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Ghana News

New Project Aims to Promote Multilingual Internet Space in Africa

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A new project called “Universal Acceptance (UA)” has been launched in Ghana, aimed at promoting a multilingual internet space in Africa. The project focuses on making domain names and unique addresses, such as emails, accessible in local languages and scripts, regardless of character length or script. It is being undertaken by the Coalition for Digital Africa in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU).

The three-year project will train higher education institutions in the region to configure and make their websites, applications, and email systems UA-ready, while incorporating the concepts into their curricula. This is a critical move for academic work, as it will give users access to vital content from the internet for research and learning.

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Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra, Pierre Dandjinou, the Vice-President of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Africa, emphasized the importance of strengthening the accessibility of the internet across the continent. He said, “This project will break down tech boundaries that have hindered Africa from fully utilizing the internet to improve its economies and people’s livelihoods.”

Professor Olusola Oyewole, the General Secretary of AAU, explained that the project would make email systems and other communications platforms of the continent’s higher education institutions ready for UA and Email Address Internationalisation (EAI). He added, “This is aligned to the association’s strategic priority of strengthening the institutional capacities of its stakeholders to be able to embrace and implement the required changes to their email systems and digital platforms so that Africa is part of an inclusive internet.”

Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, commended the stakeholders for recognising the need to build the capacities of higher education institutions to upgrade their websites and email systems so that the information they carry can be accessed in various languages.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, lauded the initiative, saying it was a major step towards creating an inclusive digital environment in Africa. She expressed the government’s commitment to support the project and ensure that all policies and strategies aligned with its goals were carried out to make the internet reachable and inclusive for all, regardless of language or location.

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