15.06.2008 General News

Government establishes 230 CICs in Districts

15.06.2008 LISTEN

The government is to establish 230 Community Information Centres (CIC) in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the country.
The programme, which falls within the government's development framework for the Information Communication Technology (ICT) for accelerated development aims at spreading the use of ICTs to improve the country's economic base and accelerate growth by transforming Ghana into information enabled society.
Dr. Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, Minister of Communications announced this at the inauguration of a CIC in Bimbilla in the Nanumba North District of the Northern Region at the weekend.
The government spent GH¢ 70,000 to build and equip the Centre, while the Bimbilla District Assembly used 50 million cedis to furnish it.
Other districts in the Northern Region to benefit from CICs include Damongo in the West Gonja District, Salaga in the East Gonja District, Yendi District, Walewale in the West Mamprusi District, Gushiegu District and Saboba in the Saboba/Chereponi District.
Dr. Ntim said the CIC programme was aimed at bridging the digital divide between the rural and the urban centres and also forms part of government's efforts to reduce the incidence of poverty.

Dr. Ntim said, as an interface between the citizens and government, the CICs would help disseminate information from the government to the people and simultaneously cumulate data and opinions of the people for input into governments planning machinery.
"The CICs serving as model tools of ICT would help integrate and coordinate development planning at all levels and sectors, thus establishing an effective national development planning system," Dr. Ntim said.
He said government policies would be easily accessible by the local people and thus leading to an effective roll-out and implementation on the local front while also providing a platform for the training in ICT for school kids, market women, farmers, teachers' and staff of decentralised departments.
Dr. Ntim warned the management of the CICs not to turn them into "cyber-cafe or internet café type facility" but to remain focused on their core mission of providing access to ICTs, creating awareness for ITC and providing support for the local business community.
Mr. Salifu Sa-eed, the Nanumba North District Chief Executive (DCE) urged teachers, educational authorities and parents to encourage their students or children to make maximum use of the facility.
He said reasonable user fees would be charged at the Centre to help defray user cost to ensure the sustainability of the facility.

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