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21.07.2005 General News

Ghana needs to build strong communication network

GNA

Accra, July 21, GNA - For Ghana's Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) policy to succeed the country needs to build high-speed communication networks capable of supporting voice, video, images and data.

Professor Jonas Amoapim, an IT specialists, said the absence of any such network would constitute the single largest barrier to achieving the goals and aspirations of the country's ICT for Development policy. Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Information and Communications Technology Directorate (GICTeD), Prof Amoapim said accelerating the use of information systems and its application in government, education, enterprise and rural communities would require high capacity backbone network that could satisfy the needs of all multiple users and could also be easily scaled up to meet increasing traffic needs.

GICTeD is a coordinating body set up by the Government to oversee the implementation of the ICT4AD policy. It would work with the National Development Planning Commission, Ministries, Departments and Agencies with the aim to rationalising the use of current ICT infrastructure, develop and share common support services across organisations and establish standards.

Prof Amoapim said GICTeD would establish standards to guide acquisitions and support both hardware and software to be used in government institutions and agencies and promote and coordinate certification of local and foreign software. He said a better infrastructure and the requisite skills would enable the country to attract data processing companies through outsourcing, chip manufacturers, software development companies among other investors.

Mr Kwadwo Anyane-Yeboa, IT Specialist, said the overall goal of the ICT4AD policy was to engineer and ICT-led socio-economic development process to transform the country into a middle income, information-rich and knowledge-based society and technology-driven economy. Prof Clement Dzidonu, a Consultant, said it would take the country about 20 years to implement e-government.

He said e-government would only be successful through restructuring and re-engineering of the processes of doing things in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Mr Kan Dapaah, Minister of Communications, who launched the GICTeD, asked the specialists to build cordial relationship with the MDAs to translate the goals of the policy into reality.

He said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could not be achieved if ICT was not mainstreamed into the developmental agenda of developing nations and that it was the President John Agyekum Kufuor's vision to use ICT as the engine of growth of the economy. He said the publication of the Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development Policy document marked a significant landmark in the country's journey to cross the digital divide.

Mr Dapaah noted that for Ghana to move her industrially weak and subsistence agriculture-based economy towards an information and knowledge based society, she would need to develop and implement comprehensive integrated ICT led socio-economic development policies, strategies and plans. 21 July 05

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