- Project to address inequalities marginalizing women, persons with disability etc.
- Global digital economy was worth US$11.5 trillion in 2016
- Internet could contribute US$300 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025.
The Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed that, as part of its universal access programme, government will soon launch a massive IT training project across the country.
Speaking at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Development Forum for Africa, Owusu-Ekuful said the training project is to prepare and build the requisite human capacity to manage the government’s Digital Ghana Agenda.
At the heart of this agenda is an ambitious infrastructure development programme, with a national broadband infrastructure and connectivity for the un-served and underserved.
Owusu-Ekuful noted that most of the initiatives are at various stages of implementation and there is the development of an interoperability system to integrate government databases.
She reiterated that government will be utilizing blockchain technology to digitize our land titling and records system and aggressively roll out e-education and e-health initiatives as well.
Recognizing the continuing existence of a yawning digital divide particularly, the gender digital divide, with many women still being shut out of the digital revolution, Owusu-Ekuful said “we must ensure that technological advances do not further exacerbate inequalities that marginalize women, persons with disability, rural communities and the elderly.”
“We should deliberately build an inclusive one which supports an ecosystem to promote equitable access for all.”
All stakeholders must also work together to address the risks and challenges the emerging landscape presents including cyber security, privacy, surveillance, child online protection, disruption of the workforce and potential job losses, digital exclusion, electronic waste and carbon emissions, she stated.
“We stand ready to work with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other regional organizations to implement solutions to all these emerging challenges.”
A major outcome of World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) was the ITU-D Action Plan comprising five regional initiatives to be implemented by Regional member States.
For the Africa Region the initiatives includes; Building digital economies and fostering innovation in Africa and promoting emerging broadband technologies, as well as building trust and security in the use of telecommunications/ICT.
Further to this, the initiative covers strengthening human and institutional capacity building and the management and monitoring of the radio frequency spectrum and transition to digital broadcasting.
In 2016, the global digital economy was worth US$11.5 trillion or 15.5 percent of the world’s GDP.
Estimates from Mckinsey states that internet could contribute US$300 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025.
The emerging technological landscape in Africa serves as an opportunity to accelerate inclusive growth across the continent.
Exponential technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Robotics and 3D Printing are already playing a critical role in helping Africa address age-old developmental challenges across various sectors including health, agriculture, education land administration and financial services.
By Joshua W. Amlanu