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15.09.2004 General News

Media urged to propagate ICT messages

By GNA

Accra, Sept 15 GNA-Mr. Albert Ken-Dapaah, Minister of Communication on Wednesday charged the media to play a lead role in the propagation of messages about Information and Communication Technology (ICT) since it has the ability to reach greater proportion of the populace. He said the rapidly changing socio-economic environment in a global scale, has become more important to engender public discussions on issues with respect to ICT on the global level.

Mr. Ken-Dapaah was speaking at a press launch of the Africa Regional preparatory conference of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in Accra-Ghana in February next year. The Accra conference will form the rallying point for Africa to build consensus on the issues that would be discussed during the second phase of the WSIS at Tunis in November 2005.

The idea of Information Society came up at the conference of World leaders in Geneva 2003, which took into consideration, measures to be taken to ensure that emerging economies benefited from the full potentials of ICT in their developmental agenda. He noted that the media is considered as a key policy stakeholder in the information society and that efforts were being made to ensure its effective participatory role in building an information society.

Mr. Ken-Dapaah observed that for developing country to successfully reach the positive side of the digital divide, it would depend on the extent the media disseminated ICT messages at national, organizational and individual levels. He noted that Ghana has a vibrant media and that government, on its part would work out measures to ensure that the media diverted some attention towards the ICT sector. Mr. Ken-Dapaah said the Geneva summit agreed on specific targets to be taken into accounts before the establishment of national strategies.

The strategies included measures to connect villages to ICT, establish community access points and connect public libraries, post offices, cultural centres and museums to ICT. It further involved connecting Universities and Schools to ICT, local and central government department as well as health centres and hospitals. He said currently efforts are underway to put an action plan into gear to find out areas of Internet Governance and financing mechanisms needed to employ ICT to hasten the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

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