Ghana now 2nd highest mobile internet user in W/Africa

Ms. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (second from left) addressing some stakeholders at the meeting. Photo Seth Osabukle

Ms. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (second from left) addressing some stakeholders at the meeting. Photo Seth Osabukle

Ghana now has the second highest mobile internet penetration in West Africa.

According to a new report on Ghana’s mobile-enabled digital transformation, nearly half of the population can browse the internet via mobile devices.

Launched in Accra on Monday by Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, the report said 67 per cent of Ghanaians are connected by mobile phones.

It however disclosed that there is a 56 per cent gender gap in the use of the mobile internet, with 2.5 million fewer women online than men. The report further identified a gender gap of approximately 16 per cent in mobile phone ownership and 17 per cent in the use of mobile money services.

To close these gaps, the report advised government to integrate gender equality targets and key performance indicators into strategies, policies, plans and budgets, involving women and local communities.

It said mobile operators, on their part, were working to tackle the issue through programmes such as GSMA Connected Women Commitment Initiative.

The launch of the report was the highlight of a national dialogue on digital transformation in Ghana, an initiative of Ghana and British governments, GSMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It was attended by representatives of both governments, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), chief executive officers (CEOS) of mobile operators, Ghana’s Chamber of Telecommunications and other development partners

Held behind closed doors, followed by a media briefing, issues discussed at the meeting, included how mobile technologies could be used to solve challenges in the country and meet the Sustainable development Goals (SGDs).

 

According to the participants, they acknowledged the transformative impact of mobile communication on the people and economy of Ghana, and celebrated Ghana’s commitment to the SDGs.

 

At the media briefing, the Minister for Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stressed government’s resolve to harness the benefits of the digital technology to develop the country.

In view of this, she said government was scaling up the county’s cyber security and collaborating with industry players to boost the use of mobile technologies.

On mobile money fraud, Ebenezer Asante, CEO of MTN Ghana, advised Ghanaians not to tolerate persons who call and ask for their pins, adding that all the network operations would on their part continue to protect the interest of customers.

By Jonathan Donkor

 

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