The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has embarked on a massive drive to extend Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects to rural communities.

GIFEC is using its Smart Communities Project to bridge the internet gap between peri-urban and urban areas to position Ghana as an IT-driven country.

The Smart Communities project, which is being piloted in Brong Ahafo and the Western regions, is providing Wi-Fi in public establishments such as schools, hospitals, banks, police stations and market places among others. Four communities are to benefit from the Smart Community initiative – Asumura, Berekum, Goaso and Asankragua in the Brong Ahafo and Western regions respectively.

The students at the computer lab
The students at the computer lab

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, having toured the project site at Asumura in the Brong Ahafo region on Monday, February 5, 2018, was optimistic that linking more rural areas to the internet under the Smart Communities Project will accelerate development and transform the economy.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said as the Akufo-Addo-led government formalises the economy it will be much easier to start paying farmers and other sectors of the economy electronically, adding the Smart Community Project is an attestation that “E-commerce can strive in rural areas.”

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, who doubles as the MP for Ablekuma West, hailed GIFEC for the project since it “will facilitate E-governance because all the district agencies will be given access to internet and deal seamlessly with one another in terms of provision of services and sending and receiving feedback.”

The Communication Minister was optimistic the country stands to benefit immensely from the project because it will also help reduce corruption at the public sector.

She noted that information and technology are pre-requites in development hence bringing them to the doorsteps of the deprived is a laudable initiative hence the need to support GIFEC Secretariat to spread the project to other communities. She appealed to the beneficiary communities to maintain the facilities to extend their lifespan.

For her part, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, promised that as partners in development, her country will continue to support the digitalisation process of government to boost the various sectors of the economy.