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Ghana's comms ministry sets e-commerce registration deadline

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Ghanaian e-commerce operators and their courier/drivers must register with the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission (PCSRC) by December 19, 2023.

According to Ghana Communications and Digitalisation Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, no new goods delivery and courier service provider can register with any digital platform or delivery service without a valid PSCRC e-certificate after the deadline.

Furthermore, Owusu-Ekuful said existing operators will have until January 24, 2024, to comply with the directive.

"Acquiring an e-certificate as well as an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Number is essential for the curbing of e-commerce fraud and crimes committed by unlicensed, unregistered drivers, courier operators, and delivery personnel," the minister said in a statement.

Companies that need to register

Companies falling within the scope of the directive include Uber, Bolt and Yango Glovo, Jiji, Tonaton, and all e-commerce and e-delivery platforms and companies.

"These businesses will no longer be permitted to continue using unregistered personnel to deliver goods, as this contributes to fraud and customer abuse," the statement said.

Existing operators will have until January 24, 2024, to comply with the directive.   (Source: ASphotofamily on Freepik)
Existing operators will have until January 24, 2024, to comply with the directive.
(Source: ASphotofamily on Freepik)

The Ministry said it had observed how many logistical companies and digital platform operators flouted the law by facilitating courier services without complying with the country's licensing regulations.

Furthermore, it added that the continued operation of digital platforms, and delivery and courier services, without licensing and proper oversight, contravened the Electronic Transactions Act of 2008, Act 772, and the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission Act of 2003, Act 649.

"Section 10 of The Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission Act, Act 649, makes goods delivery and courier activities in Ghana a regulated service; and Sections 47 to 49 of the Electronic Transactions Act, Act 772, also specifies minimum compliance standards for e-commerce operators," the statement added.

"It has become more important to streamline the sector as the focus on the cross-border e-commerce objectives of the AfCFTA and the growing use of digital platforms to facilitate internal trade increased," it concluded.

Ghana enforcing regulation everywhere

The Ghanaian government has in recent times been enforcing different regulatory measures in the country.

In July 2023, the country's National Communications Authority (NCA) introduced technology neutrality to tackle non-significant market power (SMP) concerns in the telco industry.

Furthermore, the country disconnected unregistered SIM cards in July 2023.

In addition to reinforcing regulation in different sectors, the government has also been working to connect its underserved.

Just last week the country added upgrades to its telecoms industry, by signing an investment deal and a roaming agreement.

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*Top image source: artursafronovvvv on Freepik

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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