The Indian government on Tuesday announced an additional million dollar grant for the Accra-based Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT to help it to initiate a Masters programme, expand its laboratory facilities and introduce additional curriculum to help its students to stay abreast with rapidly advancing technology.
The announcement was made by President Pranab Mukherjee on the last day of his two-day state visit to Ghana while on a visit to the centre.
Addressing Ghanaian dignitaries, faculty and students of the centre, the president said that the effective deployment of its graduates throughout the economic community of West African states reflected India’s primary objective of “seeking to build and assist Ghana and its neighbours in their human resource development.”
“The establishment of the Kofi Annan Centre and its partnership with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in India is an example of the successful cooperation between Ghana and India in the field of information technology and human resource development. India has always been happy to extend technical support and expertise to its friends in Africa,” he added.
President Mukherjee further stated that India’s experience as a developing country has taught it and others about the necessity for giving due attention to “equitable and inclusive growth and development”.
He said that it is extremely important to ensure that the digital revolution did not create new imbalances between men and women; between rural and urban centres, or between mainstream languages and others.
The overall objective of such centres as the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, he said, should be to inculcate skills to make targeted populations employable, as well as to address their needs through special programmes.
The Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, he said, has grown into an institution par excellence since its establishment in 2003. It was indeed a laudable achievement that it had trained over 20,000 students not only from Ghana, but also from countries in the neighbourhood, he added.
President Mukherjee described former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as a great son of Ghana and a respected voice in global affairs and South-South cooperation, and therefore, it was appropriate that the centre is named after him.
“India has always believed that Africa should take ownership of her resources and define her own interests and goals. Our government is committed to working with partners in Africa in all areas where we can help them to use and adapt relevant cost effective technologies, share best practices and realize their goals of technological development,” he added.
To the students, he said, “I have no doubt that you will equip yourselves thoroughly and develop your capabilities comprehensively to one day make a your own valuable contributions to the progress of your great country. Your success will be a tribute to the friendship and close partnership between Ghana and India.”
Earlier, the president was received at the centre by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Ms. Hannah Tetteh and the Director General of the centre, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon.
Thereafter, the president and his accompanying delegation emplaned for the second leg of his three-nation tour to the Republic of Cote D Ivoire.