The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has unveiled plans towards creating Smart Communities in underserved areas within the country. Speaking with Senior Executives from the Africa Policy Division of social media giants Facebook at the offices of GIFEC during a working visit, the Acting Administrator, Hon. Abraham Kofi Asante, underscored the need to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into all facets of societal development. He reiterated the government commitment towards the building of a productive and highly prosperous nation through the development and deployment of ICT initiatives throughout the country.In line with these objectives of making ICT and telecommunication services accessible to the unserved and underserved communities, the Administrator informed the team that, a Smart Community programme is being rolled out in 4 communities namely; Asumura, Berekum, Goaso and Asankragua in the Brong Ahafo and Western regions respectively. The package consists of Wi-Fi in public establishments alongside the creation of hotspots in notable public spaces, provision of computers and accessories to schools and specific local content for digital financial inclusion, e-governance, e-security, e-learning services. Of significant importance is the Digital for Inclusion model which seeks to create job opportunities targeting Zongos and cocoa areas within these communities.
The leader of the Facebook delegation, Ms. Ebele Okobi Director of Public Policy stated that Facebook is poised to provide solutions and initiatives specifically targeted at the identified needs of the continent. She indicated that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are particularly encouraged to leverage on the power of ICTs to grow their business and achieve economic power. Ms. Okobi highlighted on some of their specific initiatives which include Express Wi-Fi, Cyber Space security for all online users especially women and children and capacity-building for local content developers and digital entrepreneurs.
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