Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, has indicated that government’s agenda to digitise Ghana is crucial to securing the country’s socio-economic development.
She said this recently at the Global Ministerial Roundtable discussions on efforts to ensure the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and telephony to speed up socio-economic development of Ghana.
Speaking at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Conference held in Durban, South Africa, Mrs. Owusu Ekuful described the agenda as an ambitious, technological programme of infrastructural development, with national broadband infrastructure and connectivity, with the unserved and underserved at the heart of that drive.
She added that “government, in recognition of the importance of connectivity for socio-economic development deems it imperative that all citizens benefit from the opportunities presented by digitization and it is crucial that we close the digital divide which threatens to further marginalize the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Mrs. Owusu Ekuful said the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) also plays an important role in the digital transformation.
According to her, there were almost 2000 communities in Ghana without mobile signals and through GIFEC, government is partnering network operators to achieve 100% coverage by 2020 and telephone subscription to as many citizens as possible.
She also stated that the current administration of Ghana has increased operations in rural areas from 117 rural telephony sites within eight years to 200 in less than two years.
“In 2017 alone 100 rural telephony sites were constructed and activated to over 500 communities where access to mobile signals was not previously available,” Mrs. Owusu Ekuful said.
“As at now, we have 80 sites already completed and we are on course to completing 200 sites this year with our partners MTN and Huawei for the second phase of this project which involves the deployment of voice and data connectivity.”
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Conference was held in Durban, South Africa under the theme “Innovation for a Smarter World”.
The conference was aimed at accelerating ICT innovation for socio-economic development through solutions, sharing knowledge and networking to develop and protect local intellectual property.
Ghana joined over 126 countries across the world to showcase its digital solutions at the ITU Telecom World Conference and Exhibition.