Most participants described the launch as opportune and timely considering the fact that the north (Northern, Upper East and Upper West) continue to remain at the lowest ebb of development and as the most poverty-endemic area of the country.
In the last couple of years, efforts by individuals and organizations to bridge the yawning information gap between the north and the south has yielded little result due to myriads of justifiable and unjustifiable reasons. For instance the least said about social amenities in most parts of the largely rural three northern regions the better not to talk about road networks and lack of electricity and telephone facilities in most rural areas. A typical example is Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo district where neither electricity nor telephone facility exist not to talk about poor road network especially in areas called overseas, where one has cross rivers before reaching. This ostensibly makes it almost impossible for service providers to extend ICT services to these and invariably thwarts efforts at making the people abreast of modernity.
The few ICT knowledgeable residents do not have a common platform to share and brainstorm to improve upon their knowledge, therefore the coming into effect this monthly Northern ICT 4D Series in Tamale, has been embraced by many with widely opened alms. The participants commended GINKS for such a programme, saying it would not only serve as a platform for knowledge sharing but also for knowledge improving. The participants described the launch as successful due to the number of people that attended and pledged to be part of the subsequent series.
Launching the programme, the Chairman of GINKS, Mr Jonnie Akakpo, whose ICT-based organization, CITRED, happens to be operating in Tamale and a pioneer in the north for that matter, expressed gratitude to the participants and all stakeholders who made the programme come to fruition. According to him, GINKS has been pondering over such a series in the north for some years now but could not implement it due to inadequate commitment from partners. He said GINKS has finally gotten Institute of Local government to provide venue for the programme and Fiila FM, a private radio station in Tamale for publicity as partners to start with, hence the launch. Mr Akapko urged all and sundry who have the development of the north and the country at large at heart, especially residents in Tamale and the Northern region, to put hands on deck to keep the series running unabated.
There were pledges by most participants who were non-members of GINKS to be part of the network to benefit from its exploits.
Mr Andrews Sayibu, who aptly chaired the function could not but express unwavering commendation to GINKS for the initiative and added that it would go a long way to bridging the ICT gap between the north and the south.
The Northern representative of GINKS, Mr Stephen Agbenyo announced that the first of series to take place after the launch would take place every last Thursday of every month. He disclosed “Cyber Crime” as the tentative topic for the upcoming series scheduled for 29th November, 2007.
By Osman Dawda (podMEDIA)