The Deputy Minister for Communications and Digitalisation has commissioned a newly built Community Information Centre (CIC) at Kokofu in the Ashanti Region. This forms part of measures to leverage ICT to increase productivity; promote economic growth; reduce poverty and bridge the digital divide.
The CIC is expected to function as an information hub by providing connectivity to provide businesses, educational institutions and individuals within the Ashanti Bekwai Catchment area. The initiative is also designed to serve as a hub for various ICT Capacity Building Programmes.
Speaking on behalf of the Sector, Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Hon. Ama Pomaa Boateng indicated that in order to maximize the use of technology and ICT services, it is important to build the capacity of citizens with various skills set and that reinforces the significance of the ICT Capacity Building and Skills Development Programme.
According to her, the current and 3rd cohort of the programme, had trained 3,169 persons, comprising Women Entrepreneurs, School Dropouts, School leavers, Head Porters, Teachers, Students, the Youth and Persons with Disability so far across all 16 regions of the country, of which Bekwai Municipal was included.
She said that participants were given training in digital skills courses such as Introduction to computer games and animation stories, using Scratch, Cyber Security, Cyber Security Essentials, Introduction to IoT, Python, C++ and Entrepreneurship.
According to her, GIFEC made significant strides to bridge the gender digital divide and ensure more female participation in ICT.
“ 720 women have been trained so far. Our Girls in ICT Programme, which was initially introduced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is being implemented to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)” she noted.
Hon. Ms. Boateng stated that the programme forms part of a broader goal of building an inclusive digital society where lack of digital skills should not be a barrier to participation in the digital economy.
“30 new Community ICT Centres (CICs) have been established across the country to increase access to ICT equipment and services to unserved and underserved communities” She said.
She added that, the Cyberlabs Programme were geared towards providing communities and institutions with ICT equipment, has over the years deployed computers and accessories to over 1,000 Basic, Junior and Senior Cycle Institutions across the country, to facilitate teaching and learning.
She stressed that it was a deliberate move by the Ministry and GIFEC to build a digitally literate citizenry with the aim to boost their ICT capabilities and enable them to participate meaningfully in the knowledge society of today.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIFEC, Mr. Prince Sefah, in his remarks mentioned that the Cyberlabs Programme was aimed at improving access to ICT by providing ICT equipment to schools, institutions and communities, hence his outfit was responsible to build and operate Community ICT Centres (CICs), to serve as Digital hubs to provide training and other services to citizens.
He observed that the programme had imparted ICT skills and knowledge to citizens, including students, artisans, women entrepreneurs, teachers, CIC Managers since its implementation.
“Today, we are elated to be here to witness examples of two of GIFEC’s key Programmes – Cyberlabs and Capacity Building, and I happy our Deputy Minister is here, and on behalf of our Honourable Minister for Communications and Digitalisation – Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP – Ablekuma West), will share the great details of the achievements for which we are gathered here”, he stated.