Global perspective Human stories

UN brings information technology to Ghana's schools, health clinics and farms

UN brings information technology to Ghana's schools, health clinics and farms

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced new plans to introduce information technology (IT) and the Internet to schools, health clinics, farms and local businesses in Ghana.

Through a private-public partnership being implemented by the UN Office for Project Services, Ghana will soon benefit from a 'Mobile Telecentre' - a bus equipped with IT facilities that is scheduled to go on the road next month. Using wireless technology and a solar panel to access the Internet and electric power where they are not available, the Mobile Telecentre will drive to the doorsteps of local participating groups, providing training in Internet services such as distance learning, e-commerce, tele-medicine, and online banking

Each week the bus plans to serve 270 school children, 30 teachers, 15 farmers, 3 businesses and 2 health clinics. It will remain for three months in each of the four regions targeted by the initiative.

When the bus moves on, the project will forge agreements with local entrepreneurs and others to ensure that a cyber café, telecentre or PC lab is established to continue the services provided by the Mobile Telecentre. The project will promote the introduction of IT curricula in schools, raise awareness about IT as a tool for national and personal development, and boost the number of young people with IT know-how.

Welcoming the effort, UNDP's Resident Representative, Alfred Sallia Fawundu, observed that the Mobile Telecentre "is a first, since it will be bringing value-added services to the doorstep of school children, farmers, traders and clinics."

Other partners in the project include Africa Online, Applied Matrix Systems, Barclays Bank and the Coca Cola Bottling Company.