The Network of Communications Reporters (NCA) has called on the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint a communications minister who is fully abreast of the issues within the industry and has the zeal and competence to move the sector forward.
“The selection should not just be based on party affiliation or job for the boys but must be based on competence and deep knowledge of the sector”, a release signed by the Dean of the NCR, Mr Charles Benoni Okine, advised.
It said at a time when ICT has been the driver of development globally, there was the need for the in-coming administration to ensure that its appointee to the sector was one who can use the untapped prowess of the industry to help transform the economy at all levels.
“We know some ministers learn on the job but we can say without any equivocation that such persons often lose sight of the task ahead and tend to play politics instead of driving the sector to its fullest potential”, it said.
According to the release, once the appointee is well vested with the issue as a professional, his/her dealings with players and professionals within the sector become more cordial and delivery tends to be easier.
“We want one who will work to support the government’s One-District-One-Factory policy using ICT as the key driver” it said adding that, “for that to materialise, the minister should be well conversant with the issues within the sector to be able to support the government and the private sector to achieve that laudable objective”.
NCR noted that the country had many unemployed youth who are IT savvy but lack the opportunity to use their talent to the fullest.
“It is against this background that we think that should ICT be taken more seriously, these young ones will be employed to develop simple Apps among other things to support various government initiatives”, it said.
The NCR also observed that the out-going government had implemented a number of initiatives such as the e-governance and e-health programmes and had also brought some significant changes to the dealings at the port with the introduction of the single window system among other things.
“We therefore, believe that a competent and a knowledgeable minister will be in a better stead to take these programmes to the next level to increase access to health, ensure greater efficiency in the country’s governance systems while helping to rake in more revenue from the ports and to block the leakages that deny the state its needed revenue to accelerate development and provide jobs for the masses”, it said.
“The NCR will want to wish the incoming President well in his endeavours and we pledge our commitment to stay neutral but support the growth of the sector for the benefit of all and sundry”, it said.
The release said if, as per the records, a 10 per cent growth in the ICT sector translates into a percentage increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then it behoves the government to take the sector more seriously to help accelerate growth.