The Communications and Digitalisation Minister has underscored the need to rope in the young population into the digital divide.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful insists that this is a sure way to ensure that employment is created for the teeming youth across Africa.
She made these comment at the Digital Cooperation Organisation’s (DCO) 2nd Annual General Assembly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ghana has, for years, suffered an unemployment problem. In 2021, unemployment rate hit 4.70%, a 0.05% increase from 2020.
But the Communication Minister believes that equipping the youth with the requisite digital skills will be the panacea to this crisis.
“We share that belief that digital technology, digital skills provide a pathway towards creating sustainable jobs on the continent. We are all sold on that. We are working actively towards to make sure that, that happens,” she said on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Also during the Assembly in Riyadh, Ghana and The Gambia became the newest members of the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO).
The global multilateral organization brings together Ministers of Communications to propel digital prosperity by expediting the inclusive growth of the digital economy.
At the event, the two countries were ushered in as the two new entrants bringing to three the number of African countries in the organisation.
The 11 other member states that make up the DCO include Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Jordan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus.
Addressing participants, Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organisation, Deemah AlYahya touted the induction of the two new countries as pivotal in their bid to equip a wider audience with digital access.
“Today, the DCO Council formally announced and welcomed the accession of two new Member States, the Republic of The Gambia and The Republic of Ghana. The Organization now represents 13 nations and serves around 600 million people with a collective GDP of more than USD 2 trillion,” she explained.
She also highlighted the need for “multilateralism as an enabler of digital inclusion and transformation and a facilitator for exchanging knowledge and active dialogues.”
While recounting the findings of the organisation’s Bridging the Gap Report which threw light on the importance of cooperation in driving sustainable and inclusive growth, the Secretary-General also announced the DCO’s novel 30 By 30 agenda.
“We aspire to achieve “30 by 30”, an ambitious future where the digital economy could contribute 30% of the global GDP and create 30 million jobs by 2030. This endeavor demands the collective effort of all stakeholders in the digital economy to attain the digital prosperity we aspire to,” she added.
The DCO is focused on empowering youth, women and entrepreneurs, leveraging the accelerative power of the digital economy and leapfrogging with innovation to drive economic growth and increase social prosperity.
On this, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful expressed her excitement at the development.
According to her, this affords the country the opportunity to accelerate the transformation drive of Ghana since it will aid through tapping into the expertise of other member states while capitalising on the trade-offs to foster bilateral growth.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful believes the move also has the propensity to positively impact the youth by creating windows of opportunities in the technology space for more jobs for the young population.
“Ghana shares in your vision of using technology to create opportunities for economic diversity and growth. And if we learnt anything from the pandemic, it is that without digital technology, the world cannot operate, the world cannot do anything,” she said.
“So we are fortunate that we have the opportunity to begin to drive our nations in the direction of the future by creating opportunities today.”
Meanwhile, the establishment of an Executive Committee of Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, and Oman was announced during the event.
The committee has a Saudi Arabian representative as the Chairperson until 2030.
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