Business News of 2014-05-17

‘Ghana's future bright with heavy ICT investments’

Communications Minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamah says with the level of investment in ICT infrastructure, Ghana’s future can only be bright.

Speaking at an occasion to mark the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, the minister said ICT would soon be applied extensively in every facet of the country's development.

The minister cited the optic fibre assets of the National Communications Backbone Company (NCBC)/Vodafone which provides nearly 3,000 kilometres of terrestrial fibre; the construction of the 780 kilometer optic fibre ICT backbone infrastructure on the Eastern Corridor of the country, the successful connection of the terrestrial optic fibre with those of neighboring sister countries as some of the many investments in the sector.

He said the 780 kilometer optic fibre for instance would provide broadband infrastructure to over 120 towns and communities along the route from Ho to Bawku, with a link to Tamale from Yendi.

Dr. Omane Boamah also revealed that a pilot e-health project is being deployed in three (3) health facilities; Korle-bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Wa Government Hospital and Zebilla District Hospital. With this technology, the hospital will be equipped with medical call centres that would readily provide medical advice to patients and help reduce long queues at the various hospitals, he stressed.

Other interventions would also improve access to education, justice delivery and law making in the country, he pointed out. "Some of the initiatives undertaken include the provision of Internet connectivity for 200 institutions and installation of rural telephony access points to over 500 rural communities," the minister added.

He further noted "through these investments in infrastructure development made by both Government and the Private Sector players in the sector, the cost of access to bandwidth has substantially dropped over the years as we strive to meet our goal of provision of affordable access to ICT infrastructure by all without geographic restrictions."

"We want to transform Ghana into a modern nation where our hospitals and medical facilities utilise ICTs as much as possible. Our Oil and Gas industry, transportation system, commerce, manufacturing, learning and playing must be ICT driven. Governance, Politics, Religion and indeed our way of life must be ICT enabled.

This is the only way that we can translate the huge investments that Government and the private sector have injected into the sector into significant multipliers for our socioeconomic advancement," the minister maintained.

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