President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday launched the rural telephony project, in Abenaso, in the Eastern Region, which will connect the town and surrounding communities with ICT facilities and telecommunication services.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that despite the significant spread of telecommunications services across the country, the distribution of necessary telephony infrastructure is still very much concentrated in the major economic centers of the country.
He explained that the government continues to attach great importance to ensuring that telecommunication and ICT facilities, which can now be described as necessities of life, are available in all parts of the country.
“While Government is providing the requisite communications infrastructure throughout the country, we are also creating an enabling environment, through the policies implemented over the last 19 months, to encourage private sector investment in the communications sector,” he said.
Through the National Communications Authority, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), in partnership with MTN (Gh) Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Ltd, the President stated that his government has begun rolling out the rural telephony project, which will provide data and voice connectivity to 1,020, hitherto, unserved communities across the country.
“Indeed, the Abenaso rural telephony site, which I am inaugurating today, is part of 161 rural telephony sites and 85 repeater sites which have been completed within 18 months of my government, and which will be providing voice and data connectivity to approximately 500 communities across the country.
By the end of this year, a total of 200 telephony sites, serving 1000 communities will have been completed. This is to be compared to only 78 such telephony sites during the entire eight years of the Mills/Mahama era,” the President revealed.
He continued, “Such is the commitment of Government to ensuring the realization of today’s ceremony that taxes, such as VAT, customs duties, and other import levies, were waived for the equipment brought into the country for the project. I express my deep appreciation to our traditional authorities, across the country, for generously donating parcels of land for the project to take off.”
The inauguration of the Abenaso Project, the President said, will mean that Abenaso, together with 499 other rural communities across the country will enjoy the 3G coverage.
President Akufo-Addo noted that expanding telephony connectivity services to rural communities in the country “will help open up Abenaso and other rural communities to opportunities for the development of skills and knowledge, as well the growth of businesses and the local economy”.
He elicited the help of the traditional authorities in Abenaso and other beneficiary communities to “utilize the opportunities fully that this project will bring to them. We would want to see this project bring about a positive impact on the lives of residents of this community and other beneficiary communities.”
President Akufo-Addo also urged the youth gathered “to take advantage of the opportunities that will be afforded to you by this facility. You are living in perhaps the most exciting time in our history, so please make the best of it. Some say this is our time. I say this is your time, and tomorrow will be the time of your children.”
He reiterated his commitment to building a new Ghanaian civilization, “where fair opportunities are given to all to live dignified, productive lives by dint of their hard work, creativity, and sense of enterprise. It is a promising phase in the Ghanaian journey.”