Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful wants Ghanaian youth in the technology space to see the outage experienced by Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook as an opportunity to create similar communication apps the country can rely on.
For over six hours on Monday, the whole world suffered an outage on three major social media apps, Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram, leaving individuals and businesses that rely heavily on such platforms to connect with their audience and business associates frustrated.
Facebook blamed an internal technical issue, which not only affected the company’s services, but reportedly also employees’ work passes and email accounts.
According to Downdetector, an online platform that provides users with real-time information on the status of various websites and services, some 10.6 million problem reports were made around the world. However, the real number of people who were affected is estimated to be much higher as more than 3.5 billion people use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.
In reacting to this development, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in a conversation with Citi Business News urged stakeholders in the technology space to take advantage and create local social media apps that can compete with these international services.
“I’m all for government using its purchasing power to stimulate the tech ecosystem. We’ve demonstrated that by procuring the National ID system from a local company. The digital address system and the Ghana.gov payment platform were developed by a local company. Our SIM registration platform was developed by a local company on existing infrastructure that we already have,” she explained.
“So if our young people are able to utilize technology to address challenges that we face and come up with solutions, I don’t see why yesterday’s incident can’t also be an opportunity for them to innovate and develop something that we can use, if not as our main source of communication, as our alternative source that overtime can also grow to rival these global giants.”