Ghana's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has progressed strongly over the last decade. As one of the first countries to introduce widespread liberalisation in basic telecom services, in 1994, Ghana took an important step forward in embracing the potential of competitive markets to generate growth and innovation.
The ICT industry comprises telecommunications operators, internet service providers, VSAT data operators, software manufacturers, broadcast institutions, ICT education providers, internet cafes, etc. Generally, the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority (NCA) oversee activities in the sector.
The infrastructural base of the sector includes licensed gateway operators, undersea cable connectivity, private licensed VSAT systems, fixed wired line networks, wireless mobile operators, public telephone systems, telecentres, dedicated transmission networks, public distribution networks (cable, TV, DSL, etc.), internet service providers, an internet backbone connectivity throughout the country, and public access points and broadcasting systems.
As an initiative to support emerging technologies, the Ministry of Communications is also facilitating the establishment of Science and Technology Parks.
Indeed, Ghana has been recognised as an attractive destination for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and was ranked the first destination of choice in Sub-Saharan Africa (ahead of Senegal and South Africa). In addition the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index (GSLI), 2011 named Ghana 27th out of 50 countries globally in its BPO international ratings.
Government ICT policy and regulatory environment
The governments proactive policy and regulatory interventions, combined with support from the World Bank Group and other development partners, have resulted in a competitive and vibrant industry.
Presently in place is the ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) policy, a long-term strategy for developing the ICT sector and expanding its role in the Ghanaian economy. Its mission is to transform Ghana into a middle-income, information rich, knowledge-based and technologically-driven economy and society. The ICT4AD vision for Ghana is "to improve the quality of life of the people of Ghana by significantly enriching their social, economic and cultural wellbeing through the rapid development and modernisation of the economy and society using information and communication technologies as the main engine for accelerated and sustainable economic and social development". The Ministry of Communications (MOC) is responsible for developing policies in relation to the sector. Hence, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), an arm of MOC, has been established to implement the ICT related policies. An allied agency, the National Communications Authority, is also responsible for licensing and regulating all businesses operating in the communications...