The Minister in charge of Communications and Digitalisation, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has delivered a high policy statement on the provisioning of universal connectivity for the realisation of the desired global digital transformation.
The statement, which was delivered on September 27, 2022 at the ongoing Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Bucharest, Romania, highlighted initiatives embarked on by the Government of Ghana to narrow the digital divide and empower citizens to embrace the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Key among them were:
- Mobile money interoperability which has brought over 15 million previously unbanked persons onto the financial digital platform
- National Identity Card as the only ID for all digital transactions for the prevention of identity theft and cyber fraud
- Digital skills development offered through a nationwide network of Digital Transformation Centres to benefit over 20,000 Women Entrepreneurs, Master Trainers, Youth and Children in Coding Clubs in the past 12 months
Focused interventions to reduce the gender digital divide and create opportunities for the youth through the ‘Girls in ICT’ program and nurturing of new businesses at Digital Incubation Centres.
The Hon. Minister, in her statement, reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to the strategic direction set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to ensure universal connectivity that will propel the realisation of the desired global digital transformation. She also noted that bridging the digital divide to facilitate equitable connectivity, which is vital to success of the economic transformation of Ghana, is a primary objective.
According to Hon. Owusu-Ekuful, the Government of Ghana is actively implementing the Digital Ghana Agenda to position Ghana as the digital gateway to the African continent. She further mentioned that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with the Secretariat headquartered in Ghana is a pointer to the African Continent-wide marketing strategy powered by digitalisation.
The Minister also indicated Ghana’s preparedness in terms of Cybersecurity and called for support in that sector to ensure a secure and resilient cyberspace for sustained digital transformation. She said, "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% from 32.6% in 2017. We seek partnerships and international cooperation to do even better for our entire sub-region."
This policy statement was delivered in a bid to influence and determine decisions and policy direction of the ITU for the next four (4) years.