Ghana hails Glo-1


Image: Benedicto Akpene and Mike Foley, Programme Director, Glo Ghana, at the launch of Glo 1 in Ghana. By Nana Appiah Acquaye
Benedicto Akpene and Mike Foley, Programme Director, Glo Ghana, at the launch of Glo 1 in Ghana

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’ s government and industry stakeholders have welcomed the arrival of Globacom’ s Glo-1 cable in the country.

The unveiling of the international fiber optic submarine cable in Ghana was hailed by 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 the cable, since Nigeria was put on this platform some time ago, many experts in Ghana’ s telecoms sector describe the initiative as a dream come true.

Only a few years ago, many believed that bridging the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world was a phenomenal task that would take decades.

Communications Minister Haruna Iddrisu, who welcomed the Glo 1 launch, said Ghana had made tremendous strides in the area of telecommunications.

He said: “ Even the socialists among us will agree that when we say that liberalisation has no dividend, we certainly cannot say so for the telecoms sector. We are today reaping [from] the foundations that were laid for a liberalised regime of the telecoms sector and allowing the private sector to take its pride of place.”

“ The launch of Glo 1 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.”

He appealed to Globacom to reserve some of its 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.”   Iddrissu 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, a special guest at the launch, predicted that in the not too distant future, the capacity of bandwidth available to a country, rather than its GDP, would be an indicator of its development status.
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.”

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