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16.10.2003 General News

ICT, a requisite component for development - Minister

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Accra, Oct 16, GNA - Nana Akomea, Minister of Information on Thursday said it was now recognised that Information Communication Technology (ITC) was a major requisite for a country to achieve its development goals.

Nana Akomeah said this in Accra, when he launched Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), a network of individuals and organisations committed to sharing information and knowledge that would promote development through the use of information and communication technology.

GINKS, which is funded by International Institute of Communication and Development (IICD), was outcome a consultative group meeting by members of the Government, businessmen and non-governmental organisations a year ago at Akosombo It aims at promoting development by utilizing ICT as a tool for information and knowledge.

Nana Akomea said the launch of GINKS was a testimony to Ghana's desire and determination not to be left behind in the global forward march to using ICT to promote human progress. He said the Government had the goal of using ICT not only to enhance policy management, but also making simpler and more efficient the delivery of services.

He said there were plans to offer online services through government's portals like accessing and processing of applications for visas, passports, press accreditation and driving licences. He said the collaboration between GINKS and IICD enabled Ghana to set up the Ghana Government website portal at Mrs Yoku Korsan, Chairperson of GINKS, said the idea behind GINKS was to provide an environment where content holders would be able to find ICT professionals with whom they could work to publish more widely their research findings up to date information, localised for Ghanaian communities.

She said GINKS would be working with medical practitioners to see how best to utilise ICT for continuing professional education, adding, "we want to get to the point where information be it meteorological, agriculture, health, infrastructure or educational about Ghana could easily be accessed, be it on Internet or user friendly media possibly in local languages.

Mr Gregg Pascal Zachary, a Research Fellow and Project Leader, Ghana of International Computer Science Institute, in a debate on whether supply driven or demand driven was the best approach to the growth of ICT in Ghana, said there was the need for an increased supply of ICT however, Ghana needed to market the opportunities and the professionals to work.

He suggested that students should be encouraged to study science engineering.

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