Hon Members, we now have Mr Ato Sarpong, the Deputy Minister for Communication to make a contribution.
Deputy Minister for Communication (Mr Edward A. Sarpong): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I would continue from where the Hon Chairman of the Communication Committee, Hon Abongo left off, and start by saying that, over the last year, the period under review, Government commenced work on the National Business Processing Out- sourcing Centre at the former Public Works Department's (PWD's) ware- houses. When completed, that project is expected to create a little over 10,000 jobs.
Mr Speaker, last year or so, we commenced the building of Community Information Centres. So far, we have constructed about 20 of these Community
Information Centres. In addition, we are working on Regional Innovation Centres and we are ensuring that we have one Regional Innovation Centre in every region in Ghana. So, we are constructing ten Regional Innovation Centres.
Mr Speaker, we are constructing the Regional Innovation Centres from monies and savings that we made from the Value for Money Audit that we carried out on the e-Ghana project. So far, we have completed two; five are due for completion by the end of December, and the remaining three, by the end of the first quarter of 2015. When the Business Processing Outsourcing Centre, the Community Information Centres, the Regional Innovation Centres are put together, they would create close to 11,000 jobs when completed in 2015.
Mr Speaker, in addition, the Ministry of Communications believes that the strength and glory of the country lies in the capacity of our women, and therefore, under the year being reviewed, we commenced with what we call the Girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Project.
The girls in ICT Project trained 411 girls across the eastern part of the country. In the next two weeks, we are training another 500 girls in the Volta Region, and in the first quarter of 2015, we have planned to train another 500 girls. When done, we believe the young girls would be adequately resourced and with the necessary capacity, when they leave or get out of school, they would be able to do something within a male dominated sector such as in ICT.
Mr Speaker, I would like to refer you to some of the numbers within the industry. As at of 30th September 2014, the number of mobile and fixed telephone lines in Ghana were 30,075,702. If you compare the number in August of 2014 and in
September of 2014 alone, within that one month period, the mobile subscriber base went up by 0.94 per cent.
Mr Speaker, we can attribute this to three main things. The first one is the policies and regulations within the environment, the second is competition and the third is investment being made by the mobile network operators within the sector.
In view of that, a couple of months ago, we went to Cabinet with new policies and framework aimed at changing and making the industry a lot more fluid than it used to be. We have four additional policies that we would be implementing in 2015. One is the inter-connected Networks House, which would bring transparency within the mobile telecommunication sector and also facilitate the assurance round our revenues.
Secondly, we are introducing what we call the International Wholesale Traffic, and therefore, offering opportunity for Ghanaians and local entrepreneurs to be part of the mobile network industry. We are also introducing a Mobile Virtual Private Network Licence that would also be given to locals to be able to also participate in the sector.
Mr Speaker, over the last one year, as the Hon Chairman of the Communication Committee said, we have invested and followed closely the eastern corridor fibre project. 780 kilometres of fibre is currently being deployed, and it is at various stages of completion, and it is expected that by the end of June 2015, the project would have been completed and would open up the eastern corridor of the country to many entrepreneurs as well as mobile operators to improve the quality of services within that sector.