The Ghanaian-based Youth Aid Foundation for Winners (YAFOW) has received financial support from the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) to facilitate a feasibility study toward the establishment of an Information and Communications Technology Park in Cape Coast.
The first tranche of the CTO’s commitment of 900 pounds has already been made available to YAFOW, a statement from CTO in Accra said on Monday.
Commenting on the gesture, the CEO of the CTO, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said: “Promoting the development of and access to ICTs, especially in the developing world, forms the core of the CTO’s mandate as an international inter-governmental organisation.
“Generally, in promoting the sector, the CTO has focused on research and advisory services, capacity-building and training programmes and knowledge-sharing events.”
Dr Spio-Garbrah said where necessary, the organisation sought collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to enable smaller-scale community-based projects to be executed.
“We consider Ghana as having great potential for e-based and IT-enabled services, and Cape Coast to be a veritable site for the knowledge-based industries, in view of the number of high-quality educational institutions located there.”
Dr Spio-Garbrh said there were many bright young educated people in Cape Coast and in other parts of Ghana seeking good employment, adding, “this ICT Park will answer their yearning.”
The statement said in the case of YAFOW, should the study confirm the feasibility of an ICT Park in Cape Coast, the CTO’s initial financial support was expected to extend to various kinds of technical assistance in the medium term to mobilise additional investors and partners to help establish the ICT Park.
According to CTO management, Ghana had distinguished itself, including in its recent successful and peaceful democratic transitions of power.
It said the large pool of highly educated people produced by its prestigious educational institutions based in Cape Coast would benefit from the proposed ICT Park.
“ICTs are also a well-known transformational means for addressing urban and rural poverty, and for empowering citizens through e-governance, e-health, e-education/distance learning, e-agriculture and e-commerce,” the statement said.
Receiving the donation, the Head of YAFOW, Rev. Prof. S. K. Agyepong, thanked Dr Spio-Garbrah and the CTO for the support and added that the donation will go a long way to help establish a baseline of information regarding ICT infrastructure and services existing in Cape Coast.
It would also help to identify who the current and prospective end-users of such services were, and how to meet their expressed needs, he added.
Prof. Agyepong assured the CTO that the money will be used for the purpose for which it was given, adding that YAFOW will appreciate any further technical assistance that the CTO would extend toward the successful realization of the project.