Sereme Taukobong

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s Telecom giant MTN Ghana, as part of efforts to encourage the usage of internet, is running the 3rd edition of its data awareness month, dubbed ‘iFest’. The annual event, introduced in September 2011, is aimed at increasing awareness of the benefits of data, and increasing data usage by subscribers.

The objective of this year’s celebration is to educate customers on MTN’s Data and device offerings and also how professional bodies as well as corporate organizations can use the internet services to advance their course.

Speaking in an interview with the Biztechafrica during the launch of the event, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Sereme Taukobong, noted that MTN as the leading telecom company in the country, it has a critical role to play in improving access. “It is why we are focused on our new vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers” he said. According to Mr. Taukobong MTN Internet Festival(i-Fest) is critical and this year activities includes the Opera Mini Challenge and an Educational Drive on internet usagefor identifiable professionals such doctors, lawyers, teachers, bankers etc.

The Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, Rahul De, said in a statement  available to Biztechafrica that: “MTN is committed to offering  simple, customer friendly data services and  accessible devices  to drive data penetration in the country. “We are also committed to also encouraging data usage to increase productivity in all spheres of economic development throughout the iFest month celebration”. iFest month is expected to last for the whole of September with a lot of exciting packages for subscribers.

Ghana’s internet penetration seems to be witnessing a drastic improvement as its development rate moves from 14.11% in 2011 to 17.11% in 2012, representing a 3 % growth. This comes against the backdrop of an International Telecommunications Union Report, which indicates that Africa is the region with the highest growth rates over the past three years and mobile-broadband penetration has increased from 2% in 2010 to 11 % in 2013. Although the expansion rate of internet growth in the country within these few years sounds laudable, there are indications for the improvement in the increase in broadband penetration and data usage. Research shows that internet access can deliver results for poverty reduction, health, transport, education and gender equality. Above all, it can empower people to lead better, richer and more fulfilling lives.

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