Ursula woos investors into Ghana’s ICT sector
A Ghanaian delegation attending the 2018 Telecom World Conference and Exhibition in Durban, South Africa is leaving nothing to chance at the conference, showing off the West African country’s rich culture and digital innovations.
Led by the Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, members of the Ghanaian delegation wore ‘kente’ and ‘fugu’ to the admiration of other participants at the conference.
The Ghanaian delegation is made up of investors, innovators, and project and decision makers from the ICT ecosystem.
The conference which is themed, “Innovation for a smarter world” seeks to accelerate ICT innovations for socio-economic development through solutions, sharing knowledge and networking, with measures to develop and protect local intellectual property, and a massive skills development programme to underpin the growth of ICTs throughout society.
Other objectives of the conference are to harness the power of technology to transform lives, ensure sustainable ICT growth in emerging and developed markets, Foster SDME and innovation ecosystems among others.
Speaking at a session under the conference dubbed ‘Ghana Day’ to showcase the country in terms of innovation and culture, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful without mincing words said that “we are a great introduction to the hospitality of the West African subcontinent and the many innovations that our young people are busily churning out.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful who is bent on convincing foreign direct investments into Ghana to boost government’s digitization agenda, told investor participants at the ‘Ghana Day’ session that the government of Ghana through the Communications Ministry is “determined to use the purchasing power of the state to assist startups…tech entrepreneurs to get a heads-up.”
“And we know that once they do, just as the President of South Africa [Cyril Ramaphosa] told us in the opening ceremony, if we focus on young women or women, the youth and SMEs [small scale enterprises], we have an excellent chance of making the digital revolution work. And, so just like President Ramaphosa, we are keen on developing the Science Technology Education and Mathematics (STEM) for women,” she stated.
Keen on selling Ghana to the investors gathered at ‘Ghana Day’ session, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful observed that the Government of Ghana has embarked on an ambitious broadband infrastructural project in partnership with telecom companies like MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and equipment manufacturers like Huawei to extend connectivity to every part of the country.
“So we have an aggressive rural telephony programme ongoing at the moment with the aim of connecting within the next 5 years the entire country,” she stated, adding “without robust infrastructure, services and applications that are of interest and benefit to the people and speak to address and proffer solutions to challenges that we face in a practical manner and giving our young people the skills to be able to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital world our investment will be wasted and so we are focusing on all three areas—infrastructure, service and applications, training and capacity building.”
Describing e-governance as “very key” to the digitization agenda, she said the Government is rolling out a government network on which all government services across the country will ride to eschew inefficiencies, lack of transparency and the indulgence in corrupt practices.
“We believe with technology we can there be more efficiency, bringing governance close to the people, ease the lives of our people and leapfrog development into the 3rd world. We are learning from the experiences of everybody and so it’s fantastic to be here at Telecom World and see the amazing things
ITU Telecom World 2018 scheduled to end Thursday, September 13, is being hosted by the Department of Telecommunications and Post of the Republic of South Africa.