The Minister of Post and Telecommunications Cllr. Cooper Kruah has appealed to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to financially assist poor member countries to upgrade their information, communication, and technology sector, a release has said.
Minister Kruah said that ITU member countries are faced with several challenges, which include inadequate financial resources to address the poor state of their ICT sector deficits, which limit economic growth.
“I can assure you that such assistance, if provided, will be used for the intended purpose, because there are a lot of countries that want to improve their ICT sector but cannot do so due to financial constraints. I think the ITU should ensure some funds are allocated for developing countries that really want to follow up, but may not have the finance,” Min. Kruah said.
According to the release, Min. Kruah made the statement during a recent interview held at the ITU Plenipotentiary conference in Dubai during a visit in which he represented Liberia to vote.
“No real development can be carried out by a nation right now in the absence of ICT. The programs and resolutions of ITU should be respected and enforced by all of the member states,” he said.
Minister Kruah further explained how Liberia is gradually developing its ICT, through the recently launched an e-government program, which includes e-agriculture, e-education, and payments for government institutions online, including school fees.
“It is much smoother than when you were standing in line physically to pay money. All you have to do is grab your telephone and then you can just pay up, so I think we are on the right trajectory,” he said.
He also told the ITU news agency that Liberia is also building the necessary infrastructure to bring connectivity to everyone.
“We were lucky that the Europe-to-Africa cable landed in our capital city through the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.”
“We are now building a fiber ring around Monrovia, the capital city, because we’d like to see that connectivity not only in Monrovia but the other 15 political subdivisions; we are now working on our funding to extend the backbone of internet connectivity to all the political subdivisions,” he said.
However, many Liberians believe that Minister Kruah’s interview is in line with President George Weah’s comments at the Internet Governance Forum organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 12, 2018, in Paris, France.
President Weah has underscored the progressive and positive impact the internet is having on the new world order, describing it as a platform that has propelled and accelerated innovation in all facets of life.
“It has enhanced development in the areas of technology, education, health and welfare,” he said.