By Papisdaff Abdullah.
President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated a rural telephony project, in Abenaso, in the Eastern Region of the country. The project is expected to 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 basic telephony infrastructure is still very much concentrated in the major economic centers of the country.
That is why, he explained that Government continues to attach great importance to ensuring that telecommunication and ICT facilities, which can now be described as basic necessities of life, are available in all parts of the country.
“Whilst 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 some one thousand, and twenty (1,020), hitherto, unserved communities across the country.
“Indeed, the Abenaso rural telephony site, which I am inaugurating today, is part of one hundred and sixty one (161) rural telephony sites and eighty five (85) repeater sites which have been completed within 18 months of my government, and which will be providing voice and data connectivity to approximately five hundred (500) communities across the country.
By the end of this year, a total of two hundred (200) telephony sites, serving some 1,000 communities will have been completed. This is to be compared to only seventy-eight (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 four hundred and ninety-nine (499) other rural communities across the country will enjoy 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 fully the opportunities 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.”