Regional News of Sunday, 23 February 2014
Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, Minister of Communication on Friday inaugurated the Boards of three institutions under the Ministry of Communications.
The institutions are the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) with the Minister as its Chairman, the National Communication Authority (NCA) with Mr. Eugene Baffoe Bonnie as Chairman and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), with Professor Nii Quaynor as Chairman.
Addressing members of the Boards, Dr Boamah tasked them to use their rich experience to improve the status of the institutions they represent.
He said the members experience in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT) would help the institutions and encourage them to work in the supreme interest of the country to justify the confidence reposed in them by President John Dramani Mahama.
Dr Boamah said the works of the institutions they represent are interlinked and so there was the need to collaborate to bring out the best from them.
“There are lots of challenges that need to be addressed, including ICT accessibility, affordability and universality,” he further stressed that, achieving these objectives must be done within the context of good practices in the industry to get value for money.
Dr Boamah noted that the NITA is the pivot of how efficiently government can be run and urged the members to study the Act of Parliament that governs boards and operate within that mandate.
“NITA has great potential to wean itself off government support if appropriate policies are implemented. It is the agency responsible for the drive of Government’s E-Ghana Project,” he stated.
He challenged the boards to make their operations competitive in the industry with the involvement of ICT specialists and harmonize ICT procurement.
Dr Boamah said GIFEC plays a critical role in the Country’s Telephony agenda to improve access, distribution and good connectivity to attract the private sector into underserved areas of the country.
He urged members of the NCA board to uphold the interest of consumers and not compromise on quality of service.
Dr Boamah also entreated them to consider issues of coverage and connectivity and educate subscribers to make informed choices based on availability of service:“The country’s drive towards digital migration is on course to meet the June 17, 2015 deadline, which will offer opportunities to industry players to give superior sound and picture quality, and more content in television broadcasting.
He urged all members to work towards harmonizing ICT policies and competitiveness in the country, adding that, ICT contributes about 22 per cent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Baffoe-Bonney thanked the government for the opportunity given them to serve mother Ghana and pledged their commitment to deliver on their mandate.
Madam Eva Lokko, former Director General of GBC, who spoke on behalf of the NITA Board, also expressed her appreciation to government for bringing together individuals who have at one point or the other contributed to the development of ICT.