Government rules out OTT regulation in Ghana

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communication, Ato Sarpong, has told key industry players in Accra that the government, through the Communication Ministry, has no intention whatsoever of regulating the operations of over-the-top (OTT) in the country. According to him the government wants new technologies to flourish in Ghana and so cannot implement policies to regulate its operations.

“New technologies will come, technology is something that we (government) cannot regulate, and it’s something that we (government) cannot develop policies to restrict people from doing it,” he revealed.

The deputy minister comments comes as a reply to suggestions made by the  Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum Asante that the regulator, the National Communication Authority and the government should move in to regulate the operations of over- the- top (OTT) services in Ghana to enable players within the telecom industry stay in business.

Although the National Communications Authority (NCA) issued a statement with regards to the operations of Over- the-Top (OTT) services and its impact on the revenue of the Telecoms industry in the Ghana. It however stated that it’s going to review the situation and will in due course take decisions for an enabling regulatory environment that will benefit all stakeholders including both the operator and consumer.

But the deputy communication minister who emphatically reiterated the government position on new technologies at the External launch of MTN Ghana’s 20th Anniversary attended by key stakeholders including the Director General of NCA William Tevie and Executive Director for the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) Kobby Acheampong, drew the attention of telcos operating in the country to the fact that technology has come to stay hence the need for them including the regulator (NCA) to brace themselves for the new challenges and opportunities that would come with it. “ The NCA and operators should take advantage of new technologies as you are doing, look more into the future, change your business now to take advantage of the new trends,” he intimated.

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