Gov’t pledges tech-led economic growth


By Mohammed AWAL

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has reiterated the government’s steadfast commitment to leveraging technology to propel development and foster economic growth.

Speaking at the 12th Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference in Accra, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful emphasised the pivotal role that technology plays in shaping the country’s future.

“The government recognises the transformative potential of ICT in driving sustainable development; and several actions taken by the government in recent years demonstrate the country’s strong political commitment to digitisation and digitalisation of the economy,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stated.

The minister, who spoke at the 12th Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference in Accra, added: “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, ensuring equitable access to technology across our nation through the implementation of initiatives to equip our people with the necessary digital skills to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape”.

According to her, since 2017, the country has made significant strides in its digital transformation journey. She noted the expansion of broadband infrastructure and the promotion of digital literacy initiatives, stating that the government has laid the groundwork for a future where technology serves as a driving force for socio-economic advancement.

She said necessary measures are being put in place to make Ghana the ICT hub for West Africa.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said initiatives such as the Mobile Money Interoperability platform which allows direct and seamless transfer of funds from one mobile money wallet to another mobile money wallet across networks and with bank accounts brought meaning to our financial inclusion policy.

ICT4D conference

The government is partnering the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to host the 12th Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference. This is the first time the country is hosting the conference since 2013.

Hosting the conference, according to Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, will afford the country the opportunity to showcase the achievements it has attained over the years since it commenced in 2003 the implementation of the National ICT for Accelerated Development Policy.

This policy identified 14 key pillars that address all the sectors of the economy to embrace ICTs in the operations and functions of the sectors.

“We have seen tremendous changes in advancement within the sector from exponential telecom subscription growth and Internet penetration to general acceptance of the larger populace of the benefits of ICTs in making the provision of government services more accessible, efficient and transparent, and reduction in total turnaround time for these services,” she said.

Daniel Mumuni, the Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ghana, highlighted that the ICT4D Conference has emerged as one of the most highly attended in-person gatherings worldwide.

He said the conference serves as a hub for experts and thought leaders in the realm of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to convene and discuss developmental challenges.

With over 700 attendees, including leading figures in ICT and advocates for humanitarian causes, the event underscores a unified commitment to leveraging technology for community empowerment, addressing inequalities and paving the way for a brighter future for all.

The 12th ICT4D Conference revolves around three key themes – including harnessing digital solutions to address complex challenge, leveraging data innovations for meaningful impact and fostering local leadership for a digitally-enabled future.

He said the ICT4D framework acts as a catalyst for fostering inclusive growth, empowerment and sustainable progress, particularly in regions grappling with socio-economic hurdles.

Spearheaded by the Catholic Relief Services, this platform holds the potential to bridge the digital divide, amplify marginalised voices, and lay the groundwork for a more equitable global community, he noted.

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