The Minister of Communications, Dr Omane Boamah, has inaugurated a fully-furnished multimedia Information and Communication Technology (ICT) laboratory at the University for Development Studies (UDS).
The facility, which is equipped with computers, networking systems and projectors, among others, was established by Huawei Technologies Ghana S. A. Limited as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Three of such facilities have already been established by Huawei at the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology (KNUST).
According to the Deputy Managing Director for Huawei, Mr Guo Zhi, it cost the company $1 million to set up the ICT laboratories in the four universities.
He said it was the expectation of the company that the facilities would be used by both students and lecturers to improve studies in ICT, conduct research and also utilise ICT in the teaching and learning process.
Dr Omane-Boamah described the gesture by Huawei as very crucial to the government’s efforts to deplore ICT infrastructure in various parts of the country.
He said the construction of the facility was one of the fruits of the late President John Evans Atta Mills’ visit to China in 2009.
He said the visit was still bearing fruits, citing the construction of the gas infrastructure- which is to help the nation tap into its hydrocarbon potential, as another of such benefits.
“We would continue to pursue the $3 billion Chinese loan to support transportation, oil and gas and other facets of national life,” he noted.
Dr Omane-Boamah said he was particularly happy that the UDS had benefitted from such a facility because it was located in a part of the country that was considered underdeveloped and had a huge responsibility to lead the development process in the north.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gong Jiazhong, said the friendship between Ghana and China was growing in leaps and bounds since the two countries entered into bilateral relations in the 1950s.
He said China had never waivered in deepening its relationship with Africa and cited the recent announcement of a $20 billion package to support Africa’s development as a clear demonstration of this commitment.
Ambassador Jiazhong said he was happy that Chinese companies in Ghana were contributing positively to all facets of national development, such as in the roads and transport sector, ICT and job creation.
He commended Chinese businesses in Ghana that were embarking on social responsibility projects and encouraged other businesses to emulate such examples.
The Vice Chancellor of the UDS, Prof. Haruna Yakubu, said the university had a flourishing partnership with six universities in China.
He said as part of the collaboration, ten students from the UDS were in China studying Mathematics, ICT and medicine.
“We hope to take the partnership to another level by getting scholarships for some of our staff to study in China,” he stated.
Prof. Yakubu said the new ICT laboratory would contribute significantly to the progress of the university, especially as it designs its distance learning programme.
He said the university had successfully deplored a fibre optic Internet facility in all of its campuses, notably Navrongo, Tamale, Nyankpala and Wa.
Story: Nurudeen Salifu