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Business News of Wednesday, 18 July 2018


ITU African Director impressed with Kelni GVG deal – Ursula Owusu

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu, play videoCommunications Minister, Ursula Owusu,

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu, has reiterated the importance of the Kelni-GVG contract for data monitoring in Ghana.

Its significance she said is evident among other things, in the fact that Regional Director for Africa of the International Communications Union (ITU), Andrew Rugege, has lauded the controversial US $178 million Kelni- GVG contract regardless of the numerous lawsuits from political pressure groups and individuals it has attracted.

According to her, Andrew Rugege saw the mobile phone revenue monitoring deal between the Government of Ghana and Kelni GVG Limited as one other African countries could possibly adopt when he paid a visit to the National Communications Authority (NCA) to have a look at the monitoring platform aimed at providing a more accurate method of electronically monitoring communication traffic volumes yesterday.

“…the ITU Director for Africa went to visit the NCA and saw the network operations centre of the common monitoring platform and he thought that it could be something that the other African countries can also learn from.”

Ursula Owusu made the revelations at the opening ceremony of the Regional Development Forum 2018 (RDF-18) for the Africa region to be hosted in Ghana from July 18 – 20.

The issue of the multi-million dollar contract signed between the government and Kelni GVG Limited has raised a lot of concerns among Ghanaians including questioning its ability to protect the privacy of citizens.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in a submission on the floor of Parliament prior to this, explained that the implementation of a common platform for telecommunications traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, mobile money monitoring and fraud management would rather enhance the capacity of tax authorities to ensure that the big players in the economy—the mining companies, oil companies and the telecommunication companies—pay the appropriate taxes, adding that all the equipment to be used in the execution of the contract would be owned by the country after five years.

To her, the 3-day forum, which will focus on five major initiatives including the promotion of emerging broadband technologies and building trust and security in the use of telecommunications/information and communication technology, is the perfect platform where representatives of African countries present will share ideas on how to address similar know-how issues to reduce fraud as well as maximize revenue in the telecommunication sector.

“We are sharing experiences and we want members to see how that common monitoring platform is expected to assist us in terms of revenue assurance and monitoring of mobile money and reducing fraud in telecommunications.”

The Minister, speaking to further revealed that her outfit is making preparations to invite members of the telecommunications sector to have a look at the monitoring system and how it works to ascertain whether they can take on the initiative.

“It is something that they are going to see tomorrow and they would have a presentation on it to see if it is something that they would also consider adopting because we all face similar challenges and can utilize similar solutions to address those challenges.” She stated.