The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MOCD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI) and GIZ Ghana today launched the Ghana Digital Innovation Week (GDIW) with a goal of putting together the necessary policy instruments to address some market challenges.
The Ghana Digital Innovation Week is a celebration of the milestones achieved by various innovators and government policy actions.
The event also serves an opportunity to observe, assess and evaluate our national readiness to participate in the digital economy.
Launching the 3-day programme today at the Accra International Centre, the Deputy Minister, Ms. Ama Pomaa-Boateng (MP) expressed appreciation to all partners for their commitment to the expansion of the GDIW since its birth in 2021 and this was a testament that the event had come to stay.
She was speaking on behalf of the Sector Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP) under the theme; ‘Innovate, Collaborate, Elevate: Shaping a Future of Endless Potential’.
She said, the Ministry places a strong emphasis on inclusivity and firmly believes that innovation should not be constrained to any particular geographical area.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said “as the Minister for Communications and Digitalization in Ghana, I am profoundly inspired by the wave of technological advancements and the growing culture of innovation in our nation. Our commitment to harnessing the power of technology for the betterment of our society is unwavering”.
She explained that the theme was not just a collection of words, but it embodies the spirit and essence of our collective journey toward a future where endless possibilities await.
She highlighted the importance of collaboration indicating, that, no single entity, individual, or innovation stands alone in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.
“The digital world is evolving at an unparalleled pace. We need to adapt, embrace and more importantly, lead this change.
Ghana has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to leveraging technology to solve local challenges. Our strides in e-governance, e-commerce, fintech, and various other sectors are commendable but there’s so much more to be achieved” she said.
“Through technology, we enhance efficiency, empower our citizens, and connect with the world. That is why we have developed the Ghana Digital Economy Policy which has to be laid before Cabinet for approval. This policy is building upon the foundations laid by the ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy developed in 2003. This forward-looking policy zeroes in on vital areas including Digital Infrastructure, Data-driven Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Data Protection, User Privacy, Cybersecurity, Digital Literacy and Skills. It is a comprehensive approach that ensures inclusivity and economic growth for all”, she explained.
She mentioned that the Ministry with the invaluable support of GIZ and the World Bank, has established a Donor Coordination Group dedicated to harmonizing the diverse activities within the ICT sphere- adding, that, the platform serves as a pivotal nexus for all our esteemed partners, offering a unified space to synchronize our initiatives, consolidate resources and amplify the impact of our combined endeavors.
For his part, the Hon.Minister for MESTI, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (MP) observed that increasing capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots, for instance, have fueled job insecurities and the reality was that every new technology comes with new economic activities and new jobs.
Dr. Afriyie said that the net impact on jobs would depend on the final balance between the creation of new jobs and the extinction of old ones. “We have witnessed this in the transport sector with the advent of companies like Uber, Bolt and our own Ghanaian companies like X-ride and Shaxi Ghana. Jobs have also evolved in the Gig economy, with the convergence in job markets through computer programming and coding, digital design, medical diagnostics, online commerce, among others. We know that Ghana is contributing its share of services to this economy”.
According to him, MESTI recently completed the revision of the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, with a special focus on frontier technologies, the Ghana Digital Economy Policy and the Ghana Digital Acceleration Project under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation .
These policies he said would further strengthen citizens’ capabilities to innovate in the digital economy.
“As a middle-income country, Ghana has made significant progress in our digitalization agenda. We are aware that there is much more to do in terms of skills development, infrastructure and policy instruments to accelerate this agenda and I believe that all of us gathered here will contribute to making this a reality”, he stated.