Regional News of Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Source: Graphic Online
The government has provided 459 schools and institutions with fully furnished and equipped Information Communication Technology (ITC) laboratories and Internet access.
So far, 38 colleges of education, 37 national vocational training institutes, 26 technical institutes,10 youth leadership training centres and 249 senior secondary schools have benefited from the government’s schools connectivity project.
Other beneficiaries are 25 junior high schools, 49 nursing colleges and 25 community development vocational institutes.
The Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, made this known at the meet- the-press in Accra yesterday.
The minister used the platform to announce the official launch of the ITU‘s Regional Development Forum (RDF) and the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting (ARPM) for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) scheduled for Accra, this year.
The RDF will be held from October 1, 2013, while the ARPM will be held from October 2 to 4, 2013.
With the country’s development in the ICT sector, the minister said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2011 listed Ghana as one of the top 10 most dynamic performing countries in Information Communication Technology (ICT) development.
Ghana is said to have improved its global ranking by four places and its ICT Development Index (IDI) increased from 1.81 to 2.23 whereas the average for Africa is 1.88.
According to the minister, Ghana placed 117 in the world, and sixth among sub-Saharan African countries in ICT usage.
The ITU is the global and specialised agency of the United Nations with a responsibility to regulate, standardise, co-ordinate and develop international telecommunications.
Dr Boamah said the upcoming RDF would be used to deliberate on issues relating to trends in telecommunications and ICT in Africa, broadband policy and e-applications.
The conference will also deliberate on cyber security, development of public-private partnership for improved capacity building in the ICT sector and the future of the information society.
The ARPM, according to the minister, was in preparation towards the WTDC in 2014.
He said the meeting would be used to assess the implementation of action plans of the WTDC.
Enumerating some of the successes in the ICT sector, the minister said the over-all submarine cable capacity of the country so far was 12.3 Terabit.
According to him, in fulfillment of ITU commitments and that of the government to provide employment to persons with disability, the Akropong and Wa schools for the Blind have been selected as sites for the pilot phase of the disability connectivity project.
Also, he said Community Information Centers (CICs) had been built as access points for ICT in the under-served areas, adding that currently 93 CICs were fully furnished and equipped to provide community Internet access and an avenue for low cost ICT training.
According to the minister, the cost of bandwidth in Ghana had witnessed substantial reduction over the years from $10,000 per month of two megabits to $1,200 today of the same two megabits.
The minister used the occasion to inaugurate an 11-member committee for the planning of the two conferences.