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Is Ghana becoming the ICT hub of West Africa?

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There are indications that Ghana is becoming the centre of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in West Africa.

The country’s stable democracy and free, although mostly unprofessional press obviously make it a suitable place to invest.

Ghana has one of the respected ICT university in the sub-region, the Ghana Telecom University, and other renowned ICT training institutions like NIIT, IPMC, the Accra Institute of Technology and the Kofi Annan ICT Training Centre which all serve as centres of excellence in ICT training in the sub-region. Indeed, it has been noted that a good number of students at these institutions come from West African countries.

The Ghana News Agency reported recently that the Minister of Communications, Haruna Iddrisu held talks in Addis Ababa with Tarek Kamel, the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, on areas of cooperation and development in the country’s ICT sector.

A report by PR Inside showed that the second quarter 2008 report of most of the major mobile phone operators in Africa, such as France’s Orange, Kuwait’s Zain, Luxemberg’s Millicom International’s Tigo, and Morocco’s Maroc Telecom indicated there is growth in the industry in West Africa and Ghana remains West Africa’s most dynamic markets with five operators already in the market and one more yet to launch.

A report by the B&FT said Microsoft was partnering the Ghana government to open an ICT training centre in the country.

Indeed, the recent launch of Google Maps in Ghana is also an indicator that a good number of ICT firms are positioning themselves in the country to launch onto the West African region.

Indian company, Essar Communications was also recently reported to be targeting the West Africa sub-region. Even though, the specific countries were not mentioned and phone calls made and emails sent by ghanabusinessnews.com to Essar were not responded to as promised, it is possible to predict that Ghana is on the company’s raider. The current number of mobile phone subscribers in Ghana has reached over 15 million and most Ghanaians now browse the internet using the mobile phone according to Opera’s recent report on mobile web usage across the world.

These important indicators clearly show that the future of the economy of Ghana can strongly depend on how well this position is efficiently and appropriately harnessed by policy makers in terms of regulatory mechanisms and incentives for more investment and growth.

Indeed, even the oil industry on which so much hope is hinged, will depend largely on the ICT sector to function and grow.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Email: edogbevi@hotmail.com

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  1. It’s nice to hear that Ghana is becoming ICT Hub for West Africa and many ICT study centers & colleges in Ghana to increase number of Telecom & IT Professionals.

    This article shows Ghana government is showing lot of interest to develop ICT sector, but we don’t understand, why Government will take decisions to ban the Telecom Towers in country, which will cause lot of signal congestion problems for mobile users mainly for Rural Areas.

    No other developing country have taken these decisions in past and because of these immature decisions by government, investments will effect Ghana.

    In near future, we are expecting Oil too in the country and many mobile users will increase in country.