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Public sector workers urged to use Smart Workplace

Acting Director-General, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Fosu, has called on workers in the public sector to adopt Smart Workplace, a digital platform, to enhance efficiency in the discharge of their duties.

He made the call at the Accra Digital Centre at a forum on the impact of COVID-19 on Ghana’s digitalization agenda.

Mr Okyere-Fosu said the Agency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, initiated two virtual solutions – Smart Workplace—for workers and Learning Management System—for universities.

Smart Workplace, he said was a virtual workspace developed to allow personnel in the public sector to work remotely to reduce personal contact and curb the spread of COVID-19.

He said NITA has deployed the technology to over 330 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

“I will urge that all the MDAs and MMDAs who are not on board should do so quickly because this is a government initiative and all government agencies are to use this product,” Okyere-Ofosu.

He said the Cabinet Secretariat, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Revenue Authority, and Ghana Standards Authority were among the many institutions currently using the platform.

The Acting Director-General explained that workers could connect to the platform anytime, anywhere on their personal computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

He indicated that Smart Workplace came with unique features, including secure business-class e-mail services, Microsoft Office applications, document management, instant messaging, and audio and video conferencing.

Smart Workplace offers users the opportunity to work smart and work safe by securing emails, engendering collaboration, enhancing knowledge and information sharing, simplifying workflows, and allowing flexibility.

Mr Okyere-Fosu, therefore, encouraged workers to embrace working from home.

“We acknowledge that the increase in remote working has in fact, dramatically increased productivity,” he said, adding, that the robust technical infrastructure, strong connectivity, data protection, and cyber security were indispensable in consolidating Ghana’s digital efforts.

“Digitization has stepped in to bridge the gap left by mandated shutdowns and social distancing measures,” he said.

Acting Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) Abraham Kofi Asante, said the Agency was committed to increasing access to public ICT centres, particularly in rural communities.

He disclosed that GIFEC was expanding community internet networks, including making public hotspots accessible to schools and hospitals.

Mr Asante said besides expanding internet connectivity, GIFEC was committed to making it affordable to community dwellers.

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