Dr Kofi Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications on Friday noted that the contestation about the contribution of Broadband to Sustainable Development is settled.

He said this is because, the rapid growth of the digital economy presents huge opportunities for development, creating global markets for applications and services , reducing the cost of doing business and unleashing creativity and innovation.

Dr Omane Boamah was speaking at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebration of the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) schedule for the month of May every year, to mark the anniversary of the signature of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 which led to the creation of the ITU I Accra.

The theme for 2014 the WTISD celebration is: ?Broadband for Sustainable Development? which is Giving Prominence to the fact that, Digital Development is a Transformative Tool to Fast ? Track Sustainable Development?.

He said recent evidence suggest that, the internet can contribute significantly to the economy, economic growth, job creation and innovation in the development of new services and applications, adding that the Mc Kinsey Global Institute in 2011 analysis of 13 countries found the contribution of internet as 11 percent of growth over the past five years.

Dr Omane Boamah noted that this statistics is true for Ghana as well in that developments as the telecommunication landscape have greatly facilitated improved performances of all sectors of the economy and enhanced national cohesion, entrepreneurial development and citizen empowerment.

?The services sector, according to the 2014 budget statement, grew by 9.2% in 2013. ICT dominated by contributing 24.7% to this impressive growth.?

He said the 65th New Year School and Conference which was held on the theme; ?ICT Driven Education for Sustainable Development, challenges and prospects? emphasized the increment of ICT deployment and application as the status of socio- economic advancement of nations.

Dr Omane Boamah said recognizing the strength of ICT , the Ministry of Communications and its sector agencies is determined to exploit ICT as a catalyst to augment the pace of Ghana?s transformation into a fully fledged middle income country.

?In this regard, the theme for this year?s WTISD, ?Broadband for Sustainable Development is very timely and opportune, considering the wonders the internet is performing since its invention in 1981 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.?

He said Ghana is currently served by five submarine cables: SAT-3; MainOne; Glo-1; WACS and ACE (the Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable system which brought the overall submarine cable capacity to 12.3 Terabits.

Dr Omane Boamah said Ghana successfully connected its terrestrial optic fibre with those of neighboring sister countries; Burkina Faso and Togo and have also established a point of presence on the western border, preparing to directly connect with La Cote d?Ivoire, in addition to the submarine link. By this, Ghana has already fulfilled the ITU?s Connect-Africa target, before the 2015 deadline.

He said Government is pursuing the migration from analogue television broadcasting to Digital Terrestrial Television broadcasting by December 2014 ahead of the international deadline of 17 June 2015 for the cessation of international protection for analogue terrestrial broadcasting transmissions.

Dr Omane Boamah noted that this will facilitate a free spectrum that can be harnessed for our socio-economic development on a sustainable path as suggested by the theme for this year?s celebration of WTISD, ?Broadband for Sustainable Development?. GNA


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