The Government of Ghana under the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration has empowered the Ghana Investment Fund For Electronic Communication (GIFEC) and the Ministry Of Communications (MOC) to help improve communication solutions especially in remote areas in a very unique way.
Since the universe is turning a digital globe, GIFEC which is taking up a pivotal role has introduced various innovative ways of executing the task of resolving electronic communication related challenges.
At a press conference in Accra, on Tuesday, 24th July, 2018 the CEO of The Ghana Investment Fund For Electronic Communications, Mr. Abraham Kofi Asante noted; “GIFEC has undertaken a number of rural-centered initiatives over the past years in unserved and underserved communities, all aimed at narrowing the digital gap.”
Outlining their achievements under the various rolled out initiatives, the CEO said, “Rural Telephony Project (RTP), through close collaboration with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) led to the following accomplishments over the years: 117 RTP sites constructed (2014 – 2016), 100 RTP sites constructed using UMTS 900 (2017), 85 repeater sites (May 2018), 900 communities covered and 200 RTP sites to be constructed by the end of 2018 of which 50 has already been completed.
“Under the Cyber Laboratory programme; 819 Educational Institutions were provided with Computers, Printers, Scanners and Projectors while 120 Basic Schools are to be equipped with ICT Laboratories by the end of 2018”
Touching on the GIFEC Satellite Hub, which provides Internet Points of Presence in unserved/underserved communities through the installation of a VSAT Satellite Hub, he said, “100 VSATs internet sites have been installed, 25 RTP sites integrated into the hub, 82 CICs connected to the internet.”
He further eulogized MTN and Huawei for partnering GIFEC on its major task to provide rural areas with good Internet and voice services.
Narrating the ordeal people in the rural areas go through in search of the internet and clarity for voice calls, Mr. Abraham Kofi Asante said, “Most people in rural areas, mostly find it very difficult to get good receptions during the making of calls to their loved ones in the cities, as most have to either climb trees, or go to places where they can hear or get good call receptions.”
He also revealed, measures are being put in place to not only offer voice solutions during calls, but also offer better Internet (data) for one to surf the Internet even in remote areas whiles the businesses in the communities are educated on how to use social media to enhance, market and expand their business.
In the coming days, GIFEC will be increasing the reach of some new innovations such as the Emergency Call Centers which empowers Citizens to call and lodge complaints to government directly and get real time feedback and the Coding for Kids initiative; an arrangement to train kids to be able to use computers in programming and learning which already has 150 teachers trained as at June, 2018 and it is expected to train 1500 school children by the end of the first phase of the project.