Ghana hopes to attract investors at ITU World Telecom

Category: ICT 172

The Ministry of Communications (MOC) is leading a strategically selected delegation of local ICT players to this year’s ITU Telecom World Conference to showcase the country’s strides in the ICT sector and to attract potential investors.

A brief on Ghana’s participation in the forthcoming global ICT Olympics indicates that the focus is to increase Ghana’s brand awareness on the global stage and highlight investment and partnership opportunities available in Ghana’s ICT sector.

It is also to “facilitate new partnership deals between Ghanaian exhibitors and those from other countries,” the brief stated.

ITU Telecom World 2017 is slated for September 25 – 28, 2017 at the plush Busan Exhibition & Conference Center (BEXCO) in Busan, South Korea. It is set to attract over 500 exhibitors, thousands of guests and industry players, and some 48 expert speakers from around the world.

Team Ghana

Ghana’s delegation is being led by Deputy Communications Minister George Andah and it includes representations from both public and pirate sectors.

Those from the public sector include the MOC itself, National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), National Information Technology Agency (NITA) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

Those on the private sector side include Subah Info Solutions, Wireless Application Service Provider’s Association of Ghana (WASPAG), Nsano and GCNet.

This year, the ITU has designed a dedicated B2B (business to business) and B2G (business to government) matchmaking program that will bring together potential investors and connect them with innovative solutions and projects, and team Ghana intends to take full advantage of that.

According to the MOC, the ITU World Telecom 2017 presents a great opportunity to launch and highlight Ghana’s latest ICT developments to the world and at the local level.

“It would also be an opportunity to build partnerships with other ICT companies, dealers, distributors, agents, as well as getting support from other channels – and to learn from others,” it said.

e-Transform

It said Team Ghana would also be seeking, through exhibitions and networking, to promote Ghana’s eTransform Project, which aims at digitalizing all systems within state institutions, and all transactions between the state and the public.

The e-Transform Ghana Project is expected to be achieved through interventions that will improve targeting of government resources, leading to more efficient use of public funds and improved efficiency and coverage of priority government services.

It would particularly focus on improving services in rural and underserved areas, nurturing entrepreneurship and increase jobs through ICT-enabled entrepreneurship.

Recently, the MOC, through one of its key agencies, NCA, has for instance committed to granting permits to mobile network operators (MNOs) to use their 900MHz spectrum to deploy 3G technology in order to offer affordable data services to unserved and underserved areas of the country.

Other interventions, according to the MOC, include unique electronic identification systems that validate citizens and confirms rights to public services while promoting better access to online transactions, financial and other services; and innovative applications to improve service delivery in the priority areas of health, education, judicial, and parliamentary services.

Ghana would therefore be selling this agenda and the investment opportunities it throws up to the global community at the ITU World Telecom in Busan, and look forward to attracting as many interested investors as possible into the country.

The brief also noted that the Ghanaian delegation would also pay particular attention to learning from the rich array of ICT exhibitions and experts that would be present at the conference.

“On the first day of the conference the Ghanaian delegation will tour the entire conference venue – this will give the delegation a unique opportunity to explore potential partnership and links, pick some key ICT innovations, trends and groundbreaking technologies on display at the conference,” it said.

The MOC said it trusts that learnings from the conference will help it move miles closer to its vision of ensuring the convergence of communication technologies to facilitate the promotion of a viable integrated national development process within a global setting.

ITU Busan

The ITU Telecom World 2017 exhibition brings together companies, countries, investors, innovators and decision makers from emerging and developed markets across the ICT ecosystem and the world.

Its events would include an Award Ceremony as well as exhibitions and scores of fora that would focus on artificial intelligence, internet of things, smart city technologies, 5G, digital literacy, digital inclusion, spectrum management and radio frequency spectrum solutions, cyber security and others, with the view to getting the entire 193 ITU-member states moving in the right direction as far as ICT is concerned.

Participating companies out of the over 700 ITU-member organizations incude ATDI, CATD, GEW Technologies, KT, K-ICT week, LS telcom, Rohde & Schwarz, SK telecom, Swisscom and Vodafone Egypt.

This year’s conference would particularly focus on small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and their role in the global ICT sector.

Ample time would also be dedicated to discuss how digital transformation is impacting the telecommunication sector; new approaches to connectivity; the development of new technologies such as AI, IoT and 5G; the importance of content and capacity; digital literacy and skills for the smart era; digital resilience and cybersecurity.

The theme for ITU Telecom World 2017 is Better Sooner Together.

By Samuel Dowuona

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