The Executive Director for Inclusive Tech Group (ITG), Dr. Millicent Agangiba, has called on the government to develop a roadmap to boost digital inclusion in Ghana.
Dr. Agangiba advocated for capacity building programs and affordable information technologies to support marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum held at Holiday Inn, Dr. Agangiba explained that: “As Ghana thrives to become a digital economy, it is important to ensure that everybody is included, especially the marginalized. There should be a clear roadmap from the government in building the digital capacities of marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities, women, among others.”
She added that “in providing access to digital tools and technologies, a conscious effort is required from the government to ensure ICTs and their related tools are affordable.”
In an interview with Ernestina Gaisie, a photographer with hearing impairment, she said: “My major focus is the support for schools because most of the schools for the deaf are less equipped with technological tools coupled with low skills. We realize that persons with disabilities have the interest and skills, but the tools are not available.”
She proposed that, “students can be trained on mobile phones, laptops, etc, therefore the government should assist us.”
The forum ignited discussions on “enforcing policies and regulations to support digital rights of the marginalized, advancing digital education and advocacy for the vulnerable, and how Ghana’s data protection law and its implementation can protect the privacy of the marginalized. Challenges relating to connectivity and access to information in Ghana such as the high cost of data, lack of stable electricity and the high cost of ICTs. The role of the media in promoting a digitally inclusive and rights-respecting Ghana was also discussed.”
“As the nation embarks on a digitalization drive, it is important to ensure that no one is left behind. And to also ensure that the rights of the citizens regarding their personal data are protected. Even though Ghana has passed a data protection law, there are some gaps that need to be addressed,” Dr Agangiba stated.
The forum hosted civil society organisations, policymakers, legal/policy experts, academia, advocates, tech enthusiasts, industry representatives and active citizens, among others. DRIF was sponsored by Paradigm Initiative in collaboration with Inclusive Tech Group and Internet Society Ghana Chapter.