Ghana officially launches Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Board to support the National Assessment of Internet Universality Indicators
The Board was launched by the UNESCO Accra office and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication of the Ministry of Communications.
The UNESCO’s framework of IUIs was developed through a global, open, inclusive and multistakeholder process between 2017 and 2018 and was presented to UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in November 2018. It is a unique and powerful resource which aims to help governments policy and regulatory authorities, as well as other stakeholders, develop a clear and substantive understanding of their national Internet environment and policies; assess that environment and policies concerning the implementation of UNESCO’s Rights, Openness, Accessibility to all, and Multistakeholder (ROAM) principles; and formulate policy recommendations and practical initiatives that will enable them to meet their goals and align with the UNESCO principles as the Internet evolves.
The launch of the Board, held online, gathered leading experts and stakeholders from various sectors including governments, academic, technical community, private sector, media organizations, civil society, individual Internet users, UN agencies and intergovernmental groups participate as MAB members*.
The Representative of UNESCO to Ghana, Mr. Abdourahamane DIALLO thanked the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Communications and its agency Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) for organizing such an event.
“Over a year ago, the Ministry endorsed the conduct of this exercise in the country, little did we know that the Internet which has become an integral part of our lives will be even more indispensable in the current circumstances”, he mentioned.
He reiterated the importance of MAB in the implementation of the IUIs in Ghana and assured members of UNESCO’s commitment to support the team, adding: ”your role is to guide the process with your varied expert recommendations to help reinforce the quality, legitimacy and transparency of this national assessment exercise”.
On his part, the Administrator of GIFEC, Chairperson of the National Information For all Programme (IFAP) Committee in Ghana and MAB Chair, Mr. Abraham Kofi Asante outlined the role of the MAB while stating the gaps in Ghana’s digital environment and the urgent need to conduct the assessment to address some of the inherent Internet-related challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her remarks, Madam Dorothy Gordon, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council of IFAP praised Ghana for engaging in this exercise. In her estimation, some countries have greatly been exposed, within these past few months, to the realities of the pandemic. This voluntary national assessment presents Ghana an opportunity to reflect and fashion out policies to help shed light on shortcomings and achievements of the national Internet and improve Ghana’s overall digital environment to foster innovation and digital transformation for all the stakeholders.
Hence, she expressed satisfaction about the diverse nature of the MAB and urged members to actively support researchers by providing information from their respective organizations when need be.
For more information about the framework, please visit the project website: https://en.unesco.org/internet-universality-indicators
List of the members of MAB Ghana: Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication, Ghana Internet Service Providers Association, Internet Society Ghana Chapter, Ghana Statistical Service, National Communications Authority, Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, Ghana Journalist Association, Ministry of Education, National Cyber Security Secretariat, University of Ghana, Penplusbyte, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives, Ministry of Information, iFAP, UNESCO