The Ministry of Communications in collaboration with Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) has launched the national Mobile Library Connectivity (MLC) initiative at Breman Asikuma in the Central Region.
The MLC project is to cater for unserved and underserved communities in order to bridge the digital information gap and ensure sustainable development through the use of computers.
“The MLC tagged as “E-Library” also seeks to promote public library services delivery and to ensure open access to knowledge for sustainable progress,” Mr Haruna Iddrisu Minister of Communications said at the national launch.
The E-Library Van initiative being executed by GIFEC and the Ghana Library Board (GLB) involves taking library facilities, including books and computers connected to the internet to children in deprived communities within stipulated periods
He said the E-Library project was a bold step by government to amalgamate the huge information communication and technology gap between the urban, semi-urban and the rural areas.
In pursuit of the Government’s agenda, Mr Iddrisu said the communication Ministry would construct 10 Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Centres across the country next year, to support rapid deployment and access to computers.
He called for the strict adherence to child-on-line protection policy.
“Children should use computer wisely and productively for research and ensure that it enhance learning”.
Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education lauded the MLC project, describing it as sending information to the doorsteps of the reading public.
He said it would supplement the services provided by the libraries in fixed locations, extend internet facilities to all communities and offer computer literacy and skills to rural communities.
Mr Tettey-Enyo said his sector ministry had set-in-motion mechanism to restructure the library system in the country with the setting up of a National Council on Libraries and Information.
The Council would serve as an umbrella organisation to harmonise and harness the total library resources for information sharing and national development.
Mr Kofi Attor GIFEC Chief Executive Officer noted that the fund has spent more than GH¢900,000 for the Mobile Library project this year, which involves the provision of internet connectivity to all the regional and district libraries, canopies and standby-power generator.
He said the initiative was part of the grand plan of Government, which aimed at achieving equitable economic growth and accelerated poverty reduction within a sustained economy.
Mr Attor said the commitment of Government was to ensure the multi-sectoral application of ICT.
This, he said, led to the setting up of GIFEC to provide financial resources for the establishment of universal service and ensure access to ICT and basic telephony, by the rural communities.
“This includes facilitating and providing internet, multimedia, broadband service to unserved and underserved rural communities,” he stressed.
Mr Kosi Kedem, Board Chairman of the GLB who chaired the launch said the MLC would assist many Ghanaians living in remote communities to improve their living standards by pursuing academic courses to obtain higher and better qualifications.
He advised operators of the van to liaise with the District Education Offices of the Ghana Education Service for a comprehensive timetable for the movement of the facility to ensure that children benefit from it.