Technology is arguably the game changer as global digital technology has become a critical prerequisite for the creation of a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, Hon. George Andah, the Deputy Communications Minister has observed.
Digital technology, he said, is having a profound impact and changing education services delivery, delivery of health care, the creation of an ecosystem for improved agriculture, the management of energy resources, delivery of public safety, citizen-government engagement, e-Commerce, dissemination of information and knowledge, among other.
Speaking at the 4th annual lecture of Today Newspaper in Accra, he opined that Information and Communication Technology [ICT] has become the largest distribution platform that enables the provision of public and private services to millions of people irrespective of their geographical location.
Government according to the Deputy Communications Minister has invested heavily in the provision of ICT infrastructure to address the growing demand of ICT services and open the country up for the implementation of smart technologies.
Hon. Andah said “Today, we can confidently say that we have blanketed the whole country with fibre optic cables through the efforts of both the Government and the private sector. We also have available in the country five undersea submarine cables providing international bandwidth for utilization.”
He stated that it is time to make use of the broadband capacity through the development of customized applications to meet the needs of the people. The Deputy Communications Minister said Government recognizing the enormous economic benefits of ICTs to the Ghanaian economy has put measures in place to ensure that the country develop and further leverage on the ICT infrastructure so as to be competitive on the global market.
Preparations, he adds, are ongoing to construct an ICT park. The ICT park, he said, when completed would dramatically accelerate the promotion of research, development and entrepreneurship among the youth.
Hon. Andah disclosed that the International Telecommunications Union estimates that between now and 2030, there would be at least 10 million vacant jobs globally for the people with digital skills. He added that it is line with this that the ministry of communications has operationalised the Accra Digital Centre to accommodate companies to provide job opportunities and nurture digital entrepreneurs.
Internet broadband, he explained, is relatively affordable and due to the enabling environment provided by Government for the private sector growth and market forces are driving prices of internet packages further down. This phenomenon according to him has generated enough interest saying mobile data growth of 19 million subscribers as of February 2017 representing a penetration rate of almost 70%.
The print media, the Deputy Communications Minister mentioned has the opportunity to spread their niche and clientele base by making use of the digital platform to reach all within the country and outside the shores of Ghana.
Financial institutions, he adds, are also utilizing the mobile platform to offer financial services and information noting that mobile money has become a household name thanks to innovation and creativity that digital platform avail to Ghana.
Digital technology according to Hon. Andah is the currency for the future development of a nation and transforming it into a smart economy stressing that a country’s status of development is now being measured in terms of its technological capacity.
The lecture was themed: “Using Digital Technology to Accelerate Business Growth in Ghana.”
Source: Adovor Nutifafa