Ghana to host 2018 Africa Regional Development Forum
Ghana will host the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Africa Regional Development Forum (RDF) 2018 to discuss the way forward in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) space for the region from July 18 to 20.
The 2018 RDF is being organised on the theme: “ICT4SDGs: Towards the implementation of World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 outcomes,” to share best practices and past experiences in the implementation of the ITU Africa Regional initiatives 2014-2018, associated ITU programmes, initiatives, partnerships and projects.
Announcing the details, Mr Andrew Rugege, the ITU Regional Director for Africa, said the forum would be used to discuss ITU Africa Regional initiatives for 2018-2022 in relation to Buenos Aires Action Plan (BaAP) and ITU strategic plan and to seek partnership support for their implementation.
Mr Rugege said the ITU strategic plan that would be the focal point of discussion included: “building digital economies and fostering innovation in Africa, promotion of emerging broadband technologies, building trust and security in the use of telecommunications/information and communication.”
The others were identified as “strengthening human and institutional capacity building, management and monitoring of the radio frequency spectrum and transition to digital broadcasting.”
Mr Rugege noted that the forum would be looking at ways of implementing the strategies collectively with all stakeholders, which were the academia, governments, policy makers, private sector and interested entity.
He said there was the need for African countries to transition from analogue to digital broadcast as it came with enormous benefits, adding that, by transition, we save a sizeable amount of money.
He said although the continent was trying its best to find feet in the global ICT space, it was confronted with a number which inhibited the achievement of the African ICT goal.
Mr Rugege said for the continent to achieve its ICT goals, there was the need to bring down the cost of doing business in Africa through the introduction of subsidies and apply the concept of cost sharing.
He added that the ITU would be launching “Africa Girls coding for change” to compliment effort of developing a community of young people who can aid development through ICT.
He urged policy makers in member African countries to consider adding coding into the educational curriculum since it had a great potential to propel development for the continent as a whole.
On his part, Mr George Andah, the Deputy Minister for Communications, said it was an undeniable fact that ICT played a critical role in the development of the country and therefore it was significant opportunity for the country to host the forum.
He said the policies of the Ministry focused on digital agenda, implementation of the Ghana card and the interoperability, which were the three keys things that needed to successfully implement the digital system.
He indicated that the above would aid in creating a good digital economy for the country, adding that “we think that we are on the right path” in achieving the continental agenda of creating a digital economy”.