07.07.2004 Regional News

Communication infrastructure needs improvement in Eastern Region

07.07.2004 LISTEN

Koforidua, July 7, GNA - The Eastern Regional Deputy Minister, Mr Gustav Narh-Dometey, has called for the revamping of the communication infrastructure in the Eastern region to enable it contribute towards the implementation of the National Information Communication Technology (ICT) Accelerated Development Policy.

He cited instances, like places such as Nsawam that is very near to Accra could not boast of a reliable telephone system to service the pineapple farmers who have emerged as major foreign exchange earners for the country.

Mr Narh-Dometey made the observation when opening a meeting between the National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee and Heads of Department at Koforidua on Wednesday.

He pointed out that the Eastern Region was an extensive region that contributes significantly to the national economy, which is suited to play an important role in the new environment of ICT.

Mr Narh-Dometey who urged the heads to seek to lead their staff to become literate in ICT, also asked them to ensure that portions of their annual budgets were reserved for ICT systems and training of staff. He regretted that some heads saw ICT simply in terms of the provision of computers in their offices to serve as the replacement of the conventional typewriters used solely for secretarial purposes.

Giving a background to the "Ghana ICT Policy and Accelerated Plan Development", the chairman of the Committee, Prof. Clement Didzonu, who reviewed the current state of the country's economy and stated that some of the specific objectives of the policy was the creation of the necessary enabling environment to facilitate the deployment, utilization and exploitation of ICTs within the economy and society.

It also included the development of the human resource capacity, competitive high value-added services and facilitation of modernized education, agriculture, industry and governance.

Prof. Didzonu in answer to a question, hinted that soon, employment and promotions in the civil service would be based on ICT literacy, while there is also the need to develop local software to meet the needs of the various institutions, ministries, departments and agencies.