Ghana has partnered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in hosting the 14th Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra.
Kaleidoscope 2022, on the theme “Augmented Reality – How to increase the quality of experience and interoperability”, is the 14th in a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences organized by the ITU.
Kaleidoscope conferences aim to identify emerging developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) and areas that need international standards to support the sustainable development of a connected world.
Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT and National Communications Authority.
Ms Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, said: “We value our membership of the ITU and are grateful for our re-election to the Council in October this year as well as the Radiocommunications Board (RRB).
“Congratulations to everyone who contributed in various ways to make this year’s conference a reality.” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stated in her remarks at the opening of the Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra.
She noted that the world has seen great progress in emerging technologies in virtual, augmented and mixed reality, with increasing use in business and in the developing fields of science, health and education.
“We all recognize and agree on the enormous potential impact of augmented reality on the global economy,” she said.
“A recent PwC report found that VR and AR have the potential to boost the global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030. However, immersive technologies remain a gap and not as widespread as they could be, even in advanced societies.”
Regarding participation in the digital economy, the Minister said that digital economies provide countries with unique opportunities to accelerate economic growth and connect citizens with services and jobs.
She said research estimates the value of the global digital economy at $11.5 trillion, equivalent to 15.5 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), and the growth rate is on average 2.5 times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years.
She said the effectiveness of the country’s digital transformation agenda is underpinned by a clearly defined digital policy and strategy; he added that to this end, the Ministry of Communications and Digitization is currently leading efforts to engage stakeholders in the draft Ghana Digital Economy Policy for inputs to ensure inclusiveness and comprehensiveness.
She said the policy proposal is based on five pillars, including digital governance, data and new technologies, digital skills, universal access and connectivity and digital entrepreneurship.
Dr. Collins Yeboah-Afari, Director General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT, said Ghana is the first West African country to host the ITU Kaleidoscope conference.
He noted that augmented reality data showed that more than half of Africa’s population does not have a fully digital experience; he added that this was the reason why the government through its various ministries and implementing agencies was pushing the digitization agenda in the country.
Mr. Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, underlined the importance of community metaverse – an online virtual reality platform that allows users to interact with each other through avatars.
At the event, Mr. Chaesub declared that Kyebi is the ITU Smart Sustainable City in Ghana.
A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies and other means to improve the quality of life.
Madam Akosua Asabea Annoh, Chief Executive of Abuakwa South town, after receiving the award, said the achievement was made possible by the efforts of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, the Town Assembly and their team from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
She said she supported the Smart Sustainable Cities project because she believed the work they were doing at the Assembly should be based on evidence-based decision-making, which formed the basis for their commitment to supporting ICT-based initiatives.