The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has inaugurated the Janet Brako Community Library and ICT Centre for use by the people of Akim-Bieni in the Achiase District of the Eastern Region.
The Library and ICT centre is a ¢550,000.00 Project establishment by the Education for Development (E4D) Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation founded by Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, a native of Akim-Bieni and Anyinam-Kotoku both in the Achiase District.
The project was established with the support of the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) and the Achiase District Assembly.
The facility is expected to promote reading and learning, and to support knowledge and skills development in ICT especially among Primary and Junior High School pupils in the surrounding communities, many of whom are among the less privileged in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful reminded the youth in the community that education is very crucial for them to achieve a desired future; “I wish to remind our young people that, looking at what ordinary people have achieved in life, where you are born, where you come from, or even your family circumstances should not be a barrier to your success in life. Education is, however, the key to achieve a desired future. It does not matter how you start out in life. What you do with the opportunities that come your way will determine how you end up in life.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, who was Guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony, noted the importance of encouraging the youth to go to school and also urged the people of the Achiase District to take advantage of the free Senior High School programme so that the cycle of poverty can be broken from the communities and future generations.
She added that as a Minister responsible for ICT matters in the country, she hopes that the facility will enhance the ICT skills of the people, whether male or female, young or old so that they can take advantage of the current ICT developments and resulting opportunities towards personal development and invariably, the development of the community.
She furthermore noted and reassured the people that the challenge of connectivity and lack of internet connectivity in the area was being resolved. She said the Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, has already rolled out a rural telephony project across the country as a national response to improve connectivity in both unserved and underserved communities.
She further informed them that in order to improve the use of the facility by pupils from the over ten communities in the area, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has been charged to utilise existing technology to enhance connectivity to the Janet Brako Community Library and ICT Centre.
The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation reiterated the support of the Ministry towards the project to ensure that the Achiase constituency becomes one of the hubs for ICT skills development and the Janet Brako Community Library & ICT Centre, a part of the core local centres of excellence to achieve this goal.
The Deputy Minister for Education, Hon (Rev) John Ntim Fodjour who also spoke at the event urged the pupils in the community to take their education seriously in order to benefit from the government’s flagship free SHS education.
The founder of E4D Foundation, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako received his elementary education at both Anyinam-Kotoku and Akim-Bieni, the two communities E4D mainly operates from, receiving distinction in the basic education certificate, a record which has not been matched or surpassed since his completion of basic education, close to 3 decades ago. The E4D Foundation therefore seeks to reverse the current trends by improving the standards of education in the aforementioned communities and surrounding areas.
The Achiase District is mainly a rural district with about 53 communities. The District has a resident population of about 92,000 out of which the total population of pupils and students is 21,657, representing about 23.5% of the resident population.
As part of the inauguration, the advisory Board of E4D Foundation was sworn into office, with Dr Adu Anane Antwi, a former Director-General of Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Dr Franklin Manu Amoah, former Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) as Co-Chairs.
The E4D Foundation focuses on providing support in the areas of Teaching & Learning, ICT Skills Development, Education & Development Coaching & Mentorship, Educational Scholarships, Awards & Incentives, Educational Networking for Community-Based Development, Educational Infrastructure, among others.
Among the dignitaries who attended the event were Seth Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Ama Pomaa, Deputy Minister for Communications & Digitalisation, Sam George, MP for Ningo-Prampram, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the MP for the area, Kofi Ahenkorah Marfo.