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07.09.2004 General News

Information is vital to development - Minister

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Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, on Tuesday said sound information and data were critical to the economic development of any country. He said the translation of resources and capital investments into meaningful and sustainable development were only possible if backed by adequate information and knowledge.

Mr Baah-Wiredu was speaking at the joint launch of the World Bank Public Information Centre and website, University of Ghana Development Information Centre, and World Bank Flagship Publications from EPP Book Services.

The Minister said for information to make a positive impact on the lives of people it must be made easily accessible to those who need it and at the right time.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the Government remained committed to efforts to provide people with the relevant education and knowledge with which they could contribute to the development of the country.

In this direction, the Ministry and the World Bank are implementing a joint programme known as Communication for Development to bring together Journalists and communications personnel in the education sector for capacity enhancement and dialogue.

"Making these resources available alone is not an end in itself. Our ability to make good use of them to acquire more knowledge and put these to good use, in making our economic growth stronger for the benefit of all in the society," he said.

Mr Baah-Wiredu appealed to the World Bank to liaise with the Information Service Department of the Ministry of Information to take development information to the people in the remote areas.

Mr Mats Karlsson, World Bank Country Director, said open access to development information was critical a component to addressing inequalities in income disparity between the rich and poor countries. He said since March 2003 the World Bank had made available to Ghana 725 million dollars in 12 areas to enhance the country's socio-economic development.

The funds were channelled to Education, the water sector and health among other sectors.

Mr Gibrine Adams, Director EPP Books, said knowledge was at the forefront of competition in the world today and Ghana should not be left behind.

He said the World Bank offered 70 per cent discount on all publications sold at EPP Services.

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