A two day freedom online conference 2020 has been held in Accra to promote global inclusion in the digital divide under the theme: “Achieving A Common Vision For Internet Freedom.”
The Minister of Communication Hon. Ursela Owusu-Akuful in her keynote address explained that the country was the third in Africa to host the event, and the first in west africa.
“I am glad that the freedomonlin policy has opened up its doors to all of us”. The right of the citizens was paramount in as much the government was pushing for digital freedom.
According to the Minister , the government was improving in infrutrture in the digital sector, as well as working to improve the rights of the citizens in its usage.
She added that last year Ghana passed the right to Information Bill into law in order to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.
The Minister made known that in the international front Ghana was the first to rectify the right of the child, and that the country was as well part of several human rights treaties, and conventions. stating that the role of the human beings who will be using the technology was crucial in the dialogue.
This to her, access to internet for all was key, and that the average internet user now spend six hours on it, and the global user had now increased remarkably, fortunately there billion still without access, and most of them were from Africa.
“More than have of the population leaving in unconnected areas is acute,” and that some “3.6 billion people are without access”. And about 80 percent in the developing world was still without access, so the conference would promote global inclusion in the digital divide.
She, however, noted that vulnerabilities associated to cyber crime were increasing daily. And that cyber security threats and fears were also part of the inaccessibility. And that cyber crime had the potential of increasing inaccessibility.
“In my opinion internet shutdown is not an option; it must be used in accordance with the law”. It important that people enjoy these freedoms with responsibility”, She noted.
The Hon. Minister of Communication observed that access and cost of internet usage was crucial, and should be considered in the tow day conference dialogue. She noted that fake news, cyber bullying, criminal abuse of children were greater threats, and there was the need to craft appropriate guidelines to regulate the evils.
“We cannot do without technology, I believe that it will present Africa with the unique opportunity to leap frog develpment. It should be available and affordable to people leaving in unreserved areas.” She said.
Report by Bernard k DADZIE