The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, in collaboration with the School of Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Ghana’s College of Education, has officially inaugurated the 75th Annual New Year School Conference.
This year’s theme, “Nurturing Resilience: Adopting Technology and Embracing Humanism for Sustainable Development,” aims to foster an environment conducive to the rapid growth of digital entrepreneurship in Ghana.
During her keynote speech at the event, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP), the Sector Minister, announced the creation of the Digital Youth Village (DYV).
This initiative is intended to bolster digital entrepreneurship among the nation’s youth.
The DYV is poised to be a center of excellence for learning, innovation, and creativity, featuring state-of-the-art infrastructure and technologies.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful highlighted the University’s proactive adaptation to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), noting its pioneering efforts in campus radio, fiber optic connectivity, and responsible communications tower installation.
She emphasized the necessity of integrating ICTs into distance learning, especially in the post-COVID era of blended education.
“ICTs are transforming various sectors, creating more robust, developed, and inclusive economies. Recognizing ICT as a pivotal tool for socio-economic development, the Ghanaian government has launched extensive reforms in education and ICT sectors as part of its transformative agenda,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful remarked.
She also noted the government’s efforts in removing financial barriers to education, citing the Free Senior High School programme’s success in increasing student enrollment from 800,000 to 1.2 million.
The Minister elaborated on multiple projects aimed at formalizing the economy through technology, focusing on policy, regulation, infrastructure development, capacity building, data management, e-governance, the Ghana.gov digital platform, digital addressing system, e-passport initiatives, and cyber security.
She mentioned the “Smart Community Project,” which aims to provide affordable or free Wi-Fi services to underserved communities, and a Rural Telephony Project, which seeks to expand mobile and data services nationwide by year-end.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stressed that the conference’s theme aligns with the government’s vision of enhancing resilience, adopting technology, and achieving key Sustainable Development Goals.
She underscored the importance of investing in research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and supporting educational institutions in integrating digital tools across all academic levels and programs.
Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, Provost of the College of Education at the University of Ghana, remarked that the DYV will set national standards and foster business and competition.
He emphasized its role in nurturing digital entrepreneurial talent with a global perspective, facilitating access to markets, capital, talent, and resources essential for success in Ghana’s digital economy.
Prof. Codjoe outlined the conference’s objectives, which include enhancing public participation in governance, adopting technology and humanism for sustainable development, leveraging the digital economy for growth, and discussing strategies for overcoming challenges in nurturing resilience.
He concluded by stating that the DYV concept aligns with the Vice Chancellor’s digitalization agenda for the University.