The Minister of Information, Nana Akomea, said on Wednesday that the government was prepared to close the rural-urban communication gap through the re-introduction of mobile cinemas.
Nana Akomea, who said this when he commissioned four new mobile cinema vans in Accra, added that the rural areas were totally underserved by the media. The use of the vans to educate, inform, explain government policies and entertain them would make them not to feel cut off.
The vans, which were bought from the Ministry's HIPC allocation, cost 37,000 pounds sterling each. He said the country would be divided into circuits, adding that teams of electronics and television operators would be taken round each district to shoot scenes that affect the people such as education, family planning and elections, among other things, to be edited and shown on the cinema screen to the people.
He said companies like Unilever had expressed interest in the project to also use such opportunity to advertise their products.
This would also help the Ministry to recover some of the cost of the vans. Divine Addo-Dankwa Kwapong, Acting Director, Information Services Department, said the number of vans had been dwindling. He noted that in 1997, ISD had 50 vans but now they were only 20 with the 30 others under repairs.
He said the vans were useful during the colonial days and after independence, especially in helping government in its campaigns and other issues. "We are still expecting more; each region needs to have a van," he added. Barry Senior, Senior Manager of the Agri Visuals, who handed over the keys to the Minister, asked the trainees could fall on the company any time they faced a problem.