The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has affirmed Ghana’s full commitment to the strategic plans of the Africa Telecommunications Union (ATU) which had invited the Member States to effectively participate in the Union’s programmes to enhance Africa’s voice in the field of information and communication technology.
It was therefore against this background that Ghana hosted the Africa preparatory meetings for the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly in 2020 (WTSA-20) and attended Africa Telecommunications Union (ATU) preparatory meetings for WTDC-21 as well as the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation’s (ITSO) General Assembly of Parties in 2022.
She further added that, the country sponsored at least three experts to participate in ITU Study Groups in all three sectors as well as ATU Work Groups.
The Hon. Minister delivered this statement when she led the Ghanaian delegation to attend the 2022 Africa Telecommunication Union Conference of Plenipotentiaries (CLP-22), at Algiers in Algeria, from 25th to 26th July, 2022.
The four-year cycle conference sought to bring together ATU Member States to deliberate and solicit for ideas on ways to assist the Union to improve on its strategic positioning of facilitating the influence of Africa in global communications and ICT matters.
Stating the country’s readiness for collaborations at conference, she reiterated that, Ghana remained available to host and support ATU activities and events over the next four years, “Indeed, we invite Member States for internships, benchmarking visits and capacity building on our ITU collaborated programmes on cybersecurity, quality of service, conformance and interoperability assessment, spectrum management and monitoring, digital literacy skills development, innovation incubation, and data market, among many others”.
According to her, the government of Ghana, under the able leadership of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Co-Chair of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, was pursuing the Digital Ghana Agenda for a massive transformation of Ghana’s economy through technology and broadband development.
Additionally, the Minister stated that Ghana was currently focusing on improving the efficiency of service delivery with particular attention to rural and underserved communities, hence, the inclusion for women to achieve gender parity, and opportunities for the youth through the nurturing of new businesses, creation of job opportunities, facilitation of ICT-based entrepreneurship and securing the cyberspace for the realization of the SDGs. She said as part of process, Ghana has connected over 2.3 million people and would increase efforts to extend coverage to 6 million unconnected rural populaces by 2023 through the Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Programme.
Speaking on the Girls-In-ICT initiative, she elaborated that the government, under the auspices of the Ministry, had expanded the annual Girls in ICT programme from 1000 girls to 5,000 Basic School girls and another 5000 girls in secondary, and tertiary institutions.
She used the occasion to call on the support of each African country on Ghana’s candidature for re-election to the ITU Council and the election of Engineer Edmund Yirenkyi Fianko for Radio Regulations Board Region D at the ITU 2022 Plenipotentiary Conference which was scheduled to take place in Bucharest in September-October this year.