According to the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the government has triggered processes aimed at lowering the prices of internet in the country. She said an industry forum will be held “early next month to put all these conversations forward and force a consensus on the way to go”.
The Minister was responding to Hafez Ghanem, the Vice President of the World Bank for Africa’s remarks that internet cost in Ghana was high. The World Bank for Africa’s Vice President made this observation while visiting Ghana last month.
Hafez Ghanem, the veep, asked what the government of Ghana is doing about the issue. The Communications Minister, Owusu-Ekuful, responded by listing plans the government is undertaking to ensure internet prices become affordable to Ghanaians.
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The Minister said industry operators and the National Communication Authority have been having an ongoing engagement for some time. Owusu-Ekuful believes the outcome of the engagement will promote competition and greater infrastructure sharing. She also said the outcome of the meeting will force internet cost to go down.
“There’s a huge appetite for data in this country which we are not being able to meet and so we see that there’s an opportunity, there’s a commercial opportunity for the private sector to also take advantage of.
“So we have begun having meetings around several issues including; SIM registration, equipment identity registration among others to clean up that space and make it more secured and less easy for people to use their devices for formulating criminal activities. We are going to have an industry forum early next month to put all these conversations forward and force a consensus on the way to go.”
In October last year, the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) did research on internet consumption. The research findings revealed that more than 2.3 billion people live in countries where just 1GB of mobile data is not affordable. The report warned that high internet cost is keeping billions offline and pushing the global goal of universal internet access further out of reach.