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October 09, 2012

Ghana Extends Government Online Services to Rural Areas

By Wayne Adam, Contributing Writer

Ghana’s National Information Technology Agency (NITA) has announced a new fiber-optic network project with Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) that will link its government online services to its regional offices in an effort to support the national initiative to develop local IT services and improve the transparency and efficiency of government functions.

 Daniel Jaeger, VP of Alcatel-Lucent in Africa, stated, "Alcatel-Lucent has a long history of providing communications solutions to meet customers' e-business needs across the globe. Combined with our managed services expertise we are able to implement the best organization and processes to help continuously improve the services available to Ghana's citizens."

The project involves a 600km fiber-optic 'backbone' network and a national data center – all designed and implemented by Alcatel-Lucent and HP. Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will manage the network and ‘e-government’ program for three years, as well as provide network training to NITA employees and funding for the project will be through Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

Image via Shutterstock

William Tevie, director general of NITA, explained, "By delivering a new network and data center, Alcatel-Lucent will enable us to streamline government processes between central and rural divisions and provide a consistent external view. This is an important step toward realizing the vision of giving our people access to a range of critical services how and when they need them."

The new network will link Ghana’s north and south regions as well as the international submarine gateways via its eastern corridor, enhancing telephone, e-mail and Internet-based services. Even more, future expansion of e-services will include health, education, justice, immigration and parliament sectors over the next few years.

The Danish Minister for Development, Christian Friis Bach, explained how “information and communication technology (ICT) is an important platform for sustainable growth and development,” and further how “it can provide access to information on basic health, education and relevant business data.”

“ICT can also strengthen democracy and increase transparency, accountability and empowerment. I am very pleased that Denmark and Danish technical solutions in this way can contribute to Ghana's further economic development,” he concluded.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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