Ghana discusses impact study on public access to ICTs
The Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies is a five-year project (2007-2012) to generate evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access to information and communication technologies. Looking at libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes, the study investigates impact in a number of areas, including communication and leisure, culture and language, education, employment and income, governance, and health.
Within Ghana, the study covered areas in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions, which were considered as the most commercial regions in the country and therefore could provide credible information on Public Access Venues.
Recently, the Ghanaian Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) held a dissemination workshop for the aforementioned global impact study and how it relates to current government initiatives.
The reaction from stakeholders, detailed by Ghana News Agency, was quite positive:
Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Ag Minister, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology
- felt it was unfortunate that Ghana is still lagging behind in harnessing the potential and benefits of ICT
- called for support for the work of the private sector and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication
- the Ministry will continue to pursue and sustain policies such as the laptop project for students to enhance ICT usage for academic excellence
Dr. Godfred Frempong, Principal Research Scientist, STEPRI
- the dialogue is also intended to help forge strong collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure the promotion and effective usage of ICT in Ghana
- promotion of ICT as a tool will bridge the digital divide between the rural and urban areas of the country
- it is critical that public access venues are expanded, especially in the under-served and unserved areas of the country to provide equitable access to a wide range of government information and services for those without effective, private access to the Internet
The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was managed by the Canadian International Development Research Centre and implemented by the Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the Information School, University of Washington, Seattle USA.