The internet is fast gaining momentum around the world even at the remotest communities scattered all over, seeing to the progressive pace of business and turning the globe into one compact village for easier interaction and transaction.
On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, the offices of the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Administration Communication (GIFEC) met with the media in Ghana to introduce the work of the fund and also outline the various process it’s using to solve internet issues in rural communities in the country after it has received the needed support from the Government of Ghana led by His Excellence, Nana Akufo-Addo.
At the press interaction, the CEO of Ghana Investment Fund For Electronic Communications, Mr Abraham Kofi Asante noted; “GIFEC has undertaken a number of rural-centred 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 have 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”, he added.
In addition to what the fund has already set in motion, another pivotal introduction is 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”.
Reception in the rural communities is the major hurdle for the fund to deal with but, GIFEC revealed MTN and Huawei have been of great support in the provision of good internet and voice services.
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.