Ghana hosts 14th Kaleidoscope Conference

Ghana hosts 14th Kaleidoscope Conference

Ghana partnered the International Communications Union (ITU) to host the 14th Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra.

The 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 ITU.

The Kaleidoscope conferences aim to identify emerging developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and areas that need international standards to aid the sustainable development of the interconnected world.

Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT, and the National Communications Authority.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications and Digitisation, said “We cherish our membership of the ITU and are grateful for our re-election to the Council in October this year and also to the Radio Regulations Board (RRB).

“I congratulate everyone who contributed in different ways to make this year’s conference a reality.” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said in her remarks at the opening of the Kaleidoscope Conference in Accra.

She noted that the world has seen great advances in emerging technologies in the virtual, augmented and mixed realities, with increasing use in business and the more developing areas of science, health and education.

“We are all aware and agree on the enormous potential impact of Extended Reality on the global economy,” she said.

“A recent PwC report found that VR and AR have prospects to boost the global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030. However, exciting technologies remain niche and are not as widespread as they are even in advanced societies can’t be.”

Regarding participation in the digital economy, the Minister said that digital economies offer unique opportunities for countries to accelerate economic growth and connect citizens with services and jobs.

She said research estimates the value of 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 a country’s digital transformation agenda is supported by a clearly defined digital policy and strategy; adding that to this end, the Ministry of Communications and Digitization is currently leading stakeholder engagement efforts on Ghana’s draft Digital Economy Policy for input to ensure inclusiveness and comprehensiveness.

She said the draft policy was modeled on five pillars, including digital governance, data and emerging technologies, digital skills, universal access and connectivity and digital entrepreneurship.

Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari, Director General, Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT, Ghana-India, said Ghana is the first West African country to host the ITU Kaleidoscope Conference.

He noted that data on Extended Reality shows that more than half of Africa’s population does not enjoy a fully digital experience; adding 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 Telecommunications Standardization Bureau, underlined the importance of metaverse community – an online virtual reality platform that allows users to communicate 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 quality of life.

Mrs. Akosua Asabea Annoh, the Municipal Chief Executive of Abuakwa South, received the award and said the achievement was made possible by the efforts of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, the Municipal Assembly and their team from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

She said that she supported the Smart Sustainable Cities Project because she believed that the work they do at the Assembly should be based on evidence-based decision-making, which formed the basis for their commitment to support ICT-driven initiatives.

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