Nationwide E-Government Infrastructure initiated for the Country

The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP) says government, through the Ministry has initiated a nationwide E-Government infrastructure for the country.

The proposed infrastructure being undertaken by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) would extend the national backbone infrastructure to all districts. It will also provide a national Data Centre and a secondary Data Centre for disaster recovery,

and eventually connect all public institutions, MDAs, and MMDAs to a single shared communication and computing infrastructure. The proposed solution will encourage local communications network providers to participate in the E-Government network.

The Minister was speaking at the Ghana Internet Governance forum 2021 held at Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) on July 16. It was organised by the Ghana Domain Name Registry, the Agency responsible for .GH domain name operations, and the Internet Society Ghana Chapter.

“I believe that the Internet has gone a long way toward making our lives as Ghanaians easier and better. E-government services such as E-Immigration, E-Passports, E-Procurement, and E-Judiciary are examples of this” she added.

Topics treated include, who should regulate content generated online, Biometric and Digital Identification System in Ghana, Data security, and Ghana's online business and economic venture/culture.

According to the Minister, the Ministry is also working to implement the national roaming and interoperability for all mobile telecommunications companies, by the end of 2021. This means that in locations where a network provider has no coverage,

the subscriber’s sim will automatically port to the available network for the duration of their stay in the no coverage area.

Ghana, as an ITU member, joined the global information society movement by holding its first local IGF in 2006, which was followed by others in 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2019.

“Over the last three years, the government has been repositioning itself to resurrect the Ghana IGF debate by bringing together all main players, including Civil society, Businesses, Internet Service providers, Academia, and the general public” she added.

Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful revealed that to promote the development of the Internet space in Ghana, the government has appointed the GDNR as the manager of the .GH domain name registry.

 “The GDNR is currently going through a transitional period before taking on full duty as the manager of the Ghana Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)”.

She expressed appreciation to the GDNR for organizing this event for the previous three years. “We are looking forward to see the GDNR become a fully operational Registry this year. There is ongoing work in finalising the transfer of the Registry Operations from the current operator to the GDNR, she added.

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Hon. Sam George urged telecommunication companies to subsidise internet cost to enhance the use of education technology amid the covid-19 pandemic.

“Ultimately, what we want to see is cheaper internet that makes it more accessible for everyone to be able to go online because when you look at the economy of scale, more people are able to go online”, he added.

The Deputy Director of Operations for the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Prince Sefa advised the youth to make good use of the internet.

The Ghana Internet Forum is organised every year for multi stakeholder policy dialogue to discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet Governance. The conversation focused on making the internet and communication platforms more accessible, free, secure, and open to all. Organisers were committed to convince stakeholders across Ghana to secure the cyber space, put law enforcement and human rights defenders around the same table.

The three-day event brought together partners from government, academia, telecommunications, civil society and local authorities to deliberate on the improvement of the internet landscape for all.