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Business News Tue, 27 May 2003

$800 million needed to improve telecom

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communications and Technology, on Monday said Ghana needed about 800 million dollars to improve telecommunication infrastructure to support the development of Interconnect Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

He said, "what is even more frightening is that there must be an additional regular annual investment to ensure that the equipment do not become outdated and obsolete".

The Minister said this at the opening of a five-day Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations (CTO) Competition Policy Workshop aimed at addressing interconnection issues with special reference to fix to mobile operations, development and delivery of fundamental economic issues for regulators, which includes competition policy, costs and pricing and finance for regulators.

Its being attended by about 30 Executives of the Telecommunication Operators and Regulation Officials from the Commonwealth and other international telecommunication bodies including Building Digital Organisation (BDO) and CTO.

He said it was inconceivable for the government alone to find investment capital for the development and called for Private Sector support and investment in the industry.

He said, "investment in the telecomm sector had been declining thus delaying infrastructure expansions and slowing the deployment of value added advanced communication and technological services.

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Mr Kan-Dapaah called for improvement of the sector based on development, expansion and modernisation of communication infrastructure to achieve universal service and access to basic and value added communication service.

"The need for this improvement is even more imperative now. The world economy is experiencing the impact of rapid globalisation and emerging information age, which is bringing about a new global economic order' he said.

He said the emphasis of the economic order was on poverty reduction, wealth creation and good governance, which Ghana had embraced as the key factors in the Golden Age of Business for social-economic development of the nation.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said the country's ability to accelerate the socio-economic development process, gain competitive advantage and improve the well-being of the people depended on the extent of which it can develop, use and sell Interconnect Communication Technology.

Professor Bill Wigglesworth, Lecturer of Telecommunication Policy and Regulation at the University of Westminster, is leading a team of experts as resource persons for the workshop

Source: GNA
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