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Opinions of Tuesday, 30 November 1999

Columnist: Bonsu Kyeretwie

Introduction


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I'll be writing mostly about environment and energy issues; but also discuss some general economic aspects of life in light of the implications of the internet age. I'll try to cull articles from some major contributors (e.g. Vint Cerf) whenever i am unable to write something myself. a few points (the cardinal numbers refer to the order of the articles, 1 means first article, etc.):

  • 1. in my first article i'll try to make the case for a minister of digital technologies (or even IT) for Ghana. i'll argue that even though we have a savvy minister of communications and some idea of how to exploit IT for development, this has been on more impassive, and business initiated (rather than policy driven) basis. this alone won't get us to where we want to be in terms of IT leadership in West Africa, and subsequently Africa (my own surmising, but over some fifteen years this could be a feasible goal).
  • 2. a general discussion of development within the context of preserving bioderversity. we'll l examine the current trend toward policies of sustainable development - CDM, or clean development initiative; renewable energies, and other implications of sustainable development.
  • 3. i'll ask whether solar energy (and renewable in general) could save us from our energy crisis and provide a reliable, cheap (you must be laughing, so i'll reveal my secret of several years: just pay a visit to the site of the Belgian company Solarmundo, and tell me how you feel afterwards), means of meeting electricity and other requirements.
  • 4. we'll begin our dissuasion of digital technologies - the semiconductor, microprocessor chip, etc. up to the internet in the 21 century. this might have to be done in a number of articles.
  • 5. after the intro to IT series i'll take a break from the subject of IT and take a tour of some industrial economics and business strategy concepts that have changed life as we know it, and those (concepts) which could lead to us (Ghanaians) leapfrogging (i.e. making technological progress without going through the exact stages the developed world went through, while avoiding their mistakes).


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