from Yendi to Tamale.
These towns obviously should benefit from the enormous opportunities that are inherently embedded in the 24-Hour Economy once it is implemented.
These formidable ICT fundamentals are poised to play a pivotal role in driving the 24-Hour
Economy, especially in fostering youth entrepreneurship within the IT ecosystem. The policy should envision an expansion of IT-based facilities operating around the clock, reminiscent of the days of free night calls where the youth eagerly waited for the opportune moment to engage in free
calls and share experiences. Drawing on the same positive energy of youthful exuberance, the 24-
Hour Economy should channel the adventurous spirit of the youth towards constructive pursuits within the IT space. This will undoubtedly serve as the conduit for modeling critical solutions in addressing the myriad of challenges facing Ghanaian societies.
Similar to the bygone days of Free Night Calls, the 24-Hour Economy should provide the youth with free access to the internet and IT equipment, strategically positioned throughout the nation.
Learning from the operations of the Accra Digital Center, a new IT model under a 24-Hour
Economy must endeavor to motivate the youth to stay awake to explore the gamut of possibilities to revive the inventive minds of the Ghanaian people.
In an era of artificial intelligence and data science management for e-commerce, e-agriculture, eeducation, e-governance, and health, providing a 24-Hour Economy will put the youth to work. It will attract IT enthusiast both existing and new to sharpen their knowledge and develop their interest in IT, a sector that compensates hugely in terms of remuneration and profit margin

The anticipated impact of this policy will be nothing short of a Silicon Valley effect on Ghana’s youth, fostering exponential growth in knowledge and ICT-based innovations, ultimately leading
to a Gen-Z explosion of entrepreneurs.
Recognizing the transformative potential of the 24-Hour Economy to drive Ghana’s growth and the electoral effect, it should be anticipated that the opposing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will continue to mount a malicious critique of the policy.
In response, the NDC and all progressive partners must be prepared to articulate the point that the 24-Hour Economy stands as the most significant growth policy in the post-Nkrumah era. They
must at all material moments be prepared to educate and defend the policy for the total benefit of Ghana’s development as observed in this write-up and by other progressive groups including the
Trade Union Congress.
Stay tuned for the next episode, where we will explore the application and benefit of the 24-Hour
Economy in the other Sectors to further unravel its potential to shape Ghana’s future.
Authored by:
Kojo-Duncan Kojo-Enumi
Development Activist

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