The Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says the government has invested S$2.6 million in the construction of innovation centres, to train 3,000 people in digital technologies by 2024.
Additionally, she said the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) has signed an agreement with the Smart African Alliance, through the Smart Africa Digital Academy, to train up to 22,000 people by the end of the year.
This, according to Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was to aid the promotion of Information Communication Technology (ICT), as well as digital transformation and inclusiveness, and internet connectivity.
The Deputy Minister, Mrs Ama Pomaa Boateng, on behalf of Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, announced these at a forum, organised by the National Communications Authority (NCA), to commemorate this year’s World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, in Accra, yesterday.
The day set aside by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was on the theme: “Public-Private Partnership to improve connectivity.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful highlighted the importance of digital service, such as online business transactions through the use of mobile money accounts as well as digital platforms and ICT.
She noted that digital connectivity posed challenges, such as cyber-related fraud and digital literacy.
The minister said digital connectivity was not only universal and meaningful, but safe to empower people to fully participate in the digital economy and society.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said this called for reliable and secured SIM registration database, and urged the NCA to continue monitoring the SIM registration exercise while ensuring that a sensitised database was obtained.
She said the ministry had established a total of 1,260 cyber laboratories across the country under its Cyberlabs programme.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that the programme focused on enhancing digital literacy and skills development, and the ministry was developing a Digital Economic Policy with digital skills as one of its priority pillars.
She said the ministry through the implementation of Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, had constructed 1008 rural sites for voice and data nationwide from 2020 to 2022, with a remaining figure of 560 expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful encouraged private sector players to support the government in its quest to achieve a universal connectivity and digital transformation through it partner, 2Connect Digital Coalition.
The Deputy Director General for Technical Operations of the NCA, Professor Ezer Osei Yeboah-Boateng, said it was important for Ghana to support efforts to assist Least Developed Countries (LDCs) connect to the world, considering the country’s progress in the area of ICT, connectivity and digitalisation.
This notwithstanding, he noted that it was vital to implement firm initiatives and collaborations to ensure sustainability which, he indicated could not be done by government alone.
According to Prof. Yeboah-Boateng, over 22.8 million internet subscriptions with a penetration rate of 71.94 per cent was recorded by the country at the beginning of this year.
The day was marked with a flag-raising ceremony, witnessed by Mrs Boateng, Prof. Yeboah-Boateng, UNESCO Country Representative, Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, Board Chair of NCA, Mr Isaac Emmil Osei-Bonsu Jnr, and other dignitaries.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY