The Chief Executive Officer of Adroit 360, a tech company based in Accra Ghana, has called on global leaders and market influencers across the globe to invest in ICT among the youths in Africa.
Jacob Kwaku Gyan was part of the list of high-profile people across the globe including government officials from Africa, diplomats, C.E.Os of multinational companies who spoke at the just ended International Finance Corporation Sustainability Exchange programme in Dakar, Senegal.
The Sustainability Exchange forum is organised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank. It brings together the movers and shakers in the infrastructure, natural resources, science and technology industries.
The IT boss who grew up on the streets of Subin in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and later, he lived in a house in a slum at Kotobabi and Alajo in Accra, told the gathering his grass to grace story.
Life gave Mr Gyan lemons at an early stage, but even at a young age, he knew he could make lemonade out of them. Born to a mechanic father, he used to follow his mother around carrying various wares on his head to sell in town. Therein lies his first lessons of life - getting out of his comfort zone and learning how to win the trust of clients.
Not only this but he tried many things as he grew up, at a point, he became a cobbler before entering Junior High School (JHS).
Mr Gyan’s decision to forego an assignment as a reporter at the time, to rather follow an unknown man he did not know from Adam, set him on the path to the IT world -a path to greatness. The man introduced him to web development. Through personal practice, he learnt how to code and program.
“I spent days and nights in internet café and taught myself how to program and how to be a digital person and today the story is different. In Ghana, I have trained over 25 people and my company is doing very well.
“For me, if you are looking at investing in young people, my life is evidence of the fact, that investing in digital technology is the way to go,” he said with smiles on his face.
The 25-year-old man’s persistence and strive for success, will later help him get his first big job.
“I go to hotels and places, write my number on pieces of paper [to] tell them I can build a website for them. They will give me their numbers, I will call them and they won’t pick others too will snub me, for a whole year I didn’t get a single job.
“One day I went to a church in Accra I knew the rich people will be there. I met a man, I told him I could build an app and he gave me his card and said call me. He was the Country Director of Dell at the time. He gave me my first job”.
Jacob Kwaku Gyan gets many invitations to speak on various platforms where he uses his story to motivate and empower young people to push to get to the top of the ladder.
“Let’s take action, let's believe in young people, let’s give them a chance. Give us the opportunity and help us because the future indeed belongs to young people,” he concluded.