GIFEC Targets 80% Rural Coverage
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) says it will cover about 80 percent of Ghana with regards to rural telephony in about two years' time.
Kwabena Owusu Acheampong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIFEC, who disclosed this at the launch of his outfit's 10th anniversary celebration programme in Accra recently, stated: “I can foresee that in the next two years, we should be able to cover at least 80 percent of the country with regards to the rural telephony, once the hub is installed and give us a breakthrough of reaching every corner of the country.”
This year it is targeting the construction of 100 new sites in collaboration with MTN Ghana compared to 51 sites established since the start of the project.
GIFEC was created under the Ghana ICT Policy for Accelerated Development as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications to facilitate the provision of ICT, internet connectivity and infrastructure to underserved and un-served areas of the country.
The Electronic Communications Act 775 promulgated in 2008 gave legal backing to the agency and widened the scope of its mandate to include the provision of access to electronic services including ICT, broadcasting, internet, multimedia service and basic telephony for the un-served and under-served communities in Ghana.
Michael Agyei Takyi, Principal Programmes Manager at GIFEC, in an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE, said in all about 400 rural telephony sites would be needed to connect the whole of Ghana to wireless mobile telephone services and the internet.
Noting that it costs GIFEC over $350 to maintain each site every month, he said the company was in the process of installing a VSAT hub to provide universal access to telecommunications services for remote communities.
The $37 million project would be implemented under the award-winning Rural Telephony Project.
The project is expected to commence as soon as the central tender board approves it.
“The ultimate objective of the programme is to achieve virtually 100 percent mobile telephone service coverage throughout,” Mr Agyei added.
By Samuel Boadi