China has made available to the country a concessionary facility of 30 million dollars to support the Phase One of Ghana's Information Super Highway Project, President John Agyekum Kufuor announced Today.
The Project, which starts from Accra and terminates at Tamale, is designed to ensure effective connectivity to render quality service delivery and balanced socio-economic development throughout the country.
President Kufuor, who was inaugurating the Ghana Telecommunications University College (GTUC) at Tesano in Accra, said the Government was seeking additional credit for the rest of the project to be executed without delay.
The GTUC was established by Ghana Telecom to train middle and high-level professionals to operate, maintain and manage telecommunications and Information Communication Technology-based (ICT) services, which had become the backbone of the new business landscape and innovation process in telecommunications and other related industries.
The College, which received its accreditation early this year, initially would run programmes in two faculties, Telecommunication Engineering and Informatics. It would in the course of time add Business Administration to the core programmes.
President Kufuor said he was hopeful that the training of students at the University College and other technologically oriented institutions would move in tandem with the project to bring about optimal utilisation of the infrastructure. "Mindful that entrepreneurship development is central to our national Growth and Poverty-Reduction Strategy (GPRS-II), I urge the University to mainstream management and entrepreneurship development into its curriculum. “We expect Information Technology (IT) proficient scholars in the country to avail themselves fully of this opportunity to be business-minded and entrepreneurial," he said.
President Kufuor said the Government had approved the implementation of the "e-Ghana Project" in conjunction with the World Bank. The 40 million-dollar project is to be used to implement specific programmes to make ICT widespread in the country.
Specifically, it would cover finalisation and implementation of relevant policies, legislation, regulations and procedures to support the telecommunications, broadcasting, postal and other sectors, which require electronic transmission.
Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister for Communications, said the Government was determined to make IT become an instrument for socio-economic and political re-engineering to move the country forward.
Dr Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, Deputy Minister for Communications and Chairman of the University Council, said the Institution would chart a different path in its academic pursuit by making its products to become active citizens, who would use their expertise to make a difference. He said it would become a number one ranking University in the field of ICT in the West African Sub-Region.
Dr Osei K. Darkwa, the Principal, said the University College presented hope to many Ghanaians looking for options.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Telecom, Mr Frode Haugen, pledged the Company's continued financial assistance. A total of 300 students are to be admitted in September 2006 for certificate, degree and post-graduate programmes.