AAU launches internet infrastructure project in Accra

A Project, aimed at strengthening internet infrastructure across the country, was yesterday launched in Accra.
Dubbed, Universal Acceptance (UA) Readiness in African Universities Project, it focuses on making websites, applications and email systems within Africa’s higher educational institutions ready to support all domain names and email addresses.
It was launched by the Coalition for Digital Africa in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU).
Pierre Dandjinou, Vice President Global Stakeholder Engagement-Africa- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) explained that the UA allowed all valid domain names unique addresses and email addresses to be accepted, validated, stored, processed and displayed regardless of script length or character length.
He indicated that it was the fundamental requirement for achieving a multilingual internet where internet users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages and scripts.
Mr Dandjinou noted that the new project would create awareness of UA within higher educational institutions across the continent as training would be provided to enable these institutions incorporate the imitative into their curricula.
That, he said was critical to academic work in various ways including being able to access vital content from the internet for research and learning.
Secretary General, AAU, Prof. Olusola Bandele Oyewole, said the project aligned with the AAU’s mission of enhancing the quality and relevance of higher education in Africa and strengthening its contribution to Africa’s development.
He said the AAU’s vision was to be the lead advocate for higher education on the continent, with the capacity to provide support for our member institutions to
sustain our programmes.
He expressed gratitude to ICANN for the partnership which saw the launch of the Universal Acceptance Project.
Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in a statement read on her behalf said the project was a timely intervention that would unlock the potential of local language content and ensure that African communities fully participated in the digital economy.
“We are committed to supporting this project and ensuring that our
policies and strategies are aligned with the goals of the Universal
Acceptance initiative,” she added.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful commended stakeholders and thanked the AAU and the ICANN for their commitment to the initiative.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, in a statement read on his behalf by his deputy, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour said the UA and Email Address Internationalisation would ensure that email mailbox names could use characters in local languages and scripts.
“Higher education is at the centre of the development debates – therefore it is important that our young people, computer science students, IT staff and related professionals are not left behind in the developments of the internet industry.”
“Quality higher education has proved to be key in bridging the skill gap in the African region,” he stated.
Dr Adutwum said it was for that reason the project would accelerate efforts aimed at enhancing quality education on the continent.


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