Ghana must take advantage of emerging digital economy – Communication and Digitalisation Minister

Ghana must position itself to take advantage of the emerging digital economy to provide unique opportunities for an accelerated economic growth, Minister of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said.

Delivering the keynote address at the 14th International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra on Wednesday, the minister said efforts must be made by stakeholders in the private sector to compliment the government’s efforts of utilising technology and digitisation to transform the economy.

She said, exponential technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) were driving global digital revolution and contributing to resolving developmental challenges in some emerging economies.

“The government is committed to driving the agenda towards transforming Ghana’s economy through technology and digitisation. The youth especially must be innovative and take advantage of the opportunities within the space,” she stated.

“Extant research estimates the value of global digital economy to be $11.5 trillion, equivalent to 15.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the pace of growth averages 2.5 times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years,” she said.

Ghana she said, had also become a fertile ground for data science research and development with the entry of AI labs including Google’s first in Africa.

“These developments augur well with sustainable research and create the right tools and environment necessary to develop AI solutions for Africa’s agriculture, health, education and financial sectors,” she stated.

Interestingly, she said, there had been growing activity in the local technology ecosystem with the government, development partners, corporate bodies, venture funds, innovation hubs and other ecosystem enablers committing resources and starting initiatives.

The effectiveness of a country’s digital transformation agenda she said, was hinged on a clearly defined digital policy and strategy.

“To this end, the sector ministry is currently leading engagement efforts of Ghana’s draft Digital Economy Policy for inputs to ensure inclusiveness and comprehensiveness,” she disclosed.

“The draft policy is hinged on five pillars which include digital government, data and emerging technologies, digital skills, universal access and connectivity and digital entrepreneurship,” she stressed.

 This year’s conference was held under the theme, “Extended Reality (XR)–How to boost quality of experience and interoperability.”

In his welcome address, the Director General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE), Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari, said data on XR indicated that more than half of Africa’s population does not enjoy a fully digital experience.

“This is why the government, through its various ministries and implementing agencies, is championing the digitalisation agenda in Ghana,” he stated.

In addition he said, the right technologies must be deployed, and capacity building in advanced and exponential technologies must be done.


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