Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has today, 23rd August 2021 commissioned three Rural Telephony sites in the Assin North Municipality.
The sites are located at Assin Senchem, Assin Atwereboana and Assin Bediadua in the Central Region. It is a project under the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and an initiative to connect the town and surrounding communities to telecommunication services.
In an address, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful explained that the establishment of the rural telephony projects is part of the Presidents vision to expand telephony connectivity services to rural communities in the country and to enable them access opportunities for the development of skills and knowledge as well as the growth of businesses and the local economy.
She referred to the Rural Star Project put in place by Huawei and customised for Ghana through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) and partners.
The cost of the current technology will save the government up to 60 percent of cost for traditional cell sites to provide voice and data services for over 3.4 million people in underserved and unserved communities. This will extend the national mobile communication coverage from 83 percent to 95 percent to greatly accelerate local economic development whiles improving people’s livelihoods.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful laid emphasis on the President’s determination to establish basic Information Technology Infrastructure such as the telephony service in the rural areas in the country.
“The President continues to attach great importance to ensure that Telecommunication and Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities which can now be described as basic necessities of life are available in all parts of the country” she added.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Mr Prince Ofosu Sefa was full of praise for the immediate past Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hon. Kofi Asante, who just retired from the agency.
He said GIFEC has been established to bridge the connectivity gap between urban (better served) and unserved and underserved communities. Through the introduction of the Rural Telephony Project, GIFEC provides telecommunications services to these unserved or underserved communities.
“Over the years, it became paramount to find innovative and efficient ways of implementing this project, hence the establishment of strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Through this, over 400 sites have been completed, providing voice and 3G data services to about 2.000 communities thereby improving their socioeconomic lives”, he added.
The Representative of the Divisional Chief, Mr. Aquarius Odam Marnah, was full of praise for the President’s rural telephony projects as an affordable and accessible means of communication, adding, mobile telephony effectively reduces the “distance” between individuals and institutions making the sharing of information and knowledge easier and more effective.
“Rural communities are realizing the potential of mobile telephony to create economic opportunities and strengthen social networks”.
In attendance were the Chief Director for the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Mrs Magdalene Apenteng; Deputy Administrator for GIFEC, Ms Eva Andoh Opoku; Director for Operations, GIFEC, Zakaria Osman Yahaya; Municipality Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Nicholas Fiifi Baako;District Chief Executive for Assin North, Mr Charles Ohene Andoh; Presiding Member for Assin Fosu Municipal Assembly, Hon. Andrews Kweku Addo; Director for Human Resources and Administration, Mr Faisal Isahaku Gbanjili; District Chief Executive for Assin North, Hon. Charles Ohene Andoh; Basofina Divisional Chief, Nana Aboagy Panyin; Chief of Assin Senchem, Nana Ofosu Ababio; Gyasehene of Bediadua, Nana Kwame Bayin; Chief of Donkorkrom, Abusua Panyin Kofi Sam, Aterebanda; Staff of the Ghana Police Service; Staff of the Ghana Fire Service; Staff of MoCD and Staff of GIFEC.