The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to using local content policies to boost domestic industries.
She said, as a key strategy, government through the ministry has deployed measures to stimulate local content development in the communications sector by partnering the private sector.
Toward this, the minister said government has taken a solid decision to leverage private sector expertise to build the country’s digital infrastructure.
Another way government is seeking to stimulate the local economy, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, revealed, is by using the state’s purchasing power to grow certain strategic sectors of the economy.
She said this when a delegation from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), led by its President Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, paid a working visit to the ministry in Accra.
“Many of the key projects initiated by government in the country since 2017 – like the SIM registration exercise and digital address system – are either done by local expertise or a consortium of local and foreign expertise,” the minister said.
As part of the move to deepen collaboration, the AGI delegation engaged the sector minister and her team on ways to use technology in promoting local content and stimulating industrial growth.
Among other things, they also deliberated on ways the two parties can partner for the country to maximise gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as collaborate to nurture the youth so they take up opportunities in the technology space.
“I think this engagement is very timely, because there are a lot of synergies in the activities of the ministry which can facilitate the growth of industries,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful added.
Through the collaboration, she said, government will be able to use its purchasing power to grow certain strategic sectors of the economy.
Dr. Ayim-Darke, in his remarks, commended the ministry and government for their drive to digitalise the economy, and said the AGI intends to build a long-lasting partnership with the ministry.
He said, already, the AGI and its members are taking advantage of the digitalisation drive to aid agriculture production – such as cocoa and other crops.
As a result, he said, the AGI is ready to engage the ministry and other stakeholders in ways which can promote local content for indigenous businesses.
“The digitalisation agenda being promoted by government and the MoCD is in line with our strategies as industries. We have started using digitalisation to assist in the distribution of food products.
“We are excited about your collaboration with the Vice President’s office in deepening the digitisation agenda,” he said.
The AGI president commended the minister and her team for the vision to promote the development of Ghana into a knowledge-based society and smart-economy through the use of information communication technology.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said technology export holds potential to earn the country additional revenue.
“Efficiency is also key, because if we are not able to produce at a competitive price and the quality is also not good we cannot export; but the major factor to resolve this challenge is technology,” he added.