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02.06.2004 General News

ICT development an integral part of poverty reduction plan - Mahama

By GNA

Bolgatanga, June 2, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama said on Tuesday that the expansion and upgrading of Information communication Technology (ICT) facilities throughout the country is in conformity with the government's poverty reduction strategy.

With the world now transformed into a global village, the significance of communication has moved beyond the social and is rapidly assuming economic and political dimensions, he said, citing E-commerce and E-governance as some of the modern trends in formation technology with inherent socio-economic benefits.

"It is for this reason that the NPP government has placed ICT development at the top of our list of priorities, because Ghana cannot afford to lag behind the rest of the world."

Alhaji Mahama was commissioning Ghana Telecom's One-Touch cell-phone facility in Bolgatanga, where mobile phone services had hitherto been monopolised by Spacefone Company.

He announced government's intention to equip one senior secondary school in each district with modern ICT facilities to enable students share knowledge with their colleagues both within the country and abroad through the Internet.

Vice President Aliu Mahama further announced that government had recently contracted a 150-million-dollar loan to revamp the operations of Ghana Telecom, with the specific target of extending telephone services to the remote towns and villages in the country.

He urged the management and staff of Ghana Telecom to work hard to ensure that this vision is achieved in the shortest time possible. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, the Upper East Regional Director of Ghana Telecom, Alhaji Awudu Musah, said the One-Touch service at the moment was accessible only to subscribers in Bolgatanga and its environs, but would be extended to all the districts in the region by the end of this year.

To this end, Ghana Telecom would install digital links between Bolgatanga and the district capitals to provide the basis for expansion, he added.

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