Ghana will host the 2013 Session of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Council Regional Development Forum (RDF) for Africa and the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting for the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) in October.
The RDF will be held on October 1, while WTDC-14 will also be held from October 2 to October 4, at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, who was launching the planning committee meeting in Accra on Tuesday, said Ghana had emerged as a favourite destination in Africa for the development of common proposals ahead of ITU crucial conferences.
The 10-member conference planning committee, chaired by Mrs Charlotte Morgan-Asiedu was tasked to facilitate affairs of the two events.
The RDF will deliberate on issues relating to trends in telecommunications/ICT in Africa; Broadband Policy; e-Applications; Cyber security; development of Public-Private Partnership for improved capacity-building in the ICT sector; and the future of the Information Society.
The agenda for the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the WTDC-14 would include Assessment of the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan (WTDC-10); Assessment of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Plan of Action; Reports on Results of the WTSA-12 and Results of the WCIT-12 that relate to the work of ITU-D; Identification of priority areas; Topics for ITU-D future work including working methods and Study Group questions linked to the identified priority areas, and Priority setting for Regional initiatives.
Dr Boah said through these meetings, Ghana is once again not only reaffirming its commitment to multi-stakeholder engagement in international ICT agenda-setting, but also availing the opportunity for local and indigenous ICT practitioners to avail themselves of with best practices as well as providing avenue for technology transfer and business partnerships.
He said in 2003, for instance, Ghana provided the perfect opportunity to craft Africa’s agenda for the World Summit on the Information Society.
“The Accra Accord developed at the time still remains the benchmark for Africa’s integration into the global Information Society, especially in the area of Internet Governance.
“The seeds sown by my predecessors continue to bear fruit as Ghana presently serves on ITU Council and also, occupies the Chair of Study Group 12; Vice Chair of Study Group 11; and Rapporteur for Working Party 3 of Study Group 5.
“Our Council representatives have also acquitted themselves creditably resulting in Ghana’s inclusion on the ITU Secretary General’s Advisory Committees on specified issues,” he added.
Dr Boamah noted that the active participation of Ghanaians in the work of the ITU therefore made Ghana’s enabling environment, especially for Telecommunications Policies and Regulations, very responsive and reflective of global best practices.
“To facilitate consensus building, the ITU is organising, ahead of the meeting, the Regional Development Forum as a platform for open dialogue, cooperation and partnerships among telecommunication/ICT policy makers, regulators, industry, academia, regional and international development agencies and organisations on specific regional ICT issues.
“The WTDC is held every four years by the ITU to identify priorities for the development of telecommunications and Information Communication Technologies. It takes into account contributions made by Member States and Sector Members, and comes out with an Action Plan, setting the future of activities of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector over the next four-year period,” he added.
He said an exhibition of Technology to expose the sophistication of the ICT landscape would be mounted to demonstrate the sector’s accomplishments and benefits of reforms commenced in 1994 when Ghana possessed less than 68,000.