The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says the government is committed to ensuring digital inclusiveness for older persons and promoting healthy ageing.
In this regard, she said the government has joined hands with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to contribute, and fashion out initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said this in a speech read on her behalf by Ama Pomaa Boateng, the Deputy Minister of MoCD when the country marked the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Accra on Tuesday.
Held on the theme “Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Ageing,” the event was organised by the National Communications Authority (NCA), MoCD and the ITU.
Celebrated annually to mark the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865, this year’s WTISD was to allow stakeholders raise awareness about the important role of telecommunications in supporting people stay healthy, connected and independent, physically, emotionally and financially.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful indicated that every country was experiencing growth in the number and preference of older people in the population as Ghana in 2021 had an average of 7 per cent of people aged 65 and beyond using Google, Facebook, Betway, Ghanaweb and Wikipedia.
The sector minister said the statistics showed that the country’s older generation required ICT solutions to learn, keep in touch socially, for healthy and financial reasons.
For that reason, she said the government needed a robust framework to support the agenda, and as such embarked on “an ambitious infrastructure development programme for the Information Communication Technology sector.”
The ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, in a statement read on his behalf said equitable access to digital technologies was not just a moral responsibility, but an essential task for global prosperity and sustainability.
“This includes the more than one billion people aged 60 years or older at the centre of this year’s celebrations of the WTISD,” he added.
He stated that this group of the population had contributed to the social and economic achievements of our time for which reason they deserved our care and help.
Mr Joe Anokye, Director-General, NCA for his part said there was a vast potential to develop and advance interventions such as investment in intelligent devices targeting the growing population of the country as older persons.
“This will improve autonomous living, mobility in older persons and a happy healthier ageing,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Anokye stressed that the NCA through the ITU’s recommendations continued to innovate and find ways of creating conducive environment for technology to thrive.
He, therefore, pledged the Authority’s continuous support for technological inventions and improvements that would improve the country’s socio-economic development.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR