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28.02.2009 Technology

Omatek Seeks Gov't Support

By Daily Guide
Omatek Seeks Gov't Support

Seriki presenting the notebook to Veep OMATEK COMPUTERS, the only indigenous computer assembling firm in Africa has appealed to the government to consider establishing policies that would make computers more affordable to educational and government institutions.

Florence Seriki, the Group Managing Director of Omatek Computers, made the appeal when she led a delegation from both Omatek Ghana and Nigeria to meet the Vice President, John Mahama, at the Osu Castle.

Among members of the delegation was the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu O. Obanikoro, and Dr. Aggrey-Ntim, former Minister of Communications in the last administration.

According to Mrs. Seriki, Omatek Computers had started a programme with the last administration which involved making computers available to workers in all sectors and educational institutions on credit basis.

She noted that her company was the only indigenous one in Africa where computers were assembled locally with their branded name “Omatek” embossed on it.

Mrs. Seriki noted that the company had a branch in Ghana where the assemblage was done.

She mentioned that the company had been in existence for the past 22 years and that through hard work and dedication they have been able to master the art for their products to compare favourably with other computers around the world.

Mrs. Seriki expressed disappointment that even though their products were of higher quality compared to other foreign ones, Ghanaians and for that matter Africans, continue to prefer the foreign ones to their products.

She therefore appealed to the Vice President to put in place measures that would help to erase such mindsets which is one of the main challenges facing the company.

On the terms of payment, Mrs. Seriki indicated that beneficiaries are made to pay their debt which is deducted at source within a 24 month period.

Mrs. Seriki lamented the inability of university graduates who could not manufacture computers, and that her company was in the good position to help balance the equation.

For his part, Vice President Mahama, acknowledged the unique role Omatek Computers was playing in making computers affordable to Ghanaians.

He said government would continue with other arrangements reached with the previous administration, adding that the new administration considered Information Communication Technology (ICT) very important.

Vice President Mahama indicated that government would take measures to ensure that local firms are given the needed support when bidding for contracts with the procurement process as against foreign ones.

He said the government was still trying to stabilize the economy, especially putting the budget in place and that when the micro economy becomes steady, it would then be prudent for it to look at tax exemptions for local companies.

He said the current project where about 95 per cent of educational institutions would be linked to the internet would require an adequate number of computers for that project to succeed.

Vice President Mahama therefore said the role of Omatek Computers to the realisation of that project could not be overestimated.

Mrs. Seriki later presented some of their products, including Omatek branded notebooks to both President Mills and Vice President Mahama.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Dr. Marius Haas, was also at the castle to congratulate the Vice President.

Dr. Haas recounted Germany's support to Ghana over the years and called for the need to strengthen the existing bilateral relationship.

He mentioned the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre at Teshie as one of its supports to the government of Ghana, the Military   and other economic programmes.

Dr. Haas commended Ghana for conducting a very successful election, making Ghana still the “lighthouse” of Africa.

Vice President Mahama thanked the German government for the numerous supports Ghana continues to enjoy from Germany.

He noted the cancellation of the over €275 million debt Ghana owned Germany during the Kufuor administration.

Vice President Mahama also thanked the Germans, especially the European Union (EU) where Germany is a member, for sending a strong team to monitor Ghana's elections.

He said such gestures helped to instill confidence in the electoral process for all political parties to accept the results of the elections.

By Wisdom Peter Awuku