NITA Moves To Regulate ICT Sector In Ghana
Minister Of Communications And Digitalisation Mocd Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation (MOCD), Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful
The National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in collaboration with the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH), has organized the NITA ICT Stakeholders’ Forum under the theme: “Regulating ICT Businesses and Practitioners in Ghana: Opportunities and Challenges.”
The NITA ICT Stakeholders’ Forum was aimed at bringing Information Technology (IT) managers under one umbrella to brainstorm and share best practices in the regulation of IT professionals and businesses in the country.
The stakeholders were also sensitized on the benefits of NITA’s registration process and mitigate challenges and that may be faced during the process.
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation (MOCD), Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, speaking at the event noted that the ICT sector is playing a major role in the socioeconomic development of the country.
Stressing that, since the adoption and implementation of the Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy in 2003 serving as a framework to guide all sectors of the economy, Ghana has witnessed the impact of ICTs in health, education, agriculture, tourism, finance, information, communication, security, and general service delivery.
According to her, in 2008, Government being forward-looking, enacted the National Information Technology Agency Act, (Act, 771) to establish NITA to regulate the ICT sector.
This was to ensure that the ecosystem was governed by globally acceptable standards and professionals with the requisite certification and capacity to man the ICT systems deployed within the public and private sector institutions.
“In 2017, the Ministry was mandated to lead and champion the Government’s Digital Agenda through the implementation of digital initiatives to bring services closer to the people.
We can all attest to the embossment of digital addresses at our houses and business, the implementation of an interoperability platform that has enabled the digital financing sector and roped in more banks using the mobile money platform, the issuance of Ghana card and its integration with SSNIT, Bank Accounts, SIMs, and other critical services where verification and authentication are required, the Ghana.
Gov platform for access and payment of public services, and others
The private sector I must say has also stepped up to the plate and effectively matched these developments with innovation and technology in their service delivery as well and all these are fast-tracking our development,” she explained.
The ICT sector, therefore, requires a strong regulator to ensure that businesses thrive and consumers receive value for money on products, solutions, and services rendered by the ICT industry.
According to the Sector, the Ministry realized there was a gap in the implementation of NITA’s regulatory mandate, and directed the leadership of NITA to refocus its attention on its core mandate of regulating the ICT space whilst the operational aspect of its activities is handled by a technical partner.
Additionally, the Ministry is putting in place measures to build NITA’s capacity and provide them with the needed resources and executive support to ensure it provides the much-needed cutting-edge and international best practice regulatory services to the sector.
“The focus is for NITA not to be a profit-oriented or heavy-handed regulator but one that enables, promotes, and ensures a vibrant and competitive ICT ecosystem with opportunities for businesses and citizens.
NITA as a regulator will focus on:
Protection of consumer interest within the ecosystem
Monitoring compliance with contractual obligation to the government, users, and other legal and regulatory requirement
Establishing technical, safety, and quality standards and monitoring their compliance
The regulation will cut across the ICT industry from service providers, practitioners, ICT infrastructure and its operations, eCommerce, public sector ICT, and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
This means NITA will be working on accreditation of service providers and practitioners alike and they will be doing this in close collaboration with agencies like the Cyber Security Authority, Data Protection Commission, National Communications Authority, and other government regulators,” she highlighted.
Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful also hinted that they will build regulatory systems and platforms to make regulations more efficient, transparent, and practical and as much as possible, eliminate multiple regulatory burdens on businesses and practitioners.