As part of efforts to enhance Information Communication Technology (ICT) training in the districts, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has presented six hundred computers and accessories worth GHC 28,500 to forty Community Information Centres (CICs) across the country.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Minister for Communication, said GIFEC worked in several ways to ensure that the Nation broke the Digital Divide through the provision of rural telecommunication services as well as the provision of ICT, Internet connectivity and infrastructure to underserved and un-served areas of the country.
Dr Omane-Boamah disclosed that government had invested US $ 8.5 million in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which was expected to generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
He said government's strategy was to link the CICs to the grade facility sites to take advantage of the BOP industry, adding that several international organisations were discussing their interest in the dissemination of the BPO activities to the districts with the ministry.
He said the CICs, apart from job creation and business generation, would also help in educating and training the youth as well as assist the Information Services Department (ISD) in information dissemination, both at the local and national level.
Dr Omane-Boamah said the CICs were of great importance to the country, having trained over 411 girls in the Eastern region during the Girls in ICT Day celebration this year.
He urged District Chief Executives (DCEs) and managers of the CICs to put the computers to good use to enable the community benefit from the investment made.
"Our monitoring and evaluation team will continue to knock on your doors to ensure that you put the computers to good use. Maintenance should be a cardinal principle that must be embedded in the management of these CICs and the computers presented," he said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, who spoke to the ISD shortly after the presentation, said the computers would assist in information gathering and dissemination.
Mr Attor said managers of the CICs had undergone one week training at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on how to use the various software and basic hardware procedures in order to be able use and maintain the computers.
He said a monitoring team at GIFEC and the Ministry of Communications had been tasked to frequently monitor and ensure that the computers were put to good use.
He disclosed that all 600 computers would be connected to the internet and printers by October, this year.
Mr Ator urged all the DCEs and managers of the centres to make good use of the CICs in order to achieve its intended purpose.
The forty CICs, who were given fifteen computers each, included Sekyere, Bosomtwe, Adansi South and Kwabre East, all in the Ashanti region; Ahafo-Ano North and Asutifi South in the Brong Ahafo region; Agona East Metro and Mfantseman in the Central region; Akuapem South, Kwahu Afram Plains, kibi, Akuapim, Ashiaman and Ningo-Pampram in the Eastern region; and Tamale, Yendi and Bawku West in the Northern region.
The others are Nandom and Nadowli in the Upper West region; Aveme, Ho West, North Tongu, Keta, Akatsi south, Ketu North and Wasa Amenfi, in the Volta region; and Jomoro in the Western Region. Source: ISD (Edem Agblevor)