An Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Volunteer Centre aimed at bringing individuals, professionals and institutions together to contribute to the development of communities in the Volta Region has been inaugurated in Ho. The establishment of the centre is in line with volunteerism, as constituted by the United Nations, and will collaborate with the Volta Institute of Development Studies (VIDS) and network with like-minded institutions and organisations the world over to train people in ICT, leadership and governance and conflict management. For a start, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has presented 10 computers to the centre to commence its activities. Inaugurating the centre, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Amenowode, underscored the importance of computers, adding that without them, all engagements, especially on academic endeavours, would be extremely slow. He said the government was constructing information centres in major towns in the regions to provide opportunities for the youth to enhance their ICT potential, adding that the inclusion of volunteer training in the areas of ICT, leadership and governance and conflict management was truly relevant and must be fully explored.
In an address, the Chief Executive Officer of GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, declared that ICT was the way forward for all in the contemporary world, regardless of age. He said the government was set in bridging the gap between the urban and rural areas, adding that all 38 colleges of education now had state-of-the-art computer laboratories to enable each village to have computer literate teachers by the next five years. Mr Attor said all vocational and youth centres would be equipped and encouraged to teach and learn ICT to a level that would ensure that the nation witnessed an era of digital inclusiveness, adding, “We are in a hurry to get Ghana on the information super highway.” For his part, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Kodobisa, said the new centre was an innovation and said all assembly members would be considered for enrolment at the centre to improve on their computer literacy. In a welcoming address, the Director of the centre, Mr Courage Dei-Zanga, expressed the hope that the organisation would lead the rural connectivity crusade which would ultimately help Ghana to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
He said it would establish linkages with rural communities to enable them to share all the benefits of ICT through rural Internet connectivity. He said the centre would offer free training and capacity building in the basics of ICT, advanced ICT, gender advocacy and mainstreaming, climate change knowledge and adaptations, disaster management, agro-business, trade and development, leadership and governance, alternative dispute resolution mechanism, human resource development, among others. He said 20 women, comprising queens, assembly women and opinion leaders, in the Ho municipality had started training in basic ICT at the centre. The Chairman for the occasion was the Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service(GES), Mr Gabriel Kploanyi, who underscored the essence of computer skills.