AFCFTA to boost entrepreneurial drive in Africa-Minister for Communication affirms

Communications Minister; Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful


The Minister of Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has noted that Digital solutions designed by Africa and used by Africa is the major way of enhancing a single digital market.

This, according to her will also enable the African continent to reap benefits in cross-border trade and payment systems.

The Minister also noted that such digital solutions will also help achieve an integrated citizen digital identification goal, to enable African countries to deliver equitable social services to people across socio-economic boundaries.

The Minister made these comments in a speech read on her behalf by her Deputy, Ama Pomaa Boateng during the Africa Digital Forum in Accra.

The forum which was under the theme “The Digital Challenge, Africa’s Opportunity under AfCFTA”, gave the ministry the opportunity to challenge African countries to harness digital technologies like the IoT (Internet of Things) to efficiently coordinate operational processes.

Hon Pomaa Boateng, on behalf of her boss noted that with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with over 1.2billion population, the opportunity to provide technology solutions to enterprises and individuals would boost entrepreneurial drive on the continent.

“Africa has the opportunity to harness digital technologies to power socio-economic development on the continent. Driving seamless digital port operations, for example, will deliver accountable, transparent and efficient customs services and help make the AfCFTA successful,” she pointed.

According to her, the Ministry is already championing governments Digital Agenda, prioritizing 5 thematic areas to enable them track the progress in the next 4years.

“These are: Digital infrastructure & connectivity, Digital skills, research and innovation, Digitalisation of postal and courier services, Data protection, privacy and trust for digital networks and services, Legal, regulatory and policy framework”, she noted.

“As a Ministry responsible for driving the Digital Agenda, the whole country is looking up to our sector to bring the needed benefits of the digitalisation efforts to enhance public service delivery and usher efficiency in the entire public service arena”, she intimated.

“This will project the country in terms of ease of doing business, better access and reduction in cost of acquiring these services”, she emphasized.

The Minister also disclosed that her ministry has implemented technological systems and platforms including the National Identification Syrtem, (Ghana Card), digitization of records, digital payment platforms, mobile money interoperability and cyber security amongst others.

According to her, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement presents both a great challenge and an opportunity for all African Countries, from a digital standpoint, calling for a systematic creation of opportunities for homegrown start-ups in order to create value and wealth for member countries.

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