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General News of Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Source: GNA

Low level of ICT expertise in the public service

Oyibi (GAR), April 12, GNA - Professor Kofi Awoonor, Chairman of Council of State, has expressed regret at the low level of Information Technology (IT) expertise in the civil and public services in the country.

"This is an obstacle to implementing new ICT systems and the effective operation of existing ones in government machinery," he said. Prof. Awoonor expressed the concern at the Sixth ICT Expo by students of Valley View University (VVU) at Oyibi, near Accra on Tuesday.

The ICT Expo organised by students of the Computer Science Department, was on the theme: "Using ICT to Improve the Performance of the Public Sector of the Ghanaian Economy".

Some of the projects on display were Fire Alert and Communication System, Arms and Ammunition Allocation System, an Online Payment Portal and a Computer Based Examiners Aid also known as Electronic Examiner.

Others were Fuel Identification System for the Tema Oil Refinery, a Hospital Management System for keeping medical and other confidential information, and a Contract Management System for the monitoring of contracts awarded in the public sector. All the projects on display invented by the final year students were all computerised.

He called for the prioritisation of ICT human resource development in all sectors of the economy, and noted that the country could realise its developmental dreams when labour force was supported and equipped the youth with ICT skills through in-service training and classroom education.

"Ghana will then fully and completely take her rightful place in the new knowledge and information-based economy," he added. Prof. Awoonor commended the Government for adopting Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) in 2003 an initiative which set out the country's road map for the development of a national information society and economy.

He called for the distribution of computers to educational institutions in the country in order to broaden the ICT knowledge base of students before they entered the job market. Prof. Awoonor urged the lecturers to endeavour to undertake more research in their areas of expertise to generate new knowledge and share with their students, colleagues and other institutions which might be interested.

He commended the authorities of the University for being at the forefront in terms of ICT development, adding 93Indeed it is a testimony that the Department of Computer Science of the Valley View University is delivering quality education to the students towards national development".

Prof. Dr Daniel Bour, Vice Chancellor of VVU, lauded the role of ICT in the socio-economic development of countries on the globe. "Indeed, development of the industrialised nations could not have been materialised without the ICT revolution," he said. He cited cyber fraud, cyber pornography and vision impairment as some of the challenges that ICT posed, and called for the development of the needed technology to address the challenges.

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