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07.08.2004 General News

ICT Centre to Be Built for Liberian Refugees

By ADM

The Gomoa District Assembly Unit Committee has donated a tract of land (four plots) for the construction of an approximately $11-million Information Communication & Technology (ICT) centre for Liberian refugees in Ghana.

The centre which is expected to be completed in three months is being carried out by the Association for the Reconstruction of Liberia in collaboration with Modern Age Technologies (ARLMAT), an NGO operating in Ghana towards the reconstruction of Liberia.

Mr James B. Kollie Snr, Vice President of ARLMAT, at a news conference in Accra said the organisation seeks to give quality education among others to Liberians, in order to equip them with the necessary experience and expertise that is needed to reconstruct Liberia.

"ARLMAT was formed in response to the urgent need to prepare Liberian refugees in Ghana and the sub-region, through strategic and well-coordinated capacity-building programmes, with the aim of equipping returnees with skills that are imperative for tackling the enormous challenges of reconstructing Liberia."

About 60% of 42,000 Liberian refugees in the Gomoa District of Buduburam are expected to be covered by the project and be trained in the area of ICT. The centre would be accessed freely by the Liberian refugees but non-Liberian refugees would have to pay a token to get access.

Mr Kollie Snr said most of the skilled labour force in the Liberia had been lost to the about 14 years of civil war in Liberia.

He announced that the organisation was arranging a scholarship programme for 1000 Liberian refuges to pursue various qualifications ranging from the HND to the PhD level in the various polytechnics and universities in the country to boost their manpower development. Fifty more would be trained by the Forestry Commissions to assist in managing the forest resources in Liberia.

"The beneficiaries of these capacity-building programmes especially at the university level will be bonded by our organisation and the Liberian government through the Liberian Embassy in Ghana, which will commit them to a national service term that would have a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years.

Mr A. A. Asare, Secretary to Gomoa District Assembly Unit Committee, called for awareness creation among local and international communities on issues bothering Liberia.

He also appealed to humanitarian organisations to help train Liberian refugees and also to find a permanent solution to the crisis in Liberia. He said it was in the light of this that the Gomoa District Assembly donated the land.

ARLMAT was established in 1998 under the chairmanship of Dr Michael Anane Abrah.

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