Council to regulate ICT practice

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Dr Edward Omane-BoamahAn Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council is to be set up to regulate the activities of ICT practitioners locally, the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, has announced.

The council is expected to come up with a policy framework that will hold practitioners accountable, should they commit offences, and also reduce the challenges being faced in the ICT sector.

Dr Omane-Boamah was speaking at a forum organised to celebrate this year’s Girls in ICT Day in Accra yesterday.

The theme for the celebration was: “Mainstreaming Girls in ICT — The Missing Link in Development”.

The day is celebrated globally every year, under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), to create awareness of and build concensus on issues related to girls and ICT.

The global event is designed to promote the adoption of national policies and strategies that will encourage women and girls to study and take up careers in ICT.

Dr Omane-Boamah said given the opportunities to grow, learn and adapt, women would dominate the ICT landscape in the coming decades.

It is estimated that there will be two million more ICT job opportunities than there are professionals to fill them.

In this regard, the Ghana government is pursuing a vigorous national broadband infrastructure development to reach all parts of the country to provide enough bandwidth capacity for ICT deployment.

In the minister’s view, such “ICT deployment will open up business opportunities, as well as promote research, innovation, training and skills acquisition”.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders in ICT to join the government in undertaking an Internet awareness campaign that would target educators and counsellors to promote a safe Internet culture among children and young students.

In her address, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, urged girls to take advantage of the various opportunities in ICT to develop their skills and potential.

She also urged parents to closely monitor the activities of their children on the Internet, as well as the number of hours they spent on the computer.

That, she said, would serve the double purpose of reducing the risk of exposure to inappropriate materials and controlling the cognitive ability of children.

Nana Oye encouraged parents to install software on their children’s computers and theirs which were accessible to their children in order to filter the content of information that the child could access.

The Chairperson of the Planning Committee on Girls in ICT, Ms Eva Lokko, lauded the efforts of the girls in showing interest to learn and acquire knowledge in ICT.

Some of the girls who showed innovation and creativity during their weekend studies with the committee were awarded laptops and modems to boost their interest in the study of ICT.

Story: Zainabu Issah