Business News of Thursday, 12 October 2017

Source: 3news.com

Ghana seeks to become ICT hub in West Africa

Ghana says it is working hard at becoming the information and communications technology (ICT) hub in the West African sub-region.

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said in line with that, government is improving its ICT infrastructure to take up the leadership role in the sector, which she observed, is driving socio-economic development.

In an interview at the ongoing World Telecommunication Development Conference in Argentina, Mrs owusu-Ekuful said Ghana is looking at greater application of ICT in all sectors of the country’s economy to drive the needed growth.

“We’re looking forward to even greater applications of ICTs in all sectors of our economy and to see it help us to really blossom and grow and get to where we want to; we want Ghana to be the IT hub for the West African sub-region,” she stated.

She added: “We want to take the leadership in our infrastructure, driving down the cost of data to enable young people to explore more of its possibilities and so that’s how we’re positioning ourselves”.

The World Telecommunication Conference is being organised by the International Telecommunication Union on the theme “ICT for Sustainable Development Goals.

The minister told ITU TV on the sidelines of the conference that ICT in Ghana’s social economic development has been immense and being used in almost all sectors of the economy.

She said ICT is being used to shape the way Ghanaians live and work as well as helping in the fight against corruption and waste in the country’s systems with the overall objective of improving efficiencies in the public sector.

“We’ve used ICTs in scaling up our application of technology in all sectors of the economic to drive growth and job creation,” she stated. ICT, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful observed, has become indispensable in development, likening it to onion, which she said, “is used in all sauces and stews”.

Obstacles On what could be the challenges for Ghana in using ICT for sustainable development, the minister mentioned high cost of Internet and human resource capabilities, which she noted, ought to be improved.

“We also have to think about rural penetration more for the un-served and underserved areas. There’s a clamour for IT services around the country and supply is lagging far behind demand, so we’re having to scale up our universal access capabilities immensely as we go along,” she added.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said, “We think that once we can deal with these few issues we will be well on our way."