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General News
Gov''t. to sustain ICT for development project 2/9/2007
Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - Government on Thursday stated it would sustain its emphasis on the potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool to transforming the national economy. Presenting the State of the Nation Address, President John Agyekum Kufuor said the ICT revolution was fundamentally changing the way the world worked and decreasing the marginal cost of production and raising productivity across industries.

The Minority NDC was not present at the presentation. President Kufuor said government had integrated the Ghana ICT Policy for Accelerated Growth as a driver and enabler within the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Two (GPRS II).

"To ensure that every district has access to high speed internet connection and promote a wider penetration of ICT services throughout the country ... government has secured a 30 million-dollar concessionary loan to construct a national fibre optic communication backbone." This project is slated to start this year and would go a long way to mainstream the country into the digital world.

President Kufuor said government had secured another 40 million dollars from the World Bank towards the Ghana Project.

"The implementation of the Project is expected to increase employment through Business Process Outsourcing, enhanced revenue collection, computerization of IRS and other revenue agencies and increased human capacity development in the ICT sector.

President Kufuor said a National Information Technology Agency (NITA) would be established to coordinate the implementation of the various e-government projects throughout the country, including the formulation of a national ICT architecture.

He said prudent policies had resulted in a tremendous increase in telephone subscription in both fixed and mobile sectors. "From a figure of 215, 000 subscribers in 2001, this number has shot up to 4.5 million at September 2006. Government intends to create a more competitive market structure through the privatization of WESTEL and Ghana Telecom this year, despite these increases." 8 Feb. 07


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