The National Communications Authority (NCA) today joined the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other member states of the Union to celebrate this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).

This year’s celebration theme was, ‘Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development’.

The Director General of the NCA, Dr. Joe Anokye, giving his welcome address expressed his delight in this year’s WTISD celebration and its theme.

He said the NCA as a member state of the ITU accords WTISD with optimum importance and has been commemorating it locally over the years.

He continued that digital innovation has emerged as a potent catalyst for sustainable development. In that regard, government is championing the Digital Agenda, an all-sector-inclusive initiative to propel the nation’s digital economy.

Director General of the NCA, Dr. Joe Anokye, delivering a welcome address

Dr Anokye noted that the NCA on its part, under the supervision of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD), continues to develop regulatory frameworks and review existing frameworks to accommodate and encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protection and data privacy.

He commended the ITU for its continued support to African Member States in realising the full advantages of digital transformation through addressing policy and regulatory challenges and fostering innovation across economic sectors.

He stressed the NCA’s readiness to avail its regulatory facilities for the capacity development of sister regulators in the African region.

Dr Joe Anokye took the opportunity to announce to the general public that following the subsea cable cut which led to the March 14 incident, all four Subsea Cable Landing Service Providers (ACE, MainOne, SAT-3 and WACS) have completed repair works.

In her keynote address, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said WTISD is a reminder of the tremendous impact that telecommunications and ICTs have had on the lives, businesses and economic growth of all countries.

She noted that the world is now advocating for innovations to solve developmental issues and also offer opportunities for entrepreneurial development with a strong case often made at international forums that the agreed sustainable development goals can be facilitated and achieved when digital technologies are utilised.

Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, delivering her keynote address

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful emphasised that it is the goal of the Government to build a sustainable future in a quest to meet the targets of the sustainable development goals.

This, she said, requires the employment of innovative thinking and action in policy formulation for the common good of all citizens.

“We must pursue the adoption and promotion of digital innovation technologies to solve the many developmental challenges that we face as a people to leapfrog to an improved living condition.

"Employing digital innovative technologies in sectors such as health, education, employment, rural development, and climate monitoring just to mention a few will advance our nation” Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful said.

The Minister recognised the Government of Ghana’s steadfast effort in fostering a culture that embraces innovation, adaptability, and continuous evolution emphasising the National ICT for Accelerated Development Policy, 2003 which set the roadmap for building the foundations for Ghana’s digital journey.

This policy, she said, identified 14 key pillars that address all the sectors of the economy to embrace ICTs in their operations and functions.

She also announced that the Cabinet has approved Ghana’s Digital Economy Policy meant to consolidate the gains the country has made and to build on the ICT4AD policy.

According to the Minister, the Digital Economy Policy is a forward-looking document with five policy focus areas and strategies to enable the country to pursue the low-hanging initiatives that the policy identifies.

She added that empowering individuals by fostering their competencies, capabilities, and skills to use digital technologies is one of the pillars of the digital economy policy.

Again, Owusu-Ekuful underscored the paramount importance of collaboration among stakeholders to drive digital innovation for sustainable development highlighting that while dialogue is crucial, the time has come to translate these discussions into action.  

She stressed the need to strengthen collaboration to collectively advance sustainable development by unlocking the immense value-creation potential of digital economy initiatives.

Bringing her address to a close, the Minister hinted that government is putting in place the necessary pillars to make Ghana the ICT Hub for West Africa and therefore urged the private sector to join hands with government in supporting digital transformation, particularly in the development of smart and sustainable cities.

Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, delivering her keynote address

In a video message, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin acknowledged that innovation has always been a uniquely human endeavour irrespective of historical timelines or the pace of technological advancement.

She emphasised that innovation can arise from anyone, adding that digital technology not only enables the sharing of ideas but also fosters connections among individuals.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in an address read for him by a representative of the UNESCO Country Office, Carl Ampah, the Project Specialist (Culture), noted that developing economies face obstacles in accessing the digital technologies that could help to mitigate growing inequalities, climate change and environmental depletion.

This, he hinted, is the rationale which will lead countries to agree on a Global Digital Compact aimed at safeguarding technology as a force for human well-being at the upcoming Summit of the Future in September this year.

Carl Ampah from the UNESCO Country Office reading the UN Secretary General’s message

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