Communications Minister Ursula Owusu Ekuful has said government is fully committed to the common vision of an information society, empowered by interconnected world, where ICT enables and accelerates social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone.
Mrs Owusu Ekuful also noted that the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo is pursuing what it termed the ‘Digital Ghana Agenda’ for a massive transformation of country’s economy through technology and broadband development.
“It is ‘Digi-Time’ in Ghana,” she said, speaking at the 2018 Plenipotentiary conference dubbed PP-18 of the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, October 28.
Using technology to achieve SGDs
Mrs Owusu Ekuful continued that President Akufo-Addo as co-chair of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocacy Group, has begun pursuing “utilization of technology for the realization of all the SDGs and we are actively working towards that.”
Again, she said under the stewardship of President Akufu-Addo greater focus and energy are being invested in improving the efficiency of service delivery in the country with particular attention to rural and underserved communities, women and gender parity and opportunities for the youth through the nurturing of new businesses, creation of job opportunities, facilitation of ICT-based entrepreneurship and securing our cyberspace for the realization of the SDGs.
Bridging the digital divide
With the widespread broadband infrastructure in the country and international bandwidth provided by five submarine optic fibre cables, Ghana with a population of over 29 million people has recorded mobile voice penetration of 137.38% and data penetration of 75.54%.
Its telecommunication sector has over 20 internet service providers with an average download speed of 4.78 Mbps and is still growing stronger due to the enabling environment created for the private sector to thrive.
Recognizing the importance of digital equity, Mrs Owusu Ekuful told the PP-18 conference that the Government of Ghana is taking further steps to bridge the digital divide by introducing initiatives aimed at supporting and empowering the citizenry to embrace the use of ICT.
She continued that Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo is in the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting and benefitting from the digital dividend through the sale of one bloc in the 800 MHz bands being used for 4G services.
She said: “Through the assistance of the ITU, we have operationalized the conformance and interoperability laboratories for type approval in Ghana and have extended an invitation to the ITU to utilize these 4 laboratories as centres of excellence in training and capacity building for the sub-region.”
She added: “Ghana is making every effort to provide a safe environment for digital participation through the establishment of Computer Incident Response Teams both at the national and sectoral levels, including CERTs for the financial and telecommunications sectors and established a National Cyber Security Centre.
“We have reviewed our annual Cyber Security celebration initiatives this year by extending the weeklong celebration to one month in order to create awareness across all regions of the country. The promotion of safe cyber hygienic practices through awareness creation and public education will be sustained and we are laying a special emphasis on Child Online Protection as well. Beyond these national activities, Ghana actively participates in international collaborations and welcomes deepened resolutions on international cooperation towards building confidence and trust in the use of ICTs globally.”