THE DEPUTY Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Hon Ama Pomaa Boateng has charged Ghanaians to take advantage of the Internet to improve themselves.
Speaking when she commissioned a Community ICT Centre (CIC) for the people of Kokofu in the Bekwai Municipality, Hon Pomaa noted the importance of the computer and the Internet as well as its usage.
The ICT centre was one the new 30 centers being undertaken by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) in the country.
The centre was to help train people in ICT skills and also provide access to internet connectivity to unserved and underserved communities in the country.
Hon Boateng charged Ghanaians, particularly the youth to take advantage of the internet to launch their career and transform their life.
She said irrespective of one’s area of endeavour, the internet provided an avenue for them to learn more and also reach out to the people outside their region thus having unfettered access to the world.
According to her, through the internet the world has become a global village and businesses could easily attract markets outside country.
“Research has shown that high income countries have benefited enormously from ICT and internet penetration and middle income countries are beginning to benefit from same,” she said.
She, therefore, called on all to embrace the digitalisation process and equip themselves with the necessary tools that would help them to take advantage of the space provided by the internet to improve their lot.
She said the western countries have leverage ICT for the purposes of increasing productivity, promoting economic growth and reducing poverty.
She said the government digitalisation agenda sought to transform Ghana’s economy through the development of a robust infrastructure to connect and ensure the inclusion of every citizen for socioeconomic development.
According to her, the ministry through GIFEC has made key strides to facilitate ICT infrastructure development, equipment and resource provision and capacity building in unnerved and underserved communities across the country.
“The cyberlabs programme geared at providing communities and institutions with ICT equipment, has over the years deployed computers and accessories to over 1,000 basic, junior and senior cycles to facilitate teaching and learning.
“30 new community CIC have been established across the country to increase access to ICT equipment and services unnerved and underserved communities,” she said.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Prince Sefah, said the country’s ability to develop and improve the lives of citizens “Is determined by the implementation of policies that support the extent of adoption and application of technology.”
He said since its establishment in 2004, GIFEC has provided innovative solutions to ensure universal access and digital inclusion in the remotest parts of the country and to all marginalised communities.
“Our flagship rural connectivity programme which constitutes our biggest investment ensures the facilitation and provision of telecommunications infrastructure to communities which are considered unnerved and underserved.
“These are relatively small communities with low economic viability hence the inability of mobile network operators to extend their services,” he said.
He said through Ghana Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, 2,016 communities are being connected to voice and data services to enhance their socio economic lives.
The Ankobeahene of Kokofu, Nana Adusei Appiah, who represented the Omanhene of Kokofu, Barima Offe Akwasi Okugyeasuo II, was grateful to GIFEC and the government for establishing the CIC at Kokofu to help particularly the youth to acquire ICT skills.
He said it was important all Ghanaians, including residents of Kokofu, adapted to the new order of the day by embracing ICT.
By Michael Ofosu-Afriyie