2024 New Year School focuses on technology to spur development
The 2024 Annual New Year School and Conference will focus on how to leverage technology to ensure sustainable development and nurture resilience.
Launched in Accra today on the theme, “Nurturing resilience: adopting technology and embracing humanism for sustainable development", with a call to leverage technology to propel national development.
The Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who launched the 75th New Year School and Conferene at the University of Ghana yesterday, disclosed that there were currently 15.5 million Ghanaians with Tax Identification Numbers (TINs).
She said the increase in persons with TINs to half of the country’s current population, compared with 750,000 in 2016, was largely driven by the adoption of the Ghana Card for business registration.
The New Year School, which has been organised since 1948, is a major platform for the academia, industry, policy makers and other stakeholders to deliberate on pertinent issues critical for national development.
In its 74-year journey, the conference has covered critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture, security, and economy, and provided enormous knowledge to accelerate national development.
The Ablekuma West Member of Parliament (MP) launched the 2024 conference on the theme: "Nurturing resilience: adopting technology and embracing humanism for sustainable development" and stressed the need to leverage technology to propel national development.
The conference will be held by the School of Continuing and Distance Education of the University of Ghana from January 9 to 11, 2024.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the successes chalked up with the Ghana Card policy was indicative that when deployed, digital solutions would accelerate national development.
She stressed that leveraging technology would help the country to build resilience against global challenges in critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture and the economy.
The minister said it was in recognition of the pivotal role that technology played in promoting development that the government rolled out initiatives such as mobile money interoperability, digital address system, and online application for some essential services, including passport and acquisition of driver’s licence.
She added that efforts were being made to connect over four million unserved population to the internet.
The New Year School and Conference will be organised in partnership with the Tallinn University of Estonia, Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT).
Among the key themes to be discussed are nurturing resilience for national development, education for sustainable development, new local government system, election 2024 and peace building.
The Provost of the College of Education of the university, Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, explained that the success of the conference over the past seven decades had provided justifiable reason for knowledge institutions to rally other state and non-state actors for national development.
He observed that the conference had become a tradition of critical knowledge sharing and would be sustained to address emerging national and global challenges.
He said the theme for the 2024 edition underscored the need for concerted efforts to adopt artificial intelligence and technology to propel socio-economic development.
The Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education of UG, Prof. Olivia A. T. F. Kwapong, said the emerging development challenges at the national and global levels called for academia to strengthen collaboration with other stakeholders to provide reliable solutions.
She said addressing current development challenges was largely dependent on the deployment of technology and innovations, for which reason the University of Ghana was focusing on building infrastructure to build the capacity of the younger generation.
Prof. Kwapong, who is also the Board Chairperson of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd, said it was in that regard that the Digital Youth Village was being explored by the university in line with the digitalisation agenda.