BBCC: Broadband policy has lost ability to meet national broadband needs
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Ghana’s 2012 Broadband Policy and Implementation Strategy is currently being taken through a series of examinations by major stakeholders in the country’s broadband industry to see its relevance on the socio-economic needs of consumers.
According to the Broadband Communications Chamber, Ghana’s current 2012 Broadband Policy and Implementation Strategy has not only lost the fundamentals in turbo-charging the country’s socio-economic future but also the ability to meet the national broadband needs and has not been able to deliver fast and affordable broadband for Ghana. The Chamber says there is a need for a stakeholder approach to securitize the existing policy and if possible redirect it to give proper direction to the country’s digital agenda.
Speaking to Biztechafrica in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer for the Broadband Communications Chamber (BBCC) Elorm Gustav Tamakloe, noted that Ghana is losing out considering the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Report and the Government of Ghana’s strategy of rapid Broadband penetration and development particularly in underserved and unserved areas.
“Last year a UN Broadband Commission report issued a challenge to policymakers, the private sector and other partners to make deployment of Broadband infrastructure a top priority in their strategies to accelerate global development and progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the Report Broad technologies today are driving significant transformation in lots of sectors that are related to development such as health, food security, financial inclusion and education,” he stated.
Mr. Tamakloe expressed concern over recent statistics on Ghana’s internet penetration, which, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), stands at approximately 9.9 million representing 34.7% of about 29 million population. He stressed the need for Ghana to either choose to continue to do nothing or emulate East African country Rwanda’s fine example by seizing the Broadband opportunity as a catalyst for Ghana’s sustainable socio-economic development.
“Rwanda has emerged over the past decade as one of Africa’s more innovative economies. Its success is due, in past, to the ambitious policies the country is pursuing. The 2015-2020 SMART Rwanda Master Plan puts ICTs especially broadband at the heart of the national socio-economic development agenda,” he said.
The Broadband Chamber believes that broadband is critical to any nationals economic and social development agenda and will drive economic growth, productivity and job creation; and that with broadband infrastructure, delivery of voice, video and data at ultra-high-speed yields numerous benefits including productivity improvement, better health and education services and efficient government services.