Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation has inaugurated two Rural Telephony Networks at Mognori and Sumpini in the West Gonja Municipality to aid residents’ access to high-speed voice and data services in the communities.
They are two solar-powered masts, (one in each community) whose network spread to a 20-kilometre radius in each of the two communities, to ensure that the adjoining communities would also benefit from them.
Speaking during the inauguration of the facilities in the two communities in the Savannah Region, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, said the Network was to ensure that un-served and underserved communities were part of the country’s digital revolution.
She said the Government was working to ensure that every part of the country was connected to telephony network since it was a tool to facilitate the development of the country.
She explained that “As part of government’s commitment to connecting the entire country, then it had the vision to ensure that all un-served and underserved communities are connected and has taken a loan facility to put in the infrastructure.”
She said “They are small, scattered communities. So, the network operators think it is too expensive to put in the cell sites and the network to connect them. So, they will not do it but Government has decided to partner them to build the infrastructure so that they can use it to deliver their services to the people in the small towns and villages and remote communities around the country.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the government was determined to leave no one behind, and that robust connectivity was at the heart of the digital initiatives that it was trying to roll out.
“Without connectivity, you cannot do anything at all. So, we are determined to build a robust rural network.”
She said a total of 2,016 cell sites were being built and by the end of the year, they would be up and running.
So far, about half have been built; 1,010 have been built and about half of those have been connected. So, we are working on the challenges and we are sure that by the end of this year, all the 2,016 are built and connected for up to five million citizens, who do not have access to the internet, to also utilise data and high speed voice services for all their online interactions to be part of the digital revolution that is unfolding, she said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said connecting the un-served and underserved communities would help children from those communities to put into practice their ICT skills while other residents would use it to improve their business operations, and access other useful services.
Mr Musah Karim Kusubari, West Gonja Municipal Chief Executive, assured community members that government would continue to work to address their pressing needs.
Sumpiniwura Seidu Asuma, Chief of Sumpini, expressed gratitude to the government for extending the facility to the area and connecting the community to the national grid.
Assan Sakara, Chief of Mognori, said the facility would improve the living conditions of the people in the community.
Meanwhile, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also visited Murugu and Langantere communities in the Municipality where the Rural Telephony Networks were built but yet to be operationalised, to inspect them and assured residents that the challenges would soon be fixed to connect them as well.