Inspired and aided by India, the Ghanaian government is taking measures to make information technology (IT) a key driver of its economy and transform the country into the IT hub of West Africa. To achieve its aim, the government says it is determined to make IT popular among youth. Communications Minister Haruna Iddrisu said the government is spending $5 million on an ICT project to empower youth. As part of the project, to begin this year, offices of the defunct State Housing Corporation (SHC) will be transformed into an IT hub. Similar centres will be established in all the 10 regional capitals beginning with five this year. Iddrisu said the initiative was aimed at making the country a manpower pool for industry requirements and an attractive place for global business process outsourcing. India has a key role in the development of the IT sector in Ghana, providing in March assistance of $800,000. There have also been several Indian-assisted projects to promote IT in the country. Among these is the main training centre, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), which came up Dec 9, 2003, as an outcome of then President John Kufuor's discussions with Indian leaders during his trip to India. Ghana provided the infrastructure to house the computer hardware, software and other communication equipment, while India supplied the initial instructors, who helped in drawing up the curriculum. “The centre came into being after the then UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, who was inspired by India's achievement in the IT industry, decided to find a way of replicating this success across Africa,” its director general, Dorothy K. Gordon, told IANS in an interview. “After just eight years, one can say the IT industry (in Ghana) has started to take off and the centre has become a hub of IT activities,” she said. Gordon clarified Ghana's move into the IT industry “was not intended to take away India's long-time role but to assist Indian companies that are looking for alternative locations”.