Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Ghana to deactivate unregistered SIMs from March 10

Article Image
Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA) is warning mobile users who have not completed a government mandated SIM registration process that they will have services deactivated from March 10, 2023, if they don't comply.

Ghana's SIM registration process began back in October 2021 and has two parts. In stage one, citizens need to link their national identity document called a "Ghana Card" to their SIM cards.

Stage two requires citizens to scan their biometrics at a physical store or by using a self-service mobile SIM registration app that was launched in August 2022.

"To reiterate, the importance of the SIM registration exercise is to develop and build a SIM database with integrity, which will assist in curbing fraudulent activities," the NCA said in a statement on Monday.

"The NCA, therefore, continues to urge all subscribers to complete their SIM registrations with their Ghana Cards to avoid deactivation," the regulator continued.

The country's Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the number of SIM cards which have not attempted to re-register at all stood at 8.7 million as of February 9, 2023.

However, the number of people that had already completed the process of SIM registration so far was 25.2 million, local publication B&FT Online reported.

That's about three-fifths of the total 43.3 million mobile subscribers in Ghana, according to stats from Omdia.

The NCA further warned that subscribers who begin the registration process stage one and do not complete their registration within a period of two weeks will have their SIM deactivated from their networks.

In December MTN Ghana shut off services to approximately 5.7 million subscribers who have not properly registered their SIM cards.

Africa's SIM registration trends

SIM registration regulations have been changing and modernizing in several African countries with similar drives by governments to get SIM cards linked to national ID cards. Ghana has even launched a self-service app aimed at encouraging its citizens to register their SIM cards.

Ghanaians who have not completed a SIM registration process are at risk of being disconnected in early March. (Source: Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik).
Ghanaians who have not completed a SIM registration process are at risk of being disconnected in early March. (Source: Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik).

The West African country's registration deadline had been moved several times since the process' inception in October 2021.

In October 2022, the government warned that it is illegal for vendors to pre-register and sell SIMs and that those breaking the law could face up to five years in prison.

Several African countries have been changing and modernizing their SIM registration processes. Namibians have until December 31, 2023, to register their mobile SIM cards with their identity documents.

Similar drives have taken place in Nigeria, Kenya, and Lesotho have taken place to get SIMs linked to national ID cards.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by Freepik

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Four agritech startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of four agritech startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Paymentology looks to strengthen its African roots

Global issuer-processor Paymentology's CEO Jeff Parker spoke to Connecting Africa about the company's African roots and aspirations to work with more banks, fintechs and enterprises both on the continent and globally.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in February 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included 5G launches in Senegal and 5G trials in Egypt as well as Kenya's first 5G MVNO. Airtel also launched a new wholesale connectivity business while MTN and Huawei are planning a joint Innovation Technology Lab in South Africa – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002