Monday, May 23, 2011
MTN Ghana has added another new unit to it existing units called the MTN Business unit, established purposely to provide innovative and cutting edge communications service to public and private sector organizations, Small, Medium and Large Scale Enterprises. Among some products and services that MTN Business offers includes: Leased Lines (National & International), Last Mile Access, Dedicated Internet, Shared / Dedicated IP Connect, VPN over Mobile. Others include Wi-Fi Hotspots, Co-Location Hosting Services, Convergence, Hosted Messaging & Collaboration and Cloud Computing & Virtualization.
Speaking to Biztech Africa during the unveiling of the unit at a ceremony in Accra, the Ag Executive of MTN Business, and Richard Densu disclosed that the establishing of a commercial entity like MTN Business, is to offer converged ICT solutions to businesses in Ghana reliable and efficient services. He noted that in today's corporate world, businesses cannot survive without communications services and this is what MTN Business seeks to offer and said "MTN Business is dedicated to the provision of end-to-end; diverse, reliable and cost effective ICT solutions to the business community in Ghana. These and many other initiatives are in line with MTN's unrelenting effort to bring world class telecommunications services to Ghanaians."
Solidifying customers confidence in the service delivery of MTN Ghana Mr. Densu mentioned how MTN has invested in technological infrastructure to serve as back bone for their three Data Centers in Accra and Kumasi which has high capacity to support businesses with Data Recovery Sites, Servers, Rack Spaces, Backup systems and many others to meet the ICT needs of organizations.
He gave the assurance that with laying of infrastructures the fiber optic and microwave networks across the country and beyond "it gives MTN the opportunity to support the expansion and connectivity needs of your businesses. We are also able to provide your business with dedicated and shared internet services virtually anywhere your business is located".
The Ministry of Communication in collaboration with allied agencies is vigorously pursing the universal access agenda to provide Information Communication Technology infrastructure and service to people across in the country. The National Communication Authority (NCA) National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Ghana Metrological Agency (GMA) and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) are supporting service provider, Public service organization and communities to harness the full potential of ICT.
The Deputy Minister of Communication Mr. Ernest Attuquaye -Armah who disclose this during the celebration of the International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in Accra, Ghana, stated that the collaboration with ministries of Health, Agricultural, Education, Local Government and the District Assembly will extend broadband infrastructure to health institutions, schools and colleges and also the community Information Center, through the disbursement of Universal Service Funds, contributed by the communication service providers
Speaking on the year’s theme: Better life in rural communities with ICT, the Deputy Minister of Communication said the theme is to alert stakeholders on the need to employ the enabling capacity of ICT to improve the quality of the life in rural communities
He indicated that by the declaration of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), it is our common desire and commitment to build people centered, inclusive and development oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and people achieve their full potential in promoting the sustainable development and improve their quality of life.
This year’s celebration he noted enjoins all stakeholders , policy makers ,regulators, telecom operators, private investors and industry to come together to promote the adoption of policies and strategies that will promote better life in rural communities with ICT.
by :Benjamin Appiah Acquaye
Monday, April 18, 2011
The unveiling of the international fiber optic submarine cable in Ghana by Globacom Ghana Limited known as Glo-1 was a welcoming news indeed for the Government of Ghana, the industry regulator- National Communications Authority (NCA), and stakeholders in the ICT industry. Although Ghana wasn’t the first West Coast African country to have access to this facility, since Nigeria was put on this platform somewhere last years or so, many expert in the telecom sector in Ghana believe that this initiative by Globacom to place Africa on the Digital Drive with the rest of the world is a giant dream come and must be well celebrate for. Not only does it demonstrate the can do spirit of the African entrepreneur but a good signal to the rest of the world that Africa is now ready to Bridge the Digital Divide.
Bridging the Digital Gap between Africa and the world was thought to be a phenomenal task which will last for decades, before Africa would catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to the Digital Divide. But with the wit, ingenuity, and the excelling power to succeed by the African entrepreneur has witness the emergence of a new breed of corporate African institutions with close collaborations with their various governments aiming at bridging the Digital divide, and that is seen to be the case of Global Telecommunication Limited and other such institutions like Main One Cable Limited.
In the words of Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, who welcomed the Glo 1 launch, Ghana has made giant and tremendous strides in the area of telecommunications and that “even the socialist among us will agree that when we say that liberalization has no dividend, we certainly cannot say so for the telecoms sector. We are today reaping [from] the foundations that were laid for a liberalized regime of the telecoms sector and allowing the private sector to take its pride of place.
“Mine will be to commend Globacom Limited, at least the launch of Glo 1 today in my conception, is West Africa’s Indigenous response to the need for global connectivity and this is the first time that we are having such a major investment come from an African, meant for an African, and connecting with the rest of the world and you deserve our commendation.”
He appealed to Globacom to reserve some of their additional value added services-related businesses for Ghanaians, “whether in the area of the printing of scratch cards, whether in the area of security, whether in the area of providing diesel or manning cell sites,” he said, “we will be happy that it generates some additional business for the Ghanaian people and that is how we can share in their entry to the market.”
Vice President John Mahama, special guest, predicted that in the not too distant future, the capacity of bandwidth available to a country will determine its status of development rather than GDP. He therefore welcomed the increase in bandwidth availability in Ghana with the arrival of Glo and its launch of the backbone infrastructure and services, which he said will deepen competition and provide alternative choices, comparable pricing and improved quality of service for the benefit of Ghana’s communication sector.
“It will be common in future to be asked not of the size of the GDP of your country but of the size of bandwidth that is available in your country,” he said, emphasizing the determination of the government to develop ICT infrastructure that will provide abundant capacity to carry high speed voice, video and internet facilities to all districts of Ghana.
“I say this because towards the end of 2008, the uptake of broadband in Ghana stood at one percent which was extremely low and inadequate for meaningful development. With the arrival of Glo 1 and other submarine cables the total bandwidth capacity of 2,040 gigabytes will be available to Ghana… It is therefore expected that the increase in bandwidth capacity will be more than adequate to meet the increasing demand for communication services, promote and support business process outsourcing industry in Ghana by creating jobs and revenues to government while exerting a downward pressure on prices as a result of increased competition.”
Governments and its various bureaucratic institutions are waking up from their slumber to the new dawn of era where things are down the digital way therefore acknowledging the essence of the placing much attention to the developments and improvements of the necessary infrastructures that propel the growth of technological advancement in their countries.
It is a welcoming news when government also forge close collaborations with industry players to ensure a smooth and an enabling playing ground where both parties sees each other as partners in the market, delivering quality yet affordable services to the end user.
By:Benjamin Nana Appiah Acquaye
Monday, January 10, 2011
The shocking revelations by wikileaks in recent times have caused a massive shake up in certain corridors of power around the world. The releases of highly classified intelligence information of various governments to the US government intercepted by the whistle blowing website wikileaks has indicted many countries and its governments across the world, and Ghana is no exception to it. A popular UK newspaper “The Guardian’ published on its website copious notes of the wikileaks intelligence releases on how the American government views Ghana when it comes to dealing with narcotic drugs issues by it government. It also blamed successive governments of the country for its lackadaisical attitude in nipping the menace in a bud. According to wikileaks report “The US Embassy on December 21, 2007 note that Government Of Ghana contacts in both Police service and the presidential office have said they know the identities of the major barons, but they have not said why they have not chosen to arrest them. ‘A police service contact told us the government of Ghana does not have the political will to go after the barons. This officials and other close to the president have also told us they cannot trust anyone when it comes to Narcotic” wikileaks quoted the US Embassy cable from its confidential section 03 Accra 002590”.
It even drags the Narcotic Control Board into the issue by accusing the appointment of a former NACOB Boss by the NPP government as a clear sign of the then government’s unwillingness to fight the drug trade.
It’s also interesting to note that all these intelligence information leaked by the wikileaks concerning the Government of Ghana’s inability to fight Narcotic war in the country has not been challenged by the former Government and also the current administration, even though the latter has shown its sincere commitment to the fight against the drug menace. In fact there are ample evidences or even real scenarios one can point to the latter’s proactive role in curbing the menace.
Firstly, we all witnessed the first gentleman of the land, H.E Prof J.A.Mills going through security checks at the Kotoka International Airport defying prestigious and glorifying protocol courtesies entitled him, then he instructed every member of his government to emulate his example. In fulfillment of its sincere promise against Narcotic Drugs, secondly the cuurent adminisntration appointed a dynamic and result oriented person to head and manage the affairs of the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) to ensure that Ghana does not become a hiding haven for notorious drug barons and a preferred destination or transit for narcotic drugs. Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong is currently the Executive Secretary of Government anti –narcotic drugs institution which according to sources is yet to be turned into a commission. The zeal, diligence and commitment to the course of a drug free Ghana under Yaw Akrasi Sarpong has led to the various arrest and detention of many drug barons including the recent arrest of Pierre Wadini by Interpol through the collaborative efforts of NACOB in the USA this year.
As part of efforts it efforts to educate the Ghanaian public on the dangers of narcotics drugs, NACOB under Yaw Akrasi Sarpong together with his dedicated and selfless team of professionals embarked on a public sensitization mission with the aim of educating every Ghanaian on the cunning influences of narcotic drugs and this is done through engaging schools, Civil Society Organizations and various workers union in discussions.
Journalists across the length and breadth of this country has also benefitted from NACOB’s education which has even resulted in the formation of a network of media practioners in the fight against drugs, although the idea of bringing journalists together to assist NACOB in the fight against drugs was muted by the then minister of interior Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman in2007, it was given a major boost under the current administration. Journalist against Drugs (JAD) has had close collaborations with NACOB and has benefitted tremendously in terms of educational workshops and getting access to accurate information from NACOB pertaining to their activities.
The truth of the matter is, whether we as Ghanaians likes it or not the information leaked by wikileaks websites about Ghana’s role in narcotic drugs cannot be refuted ant where on this planet by both the NPP and NDC government. We should remember that “Truth clash to the earth shall rise some day” and that s exactly what had happened. It is public knowledge as to which administration did what and which administration did that, so we should stop the blame game and find strategies as to how to curtail future happenings. Here is a note of caution to the Mills led administration that all efforts should be made so that the ‘VVIP’ Very very important people lounge at the KOTOKA International Airport would not be used again as the main conduit for the so called senior, filthy rich drug barons. His Excellency Prof. J.A.Mills and Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong should crack the whip when necessary so that the ordinary Ghanaian would have some peace of mind, self dignity and fell proud to walk anywhere on this earth without fear of been branded or suspected of been a drug dealer because you are coming from Ghana.
One frustrating and disturbing informations we gathered from wikileaks was how poorly personnel of NACOB were paid or renumerated, and that was a source of worry for the current NACOB boss, who then complained about the lukewarm attitude of the previous Kufour administration who failed to provide NACOB with adequate resources thereby putting personnel of NACOB in a compromising situation in their line of duty. Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong‘s seemingly frustration over low remuneration of NACOB personnel is not a misplace one although he was not the then head of NACOB, such situation has had a negative toll on the service thus painting NACOB black in the eyes of the public.
It is the hope of many Ghanaians including this writer that since NACOB falls under the per view of the ministry of interior, efforts should be made so that personnel of NACOB be roll onto government Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) so they wouldn’t be vulnerable to drug traffickers. Let’s all rally behind NACOB to make Ghana a drug free state by reporting the activities of narcotic dealers in our neighborhoods to them and the promise is “you will never regret you did that just for mother Ghana”.
By: Benjamin Nana Appiah Acquaye
(The writer is a member of Journalist against Drugs- Ghana)