Govt commits to narrowing digital divide – Ursula Owusu

The Government has expressed its commitment to continue implementing measures to narrow the gender digital divide in the country.

“We want to ensure that no one is left out in this era of digitalization that is why we have programmes specially designed to ensure young girls take up cours­es in ICT and making access to tools and internet easy through a gradual process,” the Minister of Communication and Digitalization (MoCD), Mrs. Ursula Owusu Eku­ful, has stated.

Speaking during a panel discus­sion on the second day of the 75th Annual New Year School yester­day, she noted that her outfit had institutionalized the Girls in ICT initiative, expanded it and included mentorship sessions where accom­plished female ICT professionals interact with and encourage the girls to take up courses in ICT.

These young girls she said also get to spend some time in Accra to experience women in technol­ogy at their workplaces “we have already begun seeing early signs of success.”

Touching on the “Smart Community Project,” which was designed to provide affordable and free Wi-Fi internet services to un­served and underserved communi­ties across the country, Mrs. Ekuful stated that the initiative was already being implemented as well as the Rural Telephony Project to extend the coverage of mobile telephone and data services into all areas of the coun­try by the end of the year.

She said with all the digital initiatives of the government, more efforts must be made to secure the digital ecosystem as well as prioritizing cyber security, adding that Ghana was one of the only three African countries which had ratified both the Budapest convention on cybercrime and electronic evidence and the African Union (AU) convention on cybersecurity and personal data protection.

The passage of the Cybersecu­rity Act, the minister said, demon­strated the government’s commit­ment to the protection of both infrastructure and transactions.

“Our commitment to fostering an enabling environment for digital growth has been unwavering. Our legal and regulatory framework, coupled with significant invest­ments in connectivity, data centers, digital payment systems and cy­bersecurity infrastructure, has laid a solid foundation for a thriving digital ecosystem and ensuring resilience through the use of digital technologies while at the same time meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she added.

On his part Minister of Ed­ucation, Yaw Osei Adutwum, reiterated the government’s focus on building well-equipped smart schools to make the pupils com­puter literate.

He said many schools across the country had already been well-equipped with modern computer laboratories, some of which had already begun holding coding classes.

Source: RAISSA SAMBOU (Ghanaian Times)