IT professionals called to contribute to biometric voting register

Mr Haruna Iddrius, Minister of Communications, on Thursday called on Information Technology (IT) professionals to contribute to the debate on the biometric voters register to improve electoral processes in the country. He said IT professionals played a crucial role in the social, economic and political development of every country.
Mr Iddrisu said this at the opening of a two-day conference by the Information Technology Association of Ghana (ITAG) on the theme: “Building a Network of IT Professionals for Accelerated National Development” in Accra. The meeting is being attended by members of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria, the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana Institute of Engineers, the Ghana Bar Association. Mr Haruna noted that Information Communication Technology (ICT) was an important tool that would enable professionals from all sectors of the economy to improve on their productivity for national development. The Sector Minister reiterated government’s commitment to provide an enabling environment for professionals in the IT industry to operate.
He announced that the month of May would be dedicated to the celebration of female IT professionals who had excelled in the discharge of their duties. Dr Nii Narku Quaynor, the Interim President of ITAG, said the successful outdooring of the Association for practitioners and professionals of IT would enable the engagement of human capital in creating a true knowledge industry and economy.
He urged participates to seek the opportunity to network with professionals to share common ideas in the sector. Mr William Tevie, Secretary of ITAG, said the government’s programme of ICT for accelerated growth and commitment to developing IT resulted in the setting up of the National Information Technology Agency,(NITA) which he is also the Director General.  He said the agency was tasked to ensure that ICT was used to enhance growth in all aspects for the economy. Mr Tevie said the Association also aimed at providing a forum to share ideas and best practice, seeking common interests and standards and providing a better understanding of the environment in which practitioners operated.
Source: GNA

Ghana Information Development Portal launched as part of Sustainable Rural Livelihood Project

Ghana on Thursday initiated a development information portal, ”www.tsoboi.com“, to shore up efforts to access and share local relevant development information.  The Ghana Information Development Portal (GDIP) platform would serve as a one-stop online shop for accessing locally relevant development content to improve knowledge management and information access to ensure the availability of information as a key development resource.

The GDIP, which was a programme developed under the Sustainable Rural Livelihood Project (SRLP) was currently linked to the Government of Ghana Portal,  www.ghana.gov.gh and the interface managed by the National Information Services Department (ISD) under the Ministry of Information would also support better  coordination and harmonization of development activities nationwide.

At the media launch of the product in Accra, Mr Ernest Attu Quaye Armah, Deputy Minister of Communication, said the content of the portal was expected to feed into Community Information Centres established by the Ministry of Communications across the length and breadth of the country.

He further explained that the GDIP would use mobile phone applications such as SMS to provide information to citizens who had no access to laptops, desktop computers or related connectivity.  He said the Ministry recognized that the deployment and exploitation of ICTs could facilitate the sustainable rural livelihoods in deprived communities, adding “with Ghana enjoying a tremendous growth in the Telecommunication market coupled with the extensive investments in network rolled out across the country, I am informed that one of your products uses SMS platform for relaying information of foodstuffs on the GDIP”. Continue reading

Ghana Parliament to amend business registeration laws for e-transactions

Parliament is set to amend various business registeration laws to provide for electronic transactions in line with government’s e-Governance project.

The project aims at modernizing key ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to support the provision of citizen-friendly services through ICT.

Three amendment bills, including the Registeration of Business Names (Amendment) bill 2011 and the Companies (Amendment) bill 2011 are before the House for amendment.

A report of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee said the amendment of the Registeration of Business Names (Amendment) bill will permit the electronic filing and registration of business names.

“The electronic registeration of business names has become necessary because the e-Governance project which is linked with the Ghana Revenue Authority to effect the implementation of e-governance system insists on a unique tax identification number of the sole proprietor engaged in the registeration process..” the report said.

This, it said, is to “make it possible for the identification of the sole proprietor promoting the business and also avoid the duplication of tax returns.”

According to the report, the commencement of the electronic registeration process by the Registrar-General’s Department is not provided for in any legislation hence the need to urgently amend the law to address difficulties and anticipated suits.

The government under the e-Governance project envisaged mainstreaming ICT into all aspects of governance, in this regard the Registrar-General’s Department began the electronic registeration of business names in December last year to facilitate the effective renewal of business names by the end of this year.

In this regard, the amendment of all business related laws including the Companies (Amendment) bill 2011 and the Private Partnership (Amendment) bill have become necessary in order to regularize the initiative taken by the Department.

By Eunice Menka