The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has reiterated the need for effective collaborations among the public, private and international partners
‘If we want to sustain the progress being made by the big players on the continent derive maximum benefit from what technology offers”
She observed that the various Technological products and services that became popular back then was affording numerous opportunities to collaborate and be productive to keep our country afloat, noting that the collaboration between the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, its Agencies, along with members of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications had led to the provision of the very critical emergency spectrum to enable Ghana to manage the growth in demand for data, connectivity for public workers to work from home, and zero rated some websites to enable students to study, just to mention a few.
These comments were made known yesterday when the Deputy Minister for MoCD, Ms. Ama Pomaa-Boateng delivered a speech on behalf of the Sector Minister at the 2023 Mobile Technology for Development Conference (MT423) held at Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra.
The Minister mentioned that the topic for this year’s event, ‘Driving digital financial inclusion in the real economy’ was relevant and goes to the heart of the various initiatives by government, stressing that it was ‘making digital technology work for the people’.
“I believe all of us gathered here can agree that technological solutions are not developed for the sake of developing them and that such solutions are meaningless if they do not solve a challenge in the lives of the average person and improve their quality of life”, she said.
According to her, the Private Sector has been a critical part of this journey. The strategy, she added was intended not only to position Ghana as the digital gateway to the continent of Africa but also to take advantage of the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Digital Inclusion and Connectivity
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stated that to effectively drive digital financial inclusion, “we, first of all, need to drive digital inclusion and connectivity. My Ministry and its agencies, working with the private sector, have introduced many initiatives to narrow the digital divide and empower citizens to embrace the use of ICT”
She said the ministry was implementing the Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project to connect over 3 million people. These previously digitally excluded persons now had equal access to the innovations and digital initiatives introduced by both Government and the private sector. These include:
The Minister indicated that Mobile money interoperability, a good example of Public Private Partnership (PP), had brought over 15 million previously unbanked persons onto the digital financial platform and the financial ecosystem as a whole.
The Minister said that the Digital skills development offered through a nationwide network of Digital Transformation Centres to benefit over 20,000 Women Entrepreneurs, Master Trainers, Youth and Children in Coding Clubs. Focused interventions to reduce the gender digital divide and create opportunities for the youth through the Girls in ICT program as well as the nurturing of new businesses at Digital Incubation Centres. For 2023 our target is to train 5000 girls.
This, she noted would represent a 60% increase in the numbers trained in 2022. ‘I would want to commend the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications for launching the Seat for Ladies in STEM.
An initiative that also seeks to bridge the gender gap in STEM related jobs by offering more ladies opportunities for Internships, National Service Placements, employment as well as mentorship of ladies who are already in STEM jobs. This initiative would be a bridge to my Ministry’s Girls in ICT project’.