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27.08.2005 General News

Koforidua to be developed into "Silicon City"


Koforidua, Aug. 27, GNA- The New Juaben Traditional Council in collaboration with the Municipal Assembly and other development partners, is to develop Koforidua into a Silicon City to produce computer software and hardware in support of the country's economic development effort.

Under the programme, the Traditional Council would collaborate with governmental and other partners to develop institutions for the training of computer experts and the production of computer programmes and accessories for the local and international market.

Nana Boadi Asiedu, Koforidua-Adahene, disclosed this at the sixth anniversary and second graduation ceremony of IKE's Compu-tek Limited (ICL), an Information Communication Technology (ICT) training institute at Koforidua which also deals in computer accessories on Friday. Among the 63 graduates who were presented with certificates at the ceremony were five physically-challenged persons who were offered free scholarship by the institute to become computer literate.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah said the labour market was becoming sophisticated and for the country to compete effectively, the citizens must be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to fit into the system.

He congratulated the institute for offering scholarships to the physically- challenged, adding that the gesture of ICL was an indication that the institute was not only interested in profit but also interested in the development of the region.

Mr Barimah reminded the physically-challenged graduands that the only way they could show their appreciation for the scholarship offered them was to " go out there to demonstrate to the world that when given the requisite training, they could effectively compete with others." He pointed out that by their performance, they could challenge policy makers to reason that given the opportunity, the physically challenged could do better.

The Eastern Regional Director of Education, Mrs Awurabena Ahwoi, called for the extension of ICT training to rural dwellers and urged ICL to introduce project writing and business management in their training programme.

The Managing Director of ICL, Mr. Ike Appaw-Gyasi, called for the provision of working capital for the trained physically-challenged to establish their own businesses.

He noted that because some trained physically challenged persons failed to acquire the capital or market for their goods and services, some resorted to begging for alms for their livelihood.

Mr Appaw-Gyasi called on policy makers to make effective policies that would keep the physically-challenged off the streets in gainful employment.