As government prepares to roll out ICT expansion services in rural areas of the country, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has called for policies and regulations to guide the expansion of the project.
Government recently indicated its plan to expand e-medicine, e-finance and e-education to rural areas through the internet to enhance development.
Speaking at a programme dubbed International Symposium organized by the National Communications Authority in Accra, the board chairman of the NCA, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie maintained that the authority needs to be empowered to protect Ghanaians in the drive for internet expansion in rural areas.
“Through relevant policies and strategies, the NCA can be empowered to regulate communication between medical personnel in the rural areas and urban areas, “he said.
He stated that for a developing country such as Ghana, ICT can be used to fill the gap between urban areas and rural communities to improve the livelihood of people.
He pointed out that some countries in Europe have adopted the move to improve on its medicine delivery, teaching, banking facilities and other businesses.
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“Financial transactions can also be conducted over the internet and through voice; education can reach a wider group of people made up of both the young and old. Likewise, these same groups of people can have access to information and education materials,” he said.
Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie however stated that the authority needs to be given the necessary legal backing to carry out the implementation the programme.
“In all this, the role of the regulator cannot be overemphasiszed as we will have to ensure that all stakeholders, especially the investors and the end users of the communication services are fairly treated through appropriate regulatory interventions,” he stressed.
On his part, the Director General of the NCA, Mr. William Tevie stated that ICT has incredible potential to improve development outcomes in deprived areas of the country.
“All three pillars of sustainable development, that is economic development, social inclusion and environment protection need ICT as a propeller to make development in those sectors achievable, “he said.