Graphic Business News

Gov't earmarks US$75m to improve ICT

By: Daniel Ofosu Dwamena
An Artist impression of the proposed technology park at Dawa
An Artist impression of the proposed technology park at Dawa

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the country is expected to receive US$75 million to support Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as part of a framework agreement between Ghana and Mauritius.

 The amount will be used to finance the establishment of technology parks at Tema and Dawa in the Greater Accra Region following cabinet’s approval.

The President made the announcement when he addressed the nation on Thursday, February 8, in accordance with the Constitution which mandates the President to present to Parliament a State of the Nation Address in the first quarter of every year.

President Akufo Addo said the government was waiting on the approval of the initial commitment of US$ 75 million of the framework agreement between the two countries.

The technology park will strengthen technological advancements in the country and improve Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the education curriculum, as well as reinforce cyber security to build confidence and protect the use of electronic communication in national development.

Agreement details
Per the agreement, Mauritius is expected to make a commitment of US$75 million towards the development of the technology parks.

The first phase of the project will be developed and managed by a private company through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), on a 6.1 hectare serviced land in the Tema Free Zones Enclave.

He said with an initial investment of US$75million to be scaled up to US$250 million, about 5000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect job opportunities would be created on completion of the park.

Cyber security
The President also complained about the rapid increasing rate of cybercrime and highlighted the need to clamp down on such activities to boost the use of technology and e-commerce for national development. 

“Unfortunately, and predictably, a whole new set of dangers of cyber insecurity and fraud have emerged with these modern tools,” he said.

“We are working to strengthen cyber security to build confidence, and protect the use of electronic communications in national development, and ensure that our young technologically savvy people would keep Ghana firmly in the exciting IT economy and its many opportunities,” he added.

He said government was reforming schools’ curricula to deal with the weaknesses in the education system, and put much emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (S.T.E.M), reading, history, and technical and vocational skills.

“It is, in my view, also important that the reform of our schools’ curricula should instil in our youth respect for the traditional values of discipline, fellow-feeling, hard work, honesty, integrity and patriotism, without which no healthy, social development can occur.” he said.