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Business News of Thursday, 19 May 2016

Source: GNA

Ghana’s telecom subscribers hit 35 million – Minister


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By the close of 2015, statistics indicated that Ghana had 35,283,957 telephone subscribers, which represented a teledensity of 129.63 per cent.

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications has noted who made the information known said mobile data subscribers, as of December 2015 stood at 18,031,188, representing 65.74 per cent.

This, he said, provides a big platform for innovative and creative mobile applications to enhance peoples’ daily lives.

Dr Boamah was speaking at this year’s World telecommunication Day celebration in Accra on a local theme:

“Addressing Challenges of the Communications Industry to Promote Growth and Development: Focus on Domestic Roaming and OTT Services.”

The global theme is: “ICT Entrepreneurship for Social Impact.” He said the completion of the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic network is complementing the in-land fibre stock in the country to improve communications services.

“We are also constructing 120 LTE sites to enhance public service delivery.

To further improve universal access and bridge the digital divide, the Ministry has constructed 21 enhanced Community Information Centres across the 10 regions of Ghana amongst them are: Battor, Kpetoe, Techiman Krobo, Twifo Atti-Morkwa, Bodi, Effiduase, Bekwai, Gambaga, Welembelle, and Lassia-Tuolu.

“The Ministry has also refurbished the old Public Works Department Warehouse into a first class Business Process Outsourcing Centre which will generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in due course. The BPO Centre will be inaugurated by President Mahama in the coming weeks, he announced.”

The Minister said those strategic projects contribute to the use of ICT products and services offered by the Telecom Industry. He commended the private players, all its affiliate bodies and civil society organisations that operate in the industry for their massive investments and contributions to the growth of the sector which is driving a number of aspects of the national life.

“We have common but differentiated responsibilities. We acknowledge you as worthy partners notwithstanding the fact that we may disagree at certain times. Such disagreements must be viewed within the context of the importance of frictional forces- which are major factors for systems and objects to move, “he said. Dr Boamah said the Telecom industry is moving at a faster pace to respond to the increasing demands of the country and the world as a result of technological advancement including the convergence of telecoms and broadcasting.

“Talking about broadcasting, as you are aware, Ghana is migrating from analogue television to digital terrestrial television broadcasting and this has freed spectrum needed for improved Telecom services. The freed spectrum is available and we encourage you to take advantage of it.

“Already MTN has shown the way and has assured that in the next few months they will be deploying services within the 800MHz domain.

We cannot wait to experience this revolution. This revolution also aligns with President Mahama’s vision to ensure significant local content in the industry and we are working to achieve this.

“You would realise that the global theme for the celebration has been expanded to address some specific concerns of the Ghanaian industry. The discussions today will border on ways to develop our industry to create the enabling environment for nurturing entrepreneurs in Ghana.

The Minister said ICT plays a large role in our day-to-day lives and addresses challenges facing Ghanaians in general.

Dr Boamah said the growth of mobile money has motivated change in the business model of most financial institutions in the country and has ultimately led to jobs in most areas across the country. He announced that the government is working with the private sector to develop budding entrepreneurs in the ICT sector for Ghana’s transformation.

“We are also working to develop competitive business hubs, with the view to extend them to all areas in Ghana. This vision calls for uninterrupted connectivity and network in all areas of the country,” he added.

On the forthcoming elections, the Minister said: “During this period leading up to elections let us all pursue a peaceful environment where our aspirations and businesses would grow and also use our telecommunication channels/cyberspace effectively and safely to support Ghana’s continued democratic journey.”

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