The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), an agency under the Ministry of Communications mandated to facilitate the spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the unserved and underserved communities in Ghana, participated in the just ended 2019 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
This year’s event built on the theme “Information and Communication Technologies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, which took place from April 8 to 13, marked the 10th anniversary since the establishment of WSIS Forum.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Abraham Kofi Asante, assisted by Akwasi Owusu Sarpong, Research Manager participated in the Forum.
The 5-day event, witnessed official engagement with principal ITU actors on the sector’s strategic priority projects, participation in thematic ICT workshops and substantial contributions made on the floor of ITU High-Level Meetings by the Administrator, Kofi Asante.
On the issue of official engagements, Mr. Asante assisted by Eric Kofi Nkansah, Managing Director of Accra Digital Centre (ADC) engaged with Alexander Ntoko, Chief, Operations & Planning Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau on the ITU’s Smart Incubator Programme, launched in Durban, South Africa last year at the Telecom Worlds event. This engagement saw to the realization of the acceptance of Ghana’s initiative by ITU in championing the Smart Incubator programme within the sub-region. Mr. Nkoto further gave an indication on future signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITU and ADC on the Smart Incubator Programme.
Again, the Ghanaian delegation led by Mr. Kofi Asante, engaged with Doreen Bagdon-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau on the ITU’s priority projects on Digital Inclusion and Innovation. Overall, how GIFEC stands to benefit from championing key priority projects of ITU within Ghana and the sub-region formed the kernel of the discussion.
Lastly, the team participated in workshops including Emerging Technologies for Digital Transformation – how to maximize benefits for societies and economies, Tech Start-Ups for SDGs, Multi-stakeholder’s Approach in Combating Hoax and Disinformation in the Digital Age, Commonwealth Coordination on ICTs for SDGs and the WSIS Action Line Facilitation Meetings.
In all these workshops, most especially during the High Level WSIS Action Line Facilitation Meetings, Mr. Kofi Asante made some substantial contributions on the floor of these meetings. Issues about gap between policies that people make at WSIS and their implementation and concern about some countries being more challenged than others as far as technological advancement and implementation of WSIS Action Lines is concerned were some of the key questions brought to the fore.