Take advantages of ICT to create jobs – President Mahama

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Accra Nov. 16, GNA- President John Dramani Mahama has tasked Ghanaians to take advantage of the proliferation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services to create jobs.

            President Mahama also tasked the National Communication Authority (NCA) and stakeholders to take steps to protect users against the vices of ICT.

            These were contained in a speech read on his behalf, by Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communication at the commissioning of the NCA’s Tower, Airport City, in Accra.

            The NCA Tower comprises 11 floors, including two underground parking levels and three elevators adaptive to the physically challenged. The additional 11 boasts elevators have audio prompt for the visually impaired. The building also has an ultra-modern gym and restaurant.

            President Mahama stated that Ghana was recognised at the frontier of ICT in Africa; while the sector had generated over 400,000 jobs over the past four years.

            He recounted that Ghana had been ranked as the first African country in the sub region to have introduced widespread technologies in the area of education, agriculture and health.

            He said Ghana had increased mobile subscription to more than 130 per cent and since 2009, mobile telecommunication usage had jumped from 11 million to 35 million.

          The country has 18 million data subscribers now.

            He said Cabinet had also approved a number of policies to expand the frontiers of the ICT and telecommunication industry.

             President Mahama expressed contentment that the NCA through its deregulation and liberation of the airwaves, now had seen 300 FM stations in operation saying, that these were  arming the public with information.

            He announced that the Ministry of Communication had implemented policies that had ably facilitated and improved the quality of service delivery in the telecommunication industry.

            The President urged the NCA and industry players to continue to develop policies without any prejudice or favour that had the tendency to go against users.

            Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the Board Chairman, NCA, said the Authority had restructured its internal division to fully re-align and stretched out strategic focus designed to achieve the vision of becoming a world class regulator.

            Mr Baffoe-Bonnie said the NCA had also created an internal “think Tank” charged with the challenge to inject fresh ideas on emerging technologies and creative business process re-engineering architecture with key focus on continuous improvement methodologies. 

            He said the NCA would also commence with projects, which would enable it to research, build on and develop new regulatory interventions to meet the rapidly changing communication environment.

            ”The NCA through the years, has consistently delivered on its mandates and will continue to see the impact on our stakeholders on a monthly basis and key among these are the growing subscriber figures and investments in the industry,” he said.

            Mr William Tevie, the Director General of the NCA, said the Authority had grown in various aspects, including staff numbers, regulatory works, number of operators, communication access lines, number of subscribers and impact on international the communication scenes.

            Mr Tevie said the Authority from three divisions: Frequency Management; Administration; and Regulatory and Licensing, now was fully fledged with 10 divisions.

            He said the NCA would be more committed to ensuring that the expectations of all stakeholders within the industry were met.

            The NCA was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 524, in December 1996, has been repealed but it has been replaced by the NCA Act 2008 (Act 769).

            It has been mandated to license and regulate electronic communication activities in the country and it regulates all commerce and initiatives in the communication space in the country regardless of the technology employed.

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