Ghana joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on Thursday May 17, 2012. The day marked the 147th anniversary of signatories to the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 which, led to the creation of the International Telecommunication Union. This year’s WTISD took place at the Accra International Conference Centre under the theme “Women and Girls in ICT”. WTISD aims primarily at helping to raise awareness on possibilities and the use of the Internet and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to bridge the digital divide. Through the years, it has aroused social consciousness on the benefits of ICT to economies and society as a whole. This year’s event was multi-faceted; beginning with a three day training programme tailored specifically for market women. These women who were drawn from markets across the country were tutored on e-commence and given a first-hand feel of computers. The Ministry of Communications /NCA collaboration also had a first ever “Girls in ICT Day” on Thursday, April 26th, 2012 at the Accra International Conference Centre. The day brought under one roof successful women in ICT, school children between the ages of 8 and 18 and their teachers to brainstorm on career development in ICT. They also toured offices of ICT companies and government agencies to better appreciate opportunities the ICT sector holds. A communiqué after the event asked for the entrenchment of, a “Girls in ICT Day” in the calendar of things of the WTISD to be celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year.
This year’s message of the Secretary General of the ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure was read by Mr. Paarock VanPercy, Director General of the National Communications Authority. In the message, Dr. Toure hoped that the theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2012 “will influence our work not only on the Day but throughout the year and in the future as well”. He entreated participants to work to optimize the power of ICT to support sustainable development by gathering, disseminating and analyzing information to accelerate action to protect natural resources, combat climate change and help vulnerable people including women and girls” During a flag raising ceremony held to climax the event, Deputy Minister for Communications, E. Attuquaye Armah (MP) raised the Ghana flag while Mr. VanPercy raised that of the ITU. The U.N. flag was raised by Madam Cynthia Prah, of the Ghana UN Information Centre.