The Minister for Communications and Digitalization (MoDC), Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stated that “It was time for African leaders and stakeholders to begin a conversation on Data Mining and Data governance. A key to ensuring a protected and sustainable digital economy in Africa”.
According to Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, technology is constantly evolving with businesses and markets leveraging on digital platforms, to increase profits.
Therefore, it is important that policies were developed to guide the Digital Transformational Agenda, under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
The Minister made the comments at a panel discussion on the topic, “Building a Sustainable Digital Economy as a Driver and Enabler for Successful Implementation of AFCFTA”, at the 3rd U.S-Ghana Business Forum, which was held on the 16th of June 2022, in Accra.
The forum was held under the theme: “Leveraging the AfCFTA to Promote U.S Africa Commercial Partnerships”. The objective was to strengthen trade and investment, as well as promote business.
Further, it was hoped that this event would deepen diplomatic and commercial partnerships between Ghana and the United States for the successful implementation of AfCFTA.
It was in line with AfCFTA’s Secretariat objective to engage the private sector, the African diaspora, and other strategic partners for the effective implementation of the Agreement.
She added that the government is on course to make sure the country’s telecommunications system is effective in order to enhance easy and reliable internet connectivity as well as facilitate the movement of goods and services.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful also used the occasion to call on all stakeholders to increase investment in digital economy infrastructure since the AFCFTA presents an opportunity to alleviate poverty in Africa.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Africa Affairs at U.S State Department, Hon. Akunna E. Cook stressed the need for Ghana and US to strengthen the business relationship by creating an enabling environment for the private sector to participate fully in the AFCFTA program.
She stated that governments should make deliberate commitments to protect intellectual property rights. Noting that there were over 170 million Africans living outside the continent, the opportunity should be provided to stay connected irrespective of their geographical locations.
The Vice President and Executive Director for Emerging Markets, Mr Albert Anoubon Mamo also emphasized the need for all countries to have a legal framework for the digital economy that will ensure that SMEs benefited from data collection and usage.
He stressed that the private sector would partner with governments to build robust internet connectivity to enhance sustainable economic development.