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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Govt Approves Digital Economy Policy

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (M), Joe Anokye and other stakeholders in a group photograph

 

Government has approved a digital economy policy aimed at empowering the skills and competencies of individuals to use digital technology.

Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who made this known at the celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024 in Accra, said the policy would also provide the necessary skills for all Ghanaians to use digital innovations.

“ICT for Accelerated Development Policy was launched in 2003, thankfully just last week, cabinet has approved the Digital Economy Policy which is a forward-looking one with five policy areas and strategies,” she stated.

She said among the pillars of the strategies also include fostering the capabilities of individuals to use ICT to improve their livelihood.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said government was also implementing the National Roaming Policy which will enable telecommunication networks roam on each other’s network where necessary, to ensure sustainability and enhance connectivity across networks.

According to her, the move would also enable phones to pick the strongest signal regardless of people’s location and network operator as well as bridge the network connectivity gap facing users.

The minister also mentioned that government was also implementing the Rural Telephony Digital Inclusion Project, constructing 2,060 cell sites in some remote parts of the country to enable four million Ghanaians access the internet.

She said government has already achieved half of that and still working to ensure that about 20 percent of the population that are currently unconnected benefit from digital innovations.

She further urged the Cyber Security Authority, Data Protection Commission and other regulators in the digital space to deepen collaboration with each other to deal with some of the identified challenges such as cyber threats, online fraud, child online abuse, data breaches among others.

Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Dr. Joe Anokye, for his part, said all the four subsea cable landing service providers have completed repair works on the subsea cables that got damaged and led to network disruptions on March 14, 2024.

He said following engagements and deliberations on March 14, the NCA has directed mobile and subsea cable service providers to submit back up and redundancy plans to ensure continuous connectivity in the event of a cable cut or major fault.

He added that to address innovation challenges which is not evenly distributed resulting in global digital divide, nations need to adopt and share insights on emerging digital technologies, empower innovative entrepreneurs to create jobs as well as develop enabling conditions for digital innovation.

Dr. Anokye further indicated that NCA with the support of other agencies and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, its five-year strategic plan launched during the year is adaptive to emerging changes in the digital ecosystem in order to be beneficial to all its stakeholders.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, celebrated under the theme “Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development,” also brought together representatives of United Nations, Data Protection Commission, Cyber Security Authority, dignitaries and students from some tertiary institutions.

By Ebenezer K. Amponsah

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