The about 3.5 million Ghanaians who are yet to be connected to data and voice networks will heave a sigh of relieve by the end of next year.
This follows the quest by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to construct and connect some community ICT centers and cell sites across the country.
According to Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the establishment of more than 2,000 centres and sites is ongoing and on course to make this a reality.
“We are focus to begin and also complete all ICT centers and rural telephony sites across the country to aid the teaching and learning of ICT courses for our girls and the youth. This will be an opportunity for girls and young women in the country to gain knowledge and be exposed to ICT”, she mentioned whiles giving a keynote address to climax the National Girls in ICT programme on the Techiman Campus of the Valley View University in the Bono East Region.
“As we have been told, the theme for this year is “access and safety”. This theme is very apt because not all our communities have access to platforms that will help in the knowledge acquisition of our young girls”, she added.
To address the access issue in Ghana, the Ministry through GIFEC is implementing our rural telephony and digital inclusion project which will see the construction of more than 2,000 sites for voice and data connectivity nationwide. Over 700 sites are already being built since 2020 and many communities been connected and benefiting as we speak.
By the end of next year, all the sites would be completed and connected for some 3. 5 million Ghanaians who are currently not connected to experience the wonders of digital technology” she assured.
Since the beginning of the celebration in 2012, this is the first time about five regions are celebrating the programme separately in a year. A development the minister describes as exceptional.
One hundred girls from all the 11 districts received laptops, whilst some also received cash awards and some incentives for their schools including coding clubs, fully furnished ICT laboratories, among others.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful urged the Regional Coordinating Council to take ownership of the facilities and ensure that proper maintenance is done for them to serve their purpose.
Some best performing teachers and regional officers also received laptop rewards for their efforts.
A Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Eric Mensah Bonsu re-emphasized the importance of technology in the economy and urged the beneficiary girls to use the training to empower themselves.
Afua Brown-Eyeson took the children through some sections of the Cyber security Act, Act 2020 which is related to children and advised them to stay away from unfriendly people on the internet in order not to fall prey to their demands.
Deputy Minister for Education in charge of TVET, Gifty Twum Ampofo, encouraged the participants to study hard and take advantage of some government initiatives like the free senior high school.
She also emphasised on the need to study beyond classroom exercise in order to open their minds to many happenings on the globe.
According to her, the world is becoming a global village and one needs to make use of technology to advance in their studies.
“Make use of internet connectivity and technology in the country as a female student. You should take research seriously in whatever you want to study and not only what you are being thought in the classroom. Make good use of this particular training so that you can be ahead of your peers in class and benefit from the president’s Free Senior High School programme” she advised.
Certificates were presented to all 1,000 beneficiary girls from the region.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful together with the Bono East Regional Minister, Kwasi Adu Gyan, handed over to the Bono Regional Representatives as the next host of the girls in ICT programme which is expected to commence in few days.