Ghana holds first ICT Awards
The first ever Ghana Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Awards was held at the weekend in Accra, with a call on people in the industry to improve their innovative and creative capabilities for the nation's benefit.
President John Agyekum Kufuor, who made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the ceremony, said there was room for improvement and further collaboration with government to provide better access to ICT to many Ghanaians.
He urged stakeholders in the industry to initiate social responsibility programmes that would address the needs of the disadvantaged and physically challenged.
President Kufuor noted that ICT provided the competitive edge for businesses and the socio-economic development of the country.
He said in recognition of this, government continues to invest in world-class information technology systems to attain a leadership status in the West African sub-region.
President Kufuor said the pervasive ICT high-speed networks were no longer a luxury but an essential infrastructure for socio-economic development.
He said "We must prepare the infrastructure for the current needs as well as future needs and we will also have to do cost-effective work and in an efficient manner."
President Kufuor said it was necessary to have easy and affordable access to resources that would enable businesses especially local small and medium scale enterprises to provide new services to the citizenry.
He said as a result, Government was committed to enhancing the bandwidth availability to promote efficiency in ICT services at affordable cost.
President Kufuor said the construction of the National Fibre Communication Backbone Infrastructure had commenced and urged all businesses to explore and harness its potential and that the first phase of the project would start by the close of the year.
He explained that the project would open the doors to new business opportunities in software and hardware development and create new jobs for the youth.
President Kufuor said that as the ICT industry strives for peaks of excellence by global standards, the challenge for Ghana would be to work hard to be among the world's best countries in the industry.
Dr. Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, Minister of Communication, said the awards which was championed by the Ministry of Communication in partnership with people in industry was designed as a catalyst for the Government and private sector to drive the programme of using ICT for accelerated development.
Mr. Ntim said the objective was to evaluate and recognize standards of excellence in the quest for growth and development, encourage public and private institutions to use ICT for development and to ensure that ICT professionals were provided a benchmark for recognizing and validating outstanding contributions.
He said the event, which saw 17 companies and institutions receiving awards would be an annual affair.
Soft Tribe Company received an award for being the pioneering software company that has promoted and stimulated the growth of software development in the country.
Network Computer Services received an award for been the first Internet Service Provider, ACR Company, was adjudged the first major outsourcing company and NCR Company as the pioneer in hardware trading in computers.
Kasapa, Tigo and MTN were awarded for being the first companies in implementing CDMA, provision of mobile telephones and GSM in Ghana respectively.
One Touch of the Ghana Telecom Company received the award for its pioneering role in the provision of ICT in remote parts of Ghana whilst Ghana Telecom took the award for its pioneering role in implementing international gateway via undersea cable.
Business Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and IPMC were adjudged the pioneering companies in establishing cyber cafes and ICT training University in the country respectively.
Clydestone Ghana received an award for being the first to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange and Ghana Commercial Bank as the first company to be computerized.
University of Ghana was adjudged the first in providing leadership in the creation of academic research network in ICT.
The pioneering role in the use of ICT tools for employment award went to the Ghana Society for Blind.
The only lifetime achievement for ICT development award went to Professor Clement Dzidonu, who provided leadership for the development of Ghana's ICT for accelerated development policy.