Universal Acceptance project launched

A project aimed at facilitating a multilingual internet space where users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages and scripts has been launched.


Dubbed: the “Universal Acceptance (UA)”, it would focus on making domain names and unique addresses such as emails to be supported, processed and displayed correctly on the internet in multiple languages regardless of script and character length.

Undertaken by the Coalition for Digital Africa, in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU), it will train higher education institutions within the region to configure and make their websites, applications and email systems UA- ready while incorporating the concepts into their curricula.

The 3-year project will be critical for academic work as it will give users access to vital content from the internet for research and learning.

The Vice-President of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Africa, Pierre Dandjinou, made this known at an engagement to launch the project in Accra.

Strengthening Accessibility

Addressing participants in the launch, the General Secretary of AAU, Professor Olusola Oyewole, said the project was aimed at strengthening the accessibility of internet across the continent, with a specific focus on making email systems and other communications platforms of the continent’s higher education institutions ready for UA and Email Address Internationalisation (EAI).

That, he explained, was “aligned to the association’s strategic priority of strengthening the institutional capacities of its stakeholders to be able to embrace and implement the required changes to their email systems and digital platforms so that Africa was part of an inclusive internet”

Thus Prof. Oyewole gave an assurance that the association was strategically positioned to use its current membership of 420 Vice -Chancellors and 420 Information Technology Directors across Africa to champion the required changes to achieve universally accepted email systems, websites and other digital platforms.

Breaking tech boundaries

A Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, commended the stakeholders for the initiative in recognising the need to focus on building the capacities of higher education institutions to upgrade their websites and email systems so that the information they carried could be accessed in various languages.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, lauded the initiative adding that it was a major step towards creating an inclusive digital environment in Africa.

In a speech read by the Executive Director of Ghana Domain Registry, Nana Asafu-Aidoo, he expressed commitment of the ministry to support the project ensuring that all policies and strategies aligned with the goals of initiative were carried out to make the internet reachable and inclusive for all, regardless of language or location.

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