Technology Boosting Economic Opportunity in Rural Ghana

By Regina Agyare, CEO Soronko Solutions & New Voices Fellow, The Aspen Institute

Almost half of the world’s people live on less than $2.50 a day. In my country, Ghana, nearly 30 percent of the population and almost 60 percent of those under 25 survive below this grim poverty line—facing stark daily choices between spending on food, healthcare, education and shelter.

In a world where the wealthiest one percent controls 39 percent of the wealth, the poorest have few options. As a social entrepreneur specializing in technology, I interact both with the business world and rural communities, where a majority of the poor can be found. My work in these places has shown me that in poor communities, people are often forced by circumstance to either wait for donor assistance or for the government to fix their problems. Given the lack of basic education in rural Ghana, youthful populations often do not have the skills to develop their own solutions to the problems they have to live with every day.

In Ghana, and elsewhere in the developing world, business can play a key role in the fight against poverty. Many companies now have corporate social responsibility policies…

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