The Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has indicated government will focus on developing initiatives through which Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to ease life of people and fast-track development.
In a statement read on her behalf, by the Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD), Owusu-Ekuful said in creating positive enabling environment for the use of AI in Ghana, priority must be to build solid ICT infrastructure so that AI can be developed and used seamlessly.
She noted that government has invested heavily in fibre infrastructure nationwide, with complimentary private sector investment in providing redundancy and adequate capacity in the in-country fibre infrastructure to facilitate the provision of value added services.
Owusu-Ekuful pointed out the need to drive excitement about AI amongst the youth, letting them understand the potential in this area and encourage them to look at aggregate sets of data and what it can be used for.
“To further ensure the enhancement in connectivity nationwide to support the AI ecosystem, the Regulator, National Communication Authority (NCA), authorized mobile network operators to deploy universal mobile telecommunication system, (UMTS) in the 2G band, which is ensuring that un-served and under-served areas of the country gain the needed access to data,” she said.
The world has experienced tremendous advancement in technology in recent years, as new developments such as, Big Data, cloud computing, high computing power, storage capacity, internet of things (IoT), among others, in the ICT industry have enabled significant progress in AI.
Emerging figures show that more than 36 communities in un-served and under-served areas of the country have been successfully connected to 3G over the past six months by just one operator.
Other operators in the space are on course to take advantage of the process to expand data coverage in the country.
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) has also rolled out a universal access to telephony programme, which extends the coverage of mobile telephone services into areas where access to such services is not adequately available.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has called on member countries to focus on the potential of AI to accelerate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) by 2030.
To attain this feat, government will be required to create the appropriate, desired and needed ecosystem for AI to thrive.
By Joshua W. Amlanu