Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah has outlined a comprehensive multi-sectoral plan by government to deploy ICT infrastructure to facilitate national growth and development.
The plan will see an extension of broadband and internet connectivity across the length and breadth of the country, to facilitate work in the country's commercial, educational, parliamentary and judicial institutions.
While acknowledging the enormous potential and role of ICT in engendering national development, the minister told participants at the 65th New Year school and Conference the government is also wary of the possibility of it being used as a vehicle for fraud and has put in place adequate measures to fight it.
"I wish to assure you that Government acknowledges the threats that cyber fraudsters pose to all nations. We are developing a Public Key Infrastructure together with experts from South Korea. We have entered into an agreement with ITU for the establishment of a national Computer Incident Response Team. The project will provide Ghana with the necessary capacity and technical capabilities to build a national point of contact to respond in an effective manner to cybercrimes and cyber attacks," the minister assured.
Omane Boamah paid glowing tribute to the enduring role being played by the new year school in enriching the country's policy initiatives and was particularly elated with the theme for the 2014 edition-“ICT- driven education for sustainable human development: challenges and prospects."
Reiterating the vision of the President, the minister noted that ICT is considered a key part of Ghana's development agenda and the government will commit resources towards its expansion.
"Information Communication technology and its deployment and application is increasingly becoming the basis for determining the status of socioeconomic advancement of nations. It is postulated that for every 10% increase in broadband capacity, a corresponding average increase of 1% in GDP is expected.
"…We are therefore poised to facilitate the vision of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama to exploit ICT as an enabler, a driver and a catalyst to augment the pace of Ghana’s transformation into a fully fledged Middle Income Country," he stated.
"Work is progressing on the deployment of 780 kilometres of fibre optic ICT backbone. This infrastructure is connecting over 120 towns between Ho in the south and Bawku in the North-Eastern part of Ghana, linking Tamale and Yendi," he said, adding this is to increase internet connectivity across the country.
"We are supporting the Legislature to implement the e-Parliamentary System, under which members of Parliament will be able to file their queries to the Executive online. This will lead to speedy and paperless flow of information," Dr Omane Boamah stated.