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01.09.2004 Regional News

B/A Chiefs learn to be computer literate

By GNA

Sunyani, Sept 01, GNA - Twenty-one chiefs in Brong Ahafo on Tuesday attended a one-day basic computer skills and Internet concepts workshop in Sunyani.

It was the first in a series of workshops lined up by the Ministry of Communications to empower the chiefs to be effective and efficient. The ministry is undertaking the exercise in collaboration with Third Rail Ghana Limited, Internet service providers for rural and sub-urban communities and NIIT Limited of India.

Sunyani Secondary School, venue for the workshop, provided the computers for the practical aspect of the workshop.

Addressing the chiefs Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Minister of Communications, said most African leaders have realized that the woes of the continent, especially in socio-economic development, "are the result of our inability to move with the pace of the economic revolution". He described Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the emergence of computer and Internet facilities as a new revolution in the global world, geared towards socio-economic transformation of rural communities in wealth creation, eradication of poverty and elevation of quality of life.

"For the nation to be abreast with the globalisation trend, Mr Kan-Dapaah said, the government was implementing the National Digital House of Traditional Leaders Project to accelerate development initiatives and transition into the knowledge and information society. He said the workshop for the chiefs would include a demonstration of the use of the Internet in searching for information, undertaking basic research as well as applications on health, agriculture and education.

"It will also help explain the prospects of applications in traditional governance and administration of stool lands", the Minister said.

Mr Dapaah said the country would not allow the Computer Age to slip by "just as our forefathers failed to make any efforts at catching up with the industrial and cultural revolutions".

He said the government would make sure that the majority of Ghanaians became computer literate and promised the chiefs that the ministry would ensure that Houses of Chiefs got connected to the website to enable people in the outside world to read more about the country's chiefs and their activities.

The Minister announced that the Ministry would also ensure that offices of the Houses of Chiefs without computer facilities were provided with them.

Mr Kan-Dapaah appealed to the chiefs to ensure that peace prevailed in their areas before, during and after the December elections. Mr Yaw Adjei-Duffour, the Brong-Ahafo Deputy Regional Minister, called on the chiefs to make maximum use of the opportunity offered to update their knowledge.

Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Area, appealed to Mr Kan-Dapaah to provide traditional councils with computers to enable them to operate effectively.

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