The maiden edition of the Africa Digital Forum (ADF) is set for 25 August 2021, at the Best Western Premier Hotel, Airport Residential, in Accra.
The Forum dubbed ‘The Digital Challenge: Africa’s Opportunity Under AfCFTA’ will bring together stakeholders in policy, regulation, industry, and academia to discuss the opportunities digitalization can present to the free trade area.
Additionally, the Forum organized by AIDEC will welcome dignitaries such as Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mr. Wamlele Keabetswe Mene, the Secretary-General of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Prof. Robert Ambrose Yennah, Board Chairman at AIDEC Consultancies International Limited, and Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor who will serve as Chairman for the Forum.
Prof. Ambrose Yennah disclosed that Accra was chosen as a destination for the Africa Digital Forum, because it serves as a home to the AfCFTA secretariat. He also raised concerns about the standards in applying digitalization to goods and services delivery.
“This gathering of regulators, academics and businesspeople; from Club 100 companies to budding Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and even Non-Governments (NGOs) will ensure that the most pertinent issues confronting all stakeholders would be discussed and solutions proffered.
“We are quite concerned about applying digitalization to ensure that goods and services meet the prerequisite standard, particularly for the anglophone and francophone markets, which represents the biggest on the continent as well as other markets.”Prof. Robert Ambrose Yennah
Prof. Ambrose Yennah further disclosed that the forum would serve as an enabling platform to address industry related matters with stakeholders.
“We have been able to pool together some of the best indigenous human resources in the area of ICT, who can provide solutions to big multinational corporations, as well as small businesses who are struggling to be part of the digital world.”Prof. Robert Ambrose Yennah
Additionally, the Forum will review regulatory policy direction that can cause economic turnaround. Also, the policies are expected to yield the desired results within the project timelines, so as to help advice on how Ghana and other countries under AfCFTA, can avoid potential policy pitfalls that might have an adverse impact on the economy.
Digitalisation in Ghana
The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communications is playing a major role in the development of a robust framework to support the digitisation of the economy in a way that captures and benefits every citizen.
Hon.Ursula Owusu-Ekuful disclosed that the Government of Ghana (GoG) is doing everything possible to put in place the right infrastructure to support its digitalisation agenda.
“As part of our Digital Ghana Agenda, we are embarking on an ambitious infrastructure development programme for the ICT Sector, with a national broadband infrastructure and total connectivity for the unserved and underserved at the heart of the agenda. No one will be left behind.
“We are also developing ICT Parks to promote entrepreneurship, attract private investment and enhance ICT research and development. Our aim is to encourage the transfer of knowledge and development of human resource capacity to meet the increasing digital demands of the country and boost youth employment.”Hon.Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Furthermore, the government in its quest to promote the digitalisation agenda has initiated and implemented some digital channels to boost economic growth, she disclosed.
“The introduction of paperless port operations, the integrated e-immigration system, e-procurement, e-parliament, e-justice, e-cabinet and smart workplaces among other initiatives.
“These initiatives are all at various stages of implementation and the development of an interoperability system to integrate government databases, all represent significant milestones in Ghana’s journey to digitisation.”Hon.Ursula Owusu-Ekuful