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Learn from Ghana, CTO tells Nigeria, other Africans at ITU

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Union (CTO), Nigeria’s Shola Taylor, has called on agencies regulating telecoms and allied sectors in Africa to learn from the Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) in the areas of regulatory flexibilities and collaboration between the public and private sector organizations.

Business Hilights recalls that Ghana, in the latest global ranking, was ahead of Nigeria in technology readiness by coming 111th leaving Nigeria at 112.

Besides, it has greater coverage in 4G access when compared to Nigeria’s dotted and limited services.

In his remarks at the Ghana’s Day at the ongoing ITU Telecom World Conference in Busan, South Korea, the former senior staff of defunct NITEL averred that synegising with the private sector remains the kind of collaboration African countries need to drive their ICT agendas.

According to him, “By the very nature of ICT, every little disruptive technology by some significant tech startup can be revolutionary so it is important for governments to work in close collaboration with private sector in ICTs.”

Taylor formally urged other African government to emulate Ghana’s example and not isolate state institutions from private institutions at such events and in their march towards national development through ICT.

He argued that time has come for African governments to start pursuing vigorous local content policies that seek to place ICT and telecoms in the hands of local people who would be committed to develop products and services relevant to Africans on the back of modern technology.

He said an example was Google Map, which mainly seeks to direct tourists to tourist destination as compared to the Subah Ghana Advent GIS primarily designed to help local government authorities mobilize revenue more effectively, with the tourists guide feature being a side benefit.

“There is no better way to undertake this digital transformation journey without significantly involving local tech business in the mainstream ICT and telecoms industries and not on the peripheries,” he said.

“Besides, Ghana’s example with empowering locals to own media houses has yielded result for the country in terms of how media houses collate election results professionally and announce them ahead of the official result from the electoral commission.

“I believe that helps to safeguard Ghana’s democracy unlike in other countries where such local empowerment does not exist and for that a whole election results had be cancelled over disputes.

Continuing, the CTO boss admonished African countries to embrace the drive towards smart cities, Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, virtualization, 5G and the entire spectrum of technologies that form the bedrock of digital transformation now trending world over.