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Ministry develops policy for digital economy

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation

THE Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) is seeking inputs into the country’s draft Digital Economy Policy.

It forms part of measures by the ministry to ensure inclusiveness and make the policy comprehensive.

The draft policy is hinged on five pillars; Digital Government, Data and emerging technologies, Digital Skills, Universal Access and Connectivity and Digital Entrepreneurship.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said this in her remarks at the opening of the 14th International Communications Union (ITU) Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra on December 7.

She said digital economies provide unique opportunities for countries to accelerate economic growth and connect citizens to services and jobs.

She explained that the effectiveness of a country’s digital transformation agenda was undergirded by a clearly defined digital policy and strategy.

“Under the Data and Emerging Technologies, there are policy directions which cover data governance, emerging tech and regulation, data classification, data sharing and open data.

These are instructive for the effective growth of the sector and important for the issues around interoperability, standardisation, security, privacy, and quality of experiences,” she said.

Conference

The three-day meeting held on the theme “Extended Reality-How to Boost Quality of Experience and Interoperability,” is the 14th in a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences organised to bring together a wide range of views from universities, industry and research institutions.

It was organised by ITU, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digitisation, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE), and the National Communications Authority (NCA).

It aimed to identify emerging developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and areas in need of international standards to aid the sustainable development of the interconnected world.

Digitalisation Agenda

The Director General of the GI-KACE, Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari, said “data on Extended Reality (XR) shows that more than half of Africa’s population does not enjoy a fully digital experience; this is why the Government of Ghana, through its various ministries and implementing agencies, is championing the Digitalisation Agenda in Ghana.

“Studies have also shown that connecting more people to Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, all under Extended Reality (XR), could transform everything from healthcare and education to sports and tourism, among other sectors, of our continent and the world.”

To do this, he said the right technologies must be deployed, and capacity building in advanced and exponential technologies must be done.

He said his outfit, as part of its mandate, was concerned about training people in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), among others, while advancing research in these areas.

He said as the capacity-building development agency of the MOCD, GI-KACE had prioritised efforts to help create awareness of the ecosystem as well as build capacity to help build critical mass of talent and help the foundation of our economy.