Equitable connectivity vital to country’s economic transformation – Ursula

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation delivering her statement

The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has reiterated that equitable connectivity is vital and can support the country’s economic transformation.

She said this in an address at the 2022 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference held in Bucharest, Romania, where she reiterated the country’s commitment to championing the digital agenda and leaving no one behind.

The minister also reaffirmed that the country is committed to the strategic direction set by the ITU to ensure universal connectivity that will propel realisation of the desired global digital transformation.

“Ghana is fully committed to the strategic direction set by the ITU to ensure the universal connectivity that will propel the needed global digital transformation. Closing the digital divide to facilitate equitable connectivity, which is vital to support the economic transformation of Ghana, is our primary objective. We are of the opinion that we can transform COVID-19 from a global crisis to an opportunity through digital technology,” she stated.

In line with this, she said, government is poised to implement the Digital Ghana Agenda in its quest to position the country as the African continent’s digital gateway.

The minister further indicated the country’s preparedness in terms of cybersecurity, and called for support in that sector to ensure a secure and resilient cyberspace for sustained digital transformation.

“Utilising ITU guidelines, Ghana is actively promoting cybersecurity not only for our benefit but for the sub-region as a whole. Ghana’s ranking on the 2021 ITU Global Cybersecurity Index improved to 86.69 percent from 32.6 percent in 2017. We seek partnerships and international cooperation to do even better for our entire sub-region,” she said.

She added that creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with its secretariat headquartered in the country is a pointer to the African continent-wide marketing strategy powered by digitalisation; and said the country is extending its digital infrastructure to its borders to enable seamless connection to neighbouring countries.

The minister also highlighted that initiatives have been employed to narrow the digital divide and empower citizens to embrace the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

“We are implementing a Rural Telephony project to connect over three million people. These previously unconnected people now have equal access to the innovations introduced by government in Ghana’s digital transformation journey,” she mentioned – also citing mobile money interoperability, digital skills development and focused interventions to reduce the gender digital divide and create opportunities for the youth through the ‘Girls in ICT’ programme, and nurturing new businesses at Digital Incubation Centres.

Leave a Reply