New connectivity for rural Ghana

Tigo Ghana and international firm Altobridge have partnered on a project to take mobile voice and broadband to rural Ghana. Tigo and Altobridge Limited, which specialises in technology that cuts the cost of delivering mobile connectivity, have now completed the first phase of the satellite-backhauled, solar powered solution, on the Tigo Ghana mobile network. Altobridge reports that subscriber uptake and usage levels in these hitherto unconnected, rural village communities, have surpassed all parties’ expectations. The project has been funded by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications set up by the Government of Ghana to facilitate the provision of access to ICT, Internet connectivity and communications infrastructure to under-served and un-served areas of Ghana.

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

Ghana on Thursday initiated a development information portal, ”“, 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, 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

Africa’s annual growth rate should be in double digits – Ethiopian economist

Ambassador Newai Gebreab, Chief Economic Adviser to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is urging African countries to set very high economic growth targets for themselves in order to get out of poverty.

The continent’s annual growth is said to be at five to six percent.

At the 43rd meeting of the NEPAD Steering Committee held in Addis Ababa January 25, 2012, Ambassador Gebreab said Africa cannot depend on the rest of the world to escape being the world’s poorest continent.

“It is very important that we set our targets as high as possible. Africa’s growth rate should be in double digits, above the five or seven percent annual growth it is currently recording,” a NEPAD statement quoted Mr. Gebreab as saying.

In the same meeting, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, a director in charge of the Economic Development and NEPAD Division at UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said the continent’s required growth must be sustainable, be able to create jobs for African youths and preserve the environment.

But to ensure such a robust expansion, Prof Nnadozie argues that Africa would require a strong and visionary leadership.

By Ekow Quandzie