Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has called for strategic collaboration in the development of XR in Africa in order to harness its potential to the fullest.
XR is an emerging umbrella term for all the immersive technologies. The ones we already have today—augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) plus those that are still to be created.
Speaking at the 14TH ITU ACADEMIC CONFERENCE KALEIDOSCOPE in Accra on Wednesday, she said in recent times the world has witnessed major advancements in emerging technologies in the Virtual, Augmented and Mixed realities which are being deployed increasingly in business and the more developmental areas of science, health and education.
It’s therefore, incumbent on state actors, academia, local innovators and civil society to work together to “harness to the fullest and immense potential of XR for all citizens” she said especially, at a time research estimates the value of global digital economy to be $11.5 trillion, equivalent to 15.5 percent of global GDP and the pace of growth averages 2.5 times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years
“These developments argue well sustainable research and create the right tools and environment necessary to develop AI solutions for Africa’s agriculture, health, education, and financial sectors,” she said.
ITU Kaleidoscope Accra 2022
Themed: “Extended reality – How to boost quality of experience and interoperability”, Kaleidoscope 2022 is the fourteenth in a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences organized by ITU to bring together a wide range of views from universities, industry and research institutions.
The aim of the Kaleidoscope conferences is to identify emerging developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and, in particular, areas in need of international standards to aid the sustainable development of our interconnected world.
"Ghana now fertile ground for Africa’s data science research" she indicated.
Touching on Ghana’s digitalisation agenda, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said there has been growing activity in the local technology ecosystem with Government, Development partners, corporate bodies, Venture Funds, Innovation Hubs, and other ecosystem enablers committing resources and starting initiatives.
“The effectiveness of a country’s digital transformation agenda is undergirded by a clearly defined digital policy and strategy,” she said, adding that the Ministry is currently leading stakeholder engagement efforts on Ghana’s draft Digital Economy Policy for inputs to ensure inclusiveness and comprehensiveness.
The draft policy is hinged on five pillars which include Digital Government, Data and emerging technologies, Digital Skills, Universal Access and Connectivity and Digital Entrepreneurship. Under the Data and Emerging Technologies, there are policy directions which cover on Data governance, Emerging tech and regulation, Data classification, Data sharing and Open data.