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24.12.2003 Regional News

Akatsi gets new telephone exchange

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Akatsi, Dec. 24, GNA- A broad-access telephone exchange for 1,000 lines was commissioned at Akatsi on Monday, bringing to three, such facilities provided in the Volta Region, within two years.

The others are at Hohoe and Kpando.

The Akatsi exchange has the capacity to be increased to 2,000 lines. Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communications, who commissioned the 4-million dollar facility, said the government recognised that modern communications facilities including Information Communication Technology (ICT) are important tools for development.

He expressed the hope that as more and more people got access to these facilities they would create wealth to promote the economic growth of the country like the fast developing countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

The Minister expressed regrets that fees charged by private communication centres are and above those charged by service providers. He said though the private operators are in business for profits they must operate within reasonable limits or the government would be forced to intervene to streamline their activities.

Mr Kan-Dapaah noted that democracy could only be deepened and sustained if governments distribute resources and development projects evenly. He said certain seemingly harsh decisions taken by the government such as the HIPC Initiative and the increase in fuels prices were necessary to lift the country out of her economic problems.

Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister said the completion of the three telecommunication projects that were started by the previous government, was proof of the government's preparedness to continue and complete all viable projects regardless of which government initiated them.

Mr Doe Adjaho, Member of Parliament for Avenor, said telephone charges should not be so high that the majority of the people could be denied the facility.

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