Use Mobile Phones To Foster Peaceful Coexistence Veep

The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has urged Ghanaians to harness the power of the mobile phone to promote peaceful coexistence.

He said mobile technology came along with a lot of benefits of which the people must take advantage of, to build a united and prosperous nation rather than use it to destroy others and their own country.

He made the call at the opening of the Africa Mobile and Information Communications Technology (ICT) Expo 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday.

The three-day Expo is being organised by Coasters Company Limited, an events organising company, in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications and with sponsorship from a number of organisations, including Subah Infosolutions, an IT and telecommunications solutions provider.

Participants include players in the ICT industry and a cross section of the general public.

The organisers expect to use the event to harness ICT goals to create jobs and engender development at a faster pace in African countries.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said the mobile phone would become a useful device when it was put to good use but when it assumed the character of users who had the penchant to destroy others, it became a dangerous device.

Ghana has become a continental leader in mobile phone penetration with figures from the National Communications Authority ( NCA), putting the penetration at 31 million as of March this year, while that of Internet was 60 per cent.

The Vice-President indicated that the figures were encouraging and a huge advantage for the nation as it could help drive national.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said Ghana had developed a substantial number of technological innovations "and it is this creativity of the Ghanaian which is helping us in the new ways of doing old things."

He advised against putting so much emphasis on the development of hardware because the nation could not compete with the global giants.

Rather, emphasis should be on the development of software applications that made life easier to live, he added.

Mr Amissah-Arthur also spoke about the frustrations young software developers went through in the country and stressed the need to ease the frustrations of young people in the ICT sector.

The Vice-President said there was the need to exploit the benefits of ICT "to enable the country to keep pace with its competitors in the global village.

One other crucial area the Vice-President laid emphasis on was training students to become relevant in the job market in the many opportunities the ICT sector offered.

Deputy Minister
The Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Ato Sarpong said ICT had opened up opportunities for businesses to expand in the country.

"The pervasiveness of the mobile phone is a symbol of the dominant role technology has come to assume in our lives," he said .

He said Africa’s broad band connection would reach 160 million by the end of 2016, adding that a lot of opportunities therefore abound for those who were able to exploit the advantages.

He stated that the government was committed to providing the necessary investments to ensure that the nation did not stay behind in the global ICT competition.

"Several policies and investments have been initiated aimed at providing access, adoption and usage of ICT in order to enhance national development," he added.

He mentioned the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic backbone, which was recently inaugurated and said it was one major investment that would bridge the digital divide between the served and underserved areas.

Welcome address
In a welcome address, the Chief Executive of Coasters Limited, Mr George Spencer Quaye, said the Expo was the beginning of a new chapter in the technological advancement of Africa and Ghana.

He said ICT was fast changing today's world and stressed that a nation that decided to take the back seat would suffer painfully.

Subah Infosolutions
The Managing Director of Subah Infosolutions, one of the major sponsors, Mr Birendra Sasmal, said the company was proud to be part of a very important Expo, adding that the company had a grand agenda to help the youth develop their potentials in ICT.

He said the company had rolled out a number of programmes and projects in that respect.

Mr Sasmal promised that the company would continue to support initiatives that would give the nation a sound footing in the ICT drive.