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Ghana signs infrastructure & roaming deals

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Ghana will soon receive upgrades to its telecoms industry, after an investment deal and a roaming agreement were signed this week.

Firstly, state-owned operator AT (formerly Airtel Tigo) signed a joint venture agreement with private equity firm Hannam Investments toward investing in the nation's telecoms market.

Secondly, the National Communications Authority (NCA) and Togo's Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications (ARCEP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish collaboration in the implementation of bilateral roaming services.

The aim of the AT and Hannam deal is to upgrade Ghana's telecoms infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology and create a leading 4G network.

The Ghanaian government took over control of Airtel Tigo from Bharti Airtel in 2021.

Hannam Investments added that the partnership will bring a wide choice of innovative, consumer-centric products and services to Ghanaians.

According to a statement by Ghana's Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was instrumental in facilitating the deal between the telco and investment company.

"The agreement aligns with the Ministry's mission to facilitate the development of reliable and cost-effective world-class communications infrastructure and services," said Owusu-Ekuful in a statement.

AT's CEO Leo Skarlatos reiterated the minister's sentiments and added that the partnership with Hannam is a huge milestone for the telco.

"With Hannam Investments' support, we are well-positioned to provide cutting-edge telecommunication solutions, compete on a global scale, and contribute to the development of our workforce and nation," Skarlatos explained.

Hannam Investments Founder Ian Hannam said the collaboration will bring investments to the Ghana telecoms market, deliver technological advancement and expand coverage.

"Our aim is to ensure that more people in Ghana have access to the Internet and services, which are essential building blocks of a country and will act as a driver for economic growth and development," he added.

NCA, ARCEP sign roaming deal

Ghana's NCA and Togo's ARCEP have agreed to establish bilateral roaming services between the two countries.

Signed by the NCA Director General Joe Anokye and ARCEP General Manager Michel Yaovi Galley, the MoU seeks to activate bilateral roaming services between Ghana and Togo under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 'Free' Roaming Regulations.

ECOWAS is a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa and its aim is to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union.

NCA Director General Joe Anokye and ARCEP General Manager Michel Yaovi Galley signing the MoU agreement.   (Source: Ghana's NCA).
NCA Director General Joe Anokye and ARCEP General Manager Michel Yaovi Galley signing the MoU agreement.
(Source: Ghana's NCA).

"The MoU will lay the groundwork for a more interconnected future in which our citizens will be able to communicate across borders at lower cost, thereby facilitating business, tourism, and social ties," said Anokye.

He added that the fact that Ghana and Togo have taken steps to implement bilateral roaming services with other countries indicated that they shared a common goal of reducing the cost of roaming services for citizens.

Galley said the MoU will help strengthen telecommunications services and security between both countries and believes the bilateral roaming service would be operational by January 2024.

ECOWAS member states connecting underserved

There has been an influx of ECOWAS member states either signing deals towards connecting the underserved or working toward infrastructure upgrades.

Earlier this week, submarine fiber optic telecommunications company, Pioneer Consulting, completed deployment of the Togolese branch of Google's Equiano subsea cable on CSquared Woezon's behalf.

In October 2023, Senegal's government and Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM) partnered with digital platform RIDE Space to launch the country's first satellite, GAINDESAT.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

Also in October 2023, another ECOWAS member state, Sierra Leone's telecommunications operator Orange, announced that it would pilot 5G in the country's capital of Freetown.

Telecel Group, the majority shareholder of Vodafone Ghana, expanded the operator's network infrastructure by adding 300 new 4G sites, also in October 2023.

Related posts:

*Top image is, from left to right: AT CEO Leo Skarlatos; Hannam Investments Founder Ian Hannam; Ghana's Minister of Communication and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; and Hannam Investments executive James Bell. (Source: Ghana's Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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