CEOs of the major telecom networks and tower companies in Ghana stormed the Kaneshie Market in Accra Thursday to commemorate five years of the Chamber of Telecommunications.
The CEOs include MTN Ghana boss, Ebenezer Asante, Tigo Ghana boss, Roshi Motman and Vodafone Ghana CEO, Yolanda Cuba, together with CEO of the Chamber, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo.
Airtel boss Lucy Quist was represented by a senior executive and the industry regulator, National Communication Authority was represented by Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, Nana Defie Badu.
The telco executives used the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Chamber to tell subscribers about mobile money, the importance of telecom towers and SIM registration.
The Chamber was launched five years ago by then Vice-President John Mahama, and it had Airtel, Expresso, MTN, Tigo & Vodafone as members; but tower companies ATC, Eaton & Helios have since 2015 joined the chamber.
Its establishment was in recognition that industry players were in a stronger position to make inputs to shape policy and the regulatory environment if they worked together.
The Chamber has, over the last five years, enabled key stakeholders, such as the government, industry regulators and lawmakers to engage telcos and tower companies together instead of as individual entities.
CEO of the Chamber, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo told the subscribers the market storm was all about the subscribers who have over the years patronised telecom services and provided important feedback to help telcos improve their services.
He said the theme for the fifth year commemoration was “Empowering People, SIMpacting Lives,” and it will spend the period earmarked for the celebration to emphasise how mobile telecoms has impacted the economy and empowered millions to realise their dreams since 1992 till date.
“There are few industries that have such an intravenous effect on everyone whilst impacting the national economy,” Sakyi-Addo said.
The Telco bosses spent quality time in direct engagements with the traders and buyers inside the market, listening to them and taking feedback on their respective services.
They spoke to them about the need to register their SIM cards, as required by law, or risk losing their numbers.
The CEOs also gave the subscribers helpful information about how to secure their mobile wallets, while encouraging more of them to sign up for mobile money and to be more accepting of towers in their communities because that is what carries their network service.
Kwaku Sakyi-Addo stressed the end for Ghanaians to register for mobile money and use it, saying “five years from now, if we all register for mobile money, we’ll be trading in this market mostly with mobile money and very little or no cash.”
Meanwhile, during the five years, the Chamber has been here, the industry has seen substantial investment and growth.
SIM penetration has grown by nearly 70% to 134% compared with the national population.
Voice connection has grown by 15 million from 21 million in 2011 to over 36 million at the last count early this year, while mobile data connections, which stood at 8 million in 2011, is now more than 18 million.
Meanwhile, mobile money subscriptions have grown three-fold over ten periods, with its value of transactions growing exponentially from a few hundreds of millions of Ghana cedis to GHc35bn in 2015.
The telecommunications industry has created over 6,000 direct jobs and 1.6 million indirect jobs and paid nearly GHC5 billion in taxes as at 2015 year end.