MINISTER FOR Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has called on member states of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to retain Ghana on the ITU Council.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, who made the appeal at this year’s ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-2022) in Bucharest, Romania recently, stated, “To this end, Ghana will continue to serve the ITU community, and as we seek re-election to the council, we are counting on your vote and support to retain Ghana as a Council member to continue serving you diligently.”
She said the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with the Secretariat headquartered in Ghana was a pointer to the African continent-wide marketing strategy powered by digitalisation, adding, “We are therefore extending our digital infrastructure to our borders to enable seamless connection to our neighbours.”
She also revealed government’s commitment to building strong partnerships and formulating policies for digital technologies that would drive the socio-economic development of Ghana and position it as the digital gateway to the African continent.
According to her, Ghana considers the collaborative platforms initiated by the ITU and the various regional and global partnerships essential to the growth of not only the Africa Region, but all member states, for a collective benefit.
She commended the Romania government for hosting the 2022 confab.
The 2022 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference was organised to among other things provide the avenue for member state parties to set the union’s General Policy direction; adopt the four-year strategic and financial plans; elect the Senior Management Team of the union and elect the Member States of the Council.
Noting that the government has also introduced initiatives aimed at narrowing the digital divide and empowering citizens to embrace the use of ICT, she opined, “We are of the opinion that we can transform COVID-19 from a global crisis to an opportunity through digital technology.”
She revealed that the implementation of the Rural Telephony Project had already connected over 3 million people, noting that, the previously unconnected people now had equal access to the innovations which were introduced by the government in Ghana’s digital transformation journey under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo.
“Ghana is actively promoting cybersecurity not only for our benefit but for the sub-region as a whole. Ghana’s ranking on the 2021 ITU Global Cybersecurity Index improved to 86.69%, up from 32.6% in 2017. We seek partnerships and international cooperation to do even better for our entire sub-region,” she explained.