The Ghana Domain Name Registry Thursday had its first ever Governing Board with the task to build strong and affordable domain names for the country.
The Ghana Domain Name Registry (GDNR) was established under the Electronic Transactions Act of 2008 and mandated to, among other things, administer and manage the country's domain (internet) name space, comply with international best practice in the administration of the ".gh domain name space license" and regulate the respective registries.
The nine-member Board is chaired by Dr Nana Yaa Tina Owusu-Prempeh, with members including Nana Kofi Asafu-Aidoo, the Executive Director of GDNR; Mr Andrew Ayitey Okoe Bulley, Minister's nominee, and Dr Francis Boateng Agyenim, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The rest are ACP Vance Baba Gariba, representative of the Ministry of the Interior, Mr Lucas Yikimpa Chigabatia, rep of Public Universities, Professor Daniel Obeng-Ofori, rep of Private Universities, and Mr Isaac Teye Ayiku and Madam Estelle Akofio-Sowah, both reps of Industry Forum.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, who swore in the Board members, said the appointment of a governing board for the Registry was a critical milestone in Ghana's domain name history.
She said having a country-specific domain was not only a national pride but also a critical resource for both individuals and businesses in building customer confidence, trust and customer predictability.
The Minister said a country-specific domain would strongly and positively impact the development of internet in the country, adding that it would also enhance cybersecurity and make the ownership, usage and control of the country's own data possible.
"It is, therefore, long overdue for individuals and corporate bodies in Ghana to use the .gh domain and reap the benefits associated with country specific domains, including enhanced visibility via the internet through the various search engines," she said.
It became operational in 2017 but had been without a functioning governing board since then.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the Registry was a crucial resource for the country because the transfer of individuals onto digital platforms formed part of the digital economy.
"I must emphasise that the work of the GDNR in handling .gh domain names is vital to Government's digitalisation agenda since the local domain names form a core part of the local internet," she said.
"This will allow individuals, government and commercial institutions to take full advantage of the numerous benefits the internet brings, accelerating the growth of the economy generally."
The Minister, therefore, urged members of the Board to use their diverse backgrounds, skills and expertise to carefully navigate the re-delegation process to ensure its successful completion.
She tasked them to ensure the completion of the re-delegation process as well as strengthen the basic infrastructure of the Registry to ensure system resilience to fully carry out its mandate.
"This is of utmost importance, as stated earlier, because all other activities of the GDNR hinge on this," she added.
Dr Tina Owusu-Prempeh, the Chairperson, welcomed the challenge and assured the Minister of members' readiness to implement policies and programmes that would not only generate income but also build a strong domain name for the country.
The Minister also inaugurated the Board of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).
The nine-member board, chaired by Mr Kwabena Addo Atuah, has Mr Richard Edmund Okyere-Fosu, Director-General, NITA; Mr Gerard Nana Kwakwa Osei-Tutu from National Security Council, and Mr Issah Yahaya, Expert in ICT issues, as members.
Others are Mrs Matilda Acheampong Wilson, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako and Madam Sheila Minkah-Premo, President's nominees; Madam Ama Pomaa Boateng, the Ministry's nominee, while Industry is yet to nominate a member.