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22.11.2004 General News

Computer literacy made compulsory for Civil Servants

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Accra, Nov. 22, GNA - All top officials of the Civil Service, including Chief Directors, Directors and Heads of Departments, should be computer literate by the end of this year, Dr Alex Glover-Quartey, Head of the Ghana Civil Service said on Monday.

In addition, officers just below the top echelon must become computer literate by the middle of 2005, he said.

"All these measures are aimed at incorporating Information Communication Technology (ICT) into public sector reform and performance," Dr Glover-Quartey said at the opening of a four-day E-governance workshop, jointly organized by the African Training and Research Centre in Administration of Development (CAFRAD) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

The workshop, which is under the theme, "Enhancing reforms and public service performance in Africa", is being attended by 60 participants from 37 countries, mostly African.

It afforded the participants to share knowledge and experiences in e-governance as a way of strengthening the capacities and setting new strategies in the use of ICT for improved public service reforms and performance.

Dr Glover-Quartey said as part of measures to effectively incorporate ICT into the public sector reforms and performance, a Civil Service Computer Training Centre had been established to train ICT personnel for the service.

He said Ghana was a proud host of the four-day workshop, as it presented a great opportunity for those in charge of the various sector-specific ICT policies to improve their understanding on how to apply ICT to improve the performance and service delivery of the GCS. In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Energy, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, President John Agyekum Kufuor noted that Ghana had instituted several measures towards public sector reforms.

"Government, however, recognizes that for these reform initiatives to be successful and effective, ICT should bear a key role."

He noted that the link between e-governance and the economic development of the country, could not be over-emphasized, saying that, Ghana had taken steps to promote e-governance by launching the ICT 4AD Policy.

The policy, he said, was the statement for the realization of the vision to transform Ghana into an information-rich, knowledge-based society and economy through the development and deployment of ICT in the society.

"One of the objectives of the policy is to reform the civil and public service to improve on their organizational systems, structures, procedures and processes.

"Government is acutely aware of the link between efficient and effective civil and public services and the pace of economic and social development."

President Kufuor urged participants to take the ICT and good governance policy initiatives of the individual participating countries as well as those being taken by the Committee of African Ministers for Pan-African Programme in Governance and Public Administration into consideration to ensure that the outcome of the workshop was comprehensive.

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