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Communication Ministry focuses improving rural service

The Ministry of Communications is focused on utilising Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the efficiency of service delivery with particular attention to rural and undeserved communities.

 

Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the sector Minister underscored this point when the Ministry took its turn at the meet- the -press series in Accra on Thursday to highlight the achievements, policies and challenges of the Ministry during the year.

 

To this end, she said the Ministry is determined to create job opportunities, facilitate ICT based entrepreneurship and securing cyber space for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

In addition, it wants to ensure gender parity and opportunities for the youth through the nurturing of new business.

 

Touching on policy and regulation, she said the Ministry had created a Common Monitoring Platform to bring into effect the provision in the Communications Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013(Act 864) which specifically enjoins the Minister for Finance to collaborate with the Minister responsible for Communications to establish a monitoring mechanism to verify the actual revenue that accrue to vendors for the purpose of computing taxes due the government.

 

As part of measures to further regulate the operations of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Mrs. Ekuful said an industry Computer Emergency Response Terms (CERT) has been established for the telecommunications ecosystem in view of the increased use of networks for the provision of services to ensure the security and safety of networks, adding that this will further lead to the creation of jobs as more human resources would be required to operate them.

 

With regard to Rural Telephony projects, the Minister explained that it seeks to extend the coverage of mobile telephony services as far as possible throughout the country, especially where access to such services are not adequately available.

 

In this direction, she announced that 400 rural telephony sites had been constructed under the project this year to provide voice and data connectivity which has provided coverage for 2,000 communities with a population of 900,000.The Ministry intends to scale this up to cover all unserved and underserved communities by 2020.

 

She reiterated that the Ministry would ensure that electronic communications equipment manufactured or imported into the country for sale or use conform to national and international standards for safety of users, networks and the environment as well as provide the requisite quality of service.

 

As part of measures to streamline the efficient use of the national spectrum resource and ensure value for the use of the spectrum, Mrs. Ekuful mentioned that the NCA conducted an FM audit and sanctioned stations which did not meet the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and regulatory conditions, stating that “This has improved compliance among all license authorisation holders”

 

Source: ISD (Edem Agblevor)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created: 14 December 2018
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