Ghana to mark Universal Acceptance Day May 15

By Edward Acquah

Accra, April 2, GNA- Ghana has planned to commemorate 2024 Universal Acceptance (UA) Day on May 15, 2023, to advocate for an inclusive and accessible internet.

The day would be used to create awareness about the importance of local languages and characters becoming globally accepted in domain names and email addresses, organisers of the event told journalists in Accra.

The commemoration is also anticipated to bring together experts and stakeholders to develop solutions for achieving universal access in Ghana, as well as to push for its integration into Information Communication Technology curricula.

The National Celebration is being spearheaded by the Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with the Ghana Domain Name Registry and the E-Governance and Internet Governance Foundation for Africa.

It is on the theme: “Collaborative efforts towards achieving universal acceptance in Ghana.”

UA is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be equally used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.

Globally, the UA Day is observed on March 28 to rally local, regional, and global communities and organisations to spread UA awareness and to encourage UA adoption with key stakeholders.

Nana Kofi Asafu-Aidoo, the Executive Director, Ghana Domain Name Registry, said Ghana valued diversity and is ensuring that its digital infrastructure is inclusive

He said that the country’s participation in UA Day showed commitment to ensuring that Ghana’s domain names were widely recognised.

“We aim to raise awareness about our universal acceptance especially for those who may encounter difficulties online because they are using scripts outside their regularly known alphabets,” Nana Asafu-Aidoo said.

The AAU and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are implementing the UA Readiness in African Universities Project, which seeks to develop systems that would support the ability of internet users in Africa to browse the internet using their own local languages.

The Project seeks to equip African universities and research centres to develop the scripts and make local languages inter-operable on the internet.

Mr Kwasi Awattey, I.T. Officer, AAU, said the association had targeted that by 2025, 200 of its member universities would be UA compliant to make sure that the systems developed by the universities were universally accepted.

“Industry, academia, and internet users must collaborate and bring to the fore what we need to do to make the systems work better,” he said.

Mr Raymond Mamata, Founder and President, EGIGFA, said Africa must take UA seriously given the large number of languages spoken by different cultures and help foster unique identity on the internet.

“Ethiopia for instance has its scripts. Imagine Ethiopia being able to use its own scripts online and be able to communicate. That will make it easy for the Ethiopian who speaks and write their own script to be able to go online and have transactions being done,” he said.