The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned the first site of the Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, at Atwereboana in the Adansi South District, in the Ashanti Region.
Commissioning the Site on Wednesday, 4th November 2020, President Akufo-Addo explained that the purpose of the Telephony Site is to ensure the provision of basic voice and data connectivity to underserved areas of the country, to help promote digital inclusion, and reduce gap in the digital divide.
According to the President, Government is committed to ensuring that every Ghanaian, irrespective of tribe, religion, class, location or ability has access to affordable and reliable voice and data connectivity.
“To this end, the Ministry of Communications and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), working in partnership with mobile network operators and Huawei, is rolling out a Rural Telephony Project to provide data and voice connectivity to two thousand and sixteen (2,016) rural telephony sites strategically located in underserved and unserved communities across the country,” he said.
The President continued, “These sites will provide network coverage to over 300,000 communities, and provide an opportunity for over three million people to connect with their relatives and friends, enabling these communities to be accessible for social, economic, health and educational engagements not only with other parts of the country, but also with the rest of the world.”
Government, he told the gathering, has secured a €155 million facility from the China Exim Bank to finance this telephony extension project, adding that “the rural telephony project will also provide new areas for ICT growth in Ghana, whilst raising substantially the level of ICT literacy, especially during this COVID-19 era, where the need and demand for ICT skills has increased exponentially”.
The provision of the Rural Telephony Site will allow people in beneficiary rural communities to connect with families and friends outside their localities and also gives them access to online information, educational tools, the ability to access mobile financial services and to transact business nationwide.
“In addition, I am happy to announce that these rural areas will enjoy 3G coverage, and this will improve the user experience for all consumers. It means the people of Atwereboana and its environs can now enjoy data services like WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as being able to check their exam results online on their mobile phones, and benefit from a range of other ICT enabled services,” he assured
The inauguration of the project, he stressed, is an affirmation of Government’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of all citizens, bringing governance closer to the people, and bridging the digital gap between the served and the underserved, and between rural and urban communities.
“We know that the launch of this project will lead to a qualitative change in the lives of residents in the beneficiary communities and beyond, through ICT, judging by the impact connectivity has had on other similar communities with voice and data networks,” he added.