Independence Square, Accra

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Monday the 7th of January 2013 will witness the swearing in of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama as the fourth president of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. His ascendency to occupy the highest office of the land places an enormous task on him as he prepares to steer the affairs of the nation towards achieving it goals in the areas of having a strong and vibrant economy and good democratic tenets.

Vice President Mahama became President after the demise of the then President, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, four months ago. During his tenure as the Vice President and a caretaker president during the first term of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party in government, John Mahama has supported the national move on the use of Information Communication and Technology tools in every sphere of the economy. He placed a personal interest in promoting the use of the latest technological gadgets which support the use of other social media networks including Twitter, facebook, and Whatsapp, even during state events and political campaigns.

The three and half years or so of his tenure as the Vice President saw the growth of locally assembled indigenous telecommunications tools like the K-Pad, rlg phones and laptops and the latest being the Huawei i-Phone and Pad. These gadgets, although locally assembled, have made a great impact on the Ghanaian ICT market, competing with internationally known brands like HP, Dell, Compaq and Toshiba.

This development not only has it brought about healthy competition between locally assembled and international branded gadgets, but has clear the negative perception and doubts people has about local assembled or manufactured IT tools. According to one  mobile phone dealer, Kwasi Obeng, who sells some of these local assembled phones on the Tip Toe Lane in Accra, customers are now trusting the local made phones and prefer buying a new rlg or Tecno phone  to a used or second hand mobile phone sold on the market.

The educational sector was not left out in the quest to promote the use of basic ICT tools in all Basic and Second Cycle institution in the country. Government intervention, through the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology in partnership with rlg Communications Limited the this area witness has distributed over 600,000 lap top computers for almost every educational institution both in urban and rural areas.

Efforts to expand telecommunication to all parts of the country to connect rural communities to the rest of the world is been pursued rigorously by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) together with Ministry of Communications in certain part of the country.

Recently a solar powered telephone mast sponsored by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) was commissioned in the Volta Region of Ghana to connect over 18,000 people in ten communities within a district to improve the standard of living of the people. According to the Minister of Communication Hon. Harruna Iddrisu: “The initiative would also serve as an emergency informer of crime, medical emergencies and also for communication among communities in the Area”

At the back drop of all this development chalked by Prof Mills/John Mahama’s administration in government within the last four years, it’s still obvious that the pursuance of the better Ghana agenda for ICT development in the country will be one of the foremost priorities of the John Dramani Mahama led government.  As he works assiduously to fulfill all his campaign promises to the people of Ghana, it worth noting that His Excellency is all ready to have a chat with citizens on his personal web page, or via any of his social media networks.

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