The Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has warned all government agencies and MMDAs to immediately migrate onto the official government email domain before the end of the year. She was speaking at a National Information and Technology Agency (NITA) breakfast meeting in Accra. The minister cautioned that government will not accept emails from agencies and MMDAs that will not comply with the directive.
She explained that Ghana is on a fast lane to becoming a fully smart country and so it is not safe for government communication to be carried through platforms that are not secured because of the high security risks. She warned, “By the end of this year, we don’t want to receive any official communication from any ministry, department or agency on any email platform either than .gov.gh. That information is not your personal information, it is official communication, and it is governments work so that must be on the government platform. ”
She however encouraged all the agencies and MMDA’s to feel free to consult NITA for all their technological needs because, according to her government needs to be interconnected and NITA has the necessary expertise to deliver the best results at a reduced cost. She pleaded, “ We need linked up interoperable systems across government so please we have just sent letters to all ministries departments and agencies that before you procure any IT solution, Application, software, please talk to NITA because there may be something already existing which you may utilize at less cost to deliver the solution that your want.”
The minister also bemoaned the quality and conditions of service of IT personnel in the public sector and challenged ministries, agencies and MMDAs to have an internal training for them and also endeavor to pay them well. That she believes will help actualize the dream of going digital. “What can we do to attract and maintain qualified IT personnel within the public service to help government in its digitalization drive? These are all issues we would want you to discuss and come out with solutions. I think we need to set up a class within the public sector and remunerate them” Meanwhile the Acting Director General of NITA Ghana, Jeffrey Konadu Addo said his outfit is rebranding to attend to all the technological needs of ministries, agencies and MMDAs.
He said the agency will provide a common secured platform for all government communication. He further suggested that the agency be made an authority to consolidate all IT personnel and deploy them to government agencies as and when the need be. Participants from various ministries, agencies and MMDAs at the meeting expressed satisfaction but stressed the need for collaboration amongst stakeholders.