The project, under the rural telephony and digital inclusion project, she noted, was aimed at addressing the challenge rural communities have in accessing the digital platforms for voice and data connectivity in those parts of the country.
The government, she said, was determined to finish the project by 2023 and connect all 2016 cell sites to meet the demands of our rural environment in a cost effective, sustainable and easy way.
The Minister was speaking at the national Girls in ICT programme at Sunyani yesterday in the Bono Region.
The project, being undertaken by GIFEC, MTN and Huawei, she mentioned, was developed specifically to suit the rural environment.
The Girls in ICT programme would train about five thousand girls and 500 teachers selected across districts in five regions, ( Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Savanna and northern) of the country by the close of the year.
The initiative, she said, sought to bridge the digital space between girls and boys in evolving IT world.
She advised the participants to take their ICT education seriously in order not to fall prey to cyber criminals.
“It is absolutely critical to learn how to utilise these applications in a safe and secure manner so as not to fall prey to cyber criminals,” she said.
In all, 100 of the girls and 10 teachers of the top ten finalist were presented with laptops, while the first three received cash prizes in addition to the laptops.
The Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of MTN, Mrs Georgina Asare Fiagbenu, said her outfit was happy to partner the Ministry to expand the Girls in ICT programme, noting MTN globally have seen the need to bridge the access gab between girls and boys in IT field.
Aside supporting the programme with Ghc 10 million, the company was providing infrastructure in schools, as well as providing tools in the learning of ICT in these schools.
The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, on her part, called on all stakeholders, especially parents, to guide their girls on the use of ICT tools in their studies.