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Ghana, Nigeria compete for ITU’s telecoms equipment testing centre for West Africa

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Ghana is bidding to host the International Telecommunications Union (ITU’s) regional testing centre which will be used to determine the quality of telecommunications gadgets that enter the West African sub region. But right on Ghana’s heels is neighbour, Nigeria, which is also bidding to host the centre.

The testing centre is a laboratory that checks the quality of telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) equipment such as mobile phones, laptops, systems and data to determine thier conformity with ITU’s standards.

In an exclusive interview with ghanabusinessnews.com at the just ended first ITU conference in Accra, Mr Joshua Peprah, Director of Regulatory Administration at Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) discloses that Ghana is biding for the centre to be established in the country for the region.

He told ghanabusinessnews.com that “from the beginning we want to advocate for a regional test lab in Africa.”

“There is none in West Africa so Ghana is advocating that the one for West Africa should be cited here in the country,” he said.

He added, “We have the infrastructure, we have the basics,” and cited a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) comments about Ghana at the conference indicating that the country should have the system for checking these equipment.

He said the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) has all the basic standardisation tools to detect the quality of equipment that comes into the country.

But the delegation from Nigeria is also making a strong case  for such centre to be established in their country.

The delegation said the country has put in place policies that deal with these inferior ICT and telecoms equipment.

But Ghana seems to have a strong case as on Day 2 of the conference, the UNIDO who is likely to fund the centre, encouraged the ITU to establish such a centre in Ghana to be operated by the GSB.

The Ghanaian delegation also hinted that the GSB has set up a technical committe that will tackle such issues since Africa is noted for the dumping of obsolete devices particularly in Ghana.

A consultant with the ITU, Andrew Kwan, has also observed that the GSB should be uplifted to deal with these inferior goods in the region.

Six experts engaged in a round table discussion to determine how to establish the test lab centre in the region.

Africa has only one fully operational test laboratory centre located in South Africa with the one located in Tanzania on a pilot scheme.

If it becomes operational, the centre will also check radiation effects on human health.

By Ekow Quandzie

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3 comments

  1. This is simple Mr Joshua Peprah, Director of Regulatory Administration at Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA)should emphasize that Ghana has both the human resouces, world recognised Ghana standard Board to oversee the success of this new laboratory. Great high standard of knowledge to under take this project.

  2. Ghana is no match for Nigeria. Nigeria is the largest telecoms market in Africa. Millions of the devices to be tested by the equipment are shipped into Nigeria everyday, plus Nigeria has more human and material resources to maintain these equipment. Ghana is but a small market. Coupled with Nigeria has a robust communications commission that can effectively enforce directives and regulations.

  3. Nigeria is undoubtedly the largest market of Africa but Ghana, in this field is developing with every passing year.