In a key note address delivered on his behalf at the opening of an international symposium, in Accra, yesterday, Dr Omane-Boamah noted that even though Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was a tool for development and growth, it could also serve as a threat to personal and national security.


He said individuals, organizations and national installations were vulnerable to attack and the number, type, identity and sophistication of attack continued to grow while identity theft had become a major challenge to internet users.


He said government was making massive investments and contributions to the growth of the communications sector, adding that apart from fighting cyber crime, government was considering various approaches, including domestic roaming in achieving universal access and affordable telecommunication services in rural communities.


Dr Omane-Boamah said government had demonstrated its preparedness to embrace new technologies by setting up a National Data Centre to facilitate the efficient delivery of government and private sector services.


The Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, in a statement, said NCA was one of the few regulators in Africa—with the support of the telecommunications service providers— to have successfully introduced the Billing Feedback System.


Mr Baffoe-Bonnie said the system had succeeded in satisfying subscribers, going by the drop in complaints on billing issues since its introduction, adding that for this achievement, NCA received an award from the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) at their recent awards ceremony in London.


Welcoming participants to the forum, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCA, Mr William Tevie, underscored the importance of the industry regulator, whose role, he said, was expanding as ICT continued to evolve.


Mr Tevie said as new technologies made it easier for consumers to use their ICT equipment for various activities which, hitherto, had been done on a number of equipment, it had become necessary for the regulator to be ahead of other stakeholders to be properly enabled to guide the industry.


More than 150 participants from nine African countries are taking part in the two-day symposium, which is being organized by the NCA, on the theme: ‘The Role of Regulations in ICT Development’.


The objective of the symposium is to foster partnerships and enable the exchange ideas on best practices that will guide the role of regulators in the various participating countries in promoting the growth of the communications industry.


Topics being discussed at the symposium include ‘Measures to improve rural communication; ‘The expected impact of future telecommunications technologies on industries in Africa; and ‘Digital financial services’


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)