Savana Signatures (SavSign) is a non-profit organisation registered and operating in the Republic of Ghana that seeks to contribute to foster Ghana’s vision of a just and free society as espoused by the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution.
Savana Signatures started its operations in 2005 in the Savelugu district of the Northern Region of Ghana with two voluntary staff. Though unregistered then, it operated under the name Northern Information Network for Schools (NINS) and implemented activities related to ICT; set up a small computer laboratory where pupils and teachers were trained. The need for the organisation arose when government of Ghana at the time introduced ICTs into the schools’ curriculum. In 2009 however, the organization moved its offices from Savelugu to Tamale for purposes of visibility, and to take advantage of available NGO partnerships, networks and alliances. The organisation was then registered as a Non-Governmental Organization with the name Savana Signatures in 2009.
ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. It has proved to be a game-changer in enabling developed countries to address economic or social challenges.
In response to the emergence of the ICT revolution, Ghana has been among the first African countries to make reforms to its ICT sector. Establishing legal and regulatory frameworks to promote ICT growth, Ghana had introduced its ICT4D policy with the goal of an ICT-led socio-economic development process. This has resulted in increased access to telephone services, the emergence of wireless and satellite-based solutions, increased use of computers, and increased number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Ghana.
Despite these many developments and potential benefits, ICTs have not yet made any major impact in the development of rural or isolated areas in Ghana. Rural areas lack access to ICTs and if available, it is not affordable to those living in rural areas. Additionally, vulnerable groups, who are commonly concentrated in these areas, are with inadequate education and experience resulting in an inability to use ICTs.
This inequality in access and ability to use ICT, known as the “digital divide”, has created an inequality in development within countries and between countries. In increasing the efficacy of ICT as a tool for development, it is important to address this “digital divide” and promote equal freedom in enjoying the social and economic benefits of ICT and it is equally important to make innovative use of ICT within development programmes.
A society where all have access to tools that improve their livelihoods and quality of life
To initiate positive change among youth, women and vulnerable populations of Ghana using innovative solutions to facilitate access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Quality Education and Skills Development.
In the current context in which Savana Signatures operates, enhancement should be brought to the following areas: Education; Access to and quality of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights; Skills Development.
Therefore, the organisation works towards achieving the following three goals:
- Increase access to and quality of Education: Ensuring that children and young people are given quality education that promises a better quality of life for them and the communities in which they live;
- Increase access to and quality of Sexual Reproductive Health services and Rights: Creating a society in which quality healthcare services and SRHR information is accessed and utilised by pregnant and new mothers, vulnerable groups and empowered young people, especially in rural areas of Ghana;
- Provide Professional skills development programs: Contributing to the reduction of the unemployment rate in Ghana.