The centre, the ATC Ghana Digital Communities ICT Learning Centre, is one of nine such centres that will be commissioned across the country in the coming days by a leading independent owner and operator of shared wireless infrastructure, ATC Ghana.
They are located in Kpembi Salaga in the Savannah Region, Dromankese in the Bono East Region, Techimantia in the Ahafo Region, Panfokrom in the Central Region, Kojoaba in the Western Region, Bodada in the Oti Region, Peki Tsiame in the Volta Region and Mangu in the Upper West Region.
They add to 10 other digital community centres that the local subsidiary of the American Tower Corporation (ATC) has completed over the years.
The 10 are at Bator in the North Tongu District, Savelugu in the Northern Region, Jamasi in the Ashanti Region, Asuom and Bawdua in the Eastern Region, Makola in Greater Accra, Gaduri in the Upper East Region, Berekum in the Bono Region, Akontombra in the Western North Region and Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The digital communities are computer-equipped learning centres that utilise uninterrupted power supply and broadband connection from tower sites to provide access to ICT services and training to basic school pupils and residents in underserved communities.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ashutosh Singh, said the digital communities programme was one of the flagship initiatives in their commitment to drive the development of highly skilled professionals for the country’s telecommunications industry, as well as support a digitally driven socio-economic life in line with the company’s sustainability commitment.
“This is important to us because as the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure to support network connectivity in Ghana, the availability of highly skilled ICT professionals is key to the sustainability of our operations,” he stated.
Mr Singh explained that the digital communities were positioned strategically to pick up the interest of young pupils in ICT at a young age.
“They are located strategically close to basic schools to ensure easy access to aid teaching and learning,” he added.
The CEO of ATC Ghana said internet access was essential to thriving in today’s connected society and is helping alleviate the disparity in the space.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutum, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Maamle Andrews, expressed appreciation and said the centres were a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and empowering girls across the country through access to ICT education and information.
“Their location, which is close to basic schools, will ensure easy access to teaching and learning and provide much-needed basic computing skills and coding programming to thousands of school children in the community,” she explained.
With the rapid advancement of the digital age, Ms Andrews said it was imperative to equip students with the necessary tools and skills to thrive in the space.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, said the US was committed to supporting girls and women as equal partners in the workforce to help strengthen the country’s economy.
She noted that the Girls Guide will teach girls and boys practical skills, competence and leadership, and being able to use and adopt technology would remain a key driver of individual business and social transformation for years to come.
Ms Palmer said there were still many other people across the world who had still not made a phone call and that divide was a source of potential conflict and exacerbating inequality.
Source: Jemima Okang Addae (Graphic online)