tigo-mtn-zain-vodafone-glo-mobile-ghanaThe government has acquired a monitoring equipment to detect and block fraudulent international calls in the country.

Deputy Minister of Communication, Gideon Quarcoo, who announced this in Accra Friday said the equipment, to be operated by the National Communications Authority (NCA) will also improve voice quality and minimise call drop rates.

Mr Quarcoo was addressing a stakeholders dissemination forum on the International Linearization of Trade in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Services.

The forum was organised by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), under the auspices of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The Deputy Minister said his ministry was developing sets of e-legislations to increase competitiveness in Ghana’s e-economy and empower the law courts to prosecute offenders who committed crimes in the cyber space.

He said the general objective of the LICOM project was to contribute to a better knowledge of the international challenges of liberalisation of trade in ICT services, in order to support the formulation of public policies conducive to the development of ICT in West Africa.

Mr Quarcoo lamented that, “research in our part of the world has largely suffered a number of serious deficiencies regarding the ICT application in practice”.

“There is no doubt about what ICT can offer the nation,” he said, adding that, the recent global financial crisis went a long way to prove the resilience of the ICT sector.

“Indeed, the economic crunch dealt a devastating blow to most sectors of the world economy, leaving the ICT sector intact.”

He said the government, having identified ICT as the key to boost the economy, liberalised the sector and made it more competitive.

Mr Quarcoo said Ghana was the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to liberalise the telecom sector, and “made a paradigm shift from a monopoly telecom operator, to six licensed telecom operators in the country”.

He said the NCA had ensured a level playing field for all the players in the industry.

“This has resulted in a mobile subscriber base of 15,318,225 as of January 20 I 0, with all the operators offering competitive value-added services,” he said.

The deputy minister said to ensure non-exploitation of the consuming public, his ministry, through the NCA would soon institute the Number Portability Project; where mobile users would be able to migrate from one service provider to the other without having to change one’s number.

Dr George O. Essegbey, Director of STEPRI, said the world has reached a critical transformation stage where ICT had become the critical technology for knowledge acquisition and dissemination.

He gave the assurance that STEPRI would continue to provide the necessary inputs for policy formulation, and guidance in policy implementation.

Dr Godfred Frempong, Deputy Director of STEPRI, in an overview, said the LICOM project would help to better understand the challenges and implementation conditions of liberalization of trade in ICT services in the sub-region, and suggest strategies for public action.

He said the impact on liberalization in trade in ICT services on the economy of participating countries were enormous.

Dr Frempong said the methodology adopted in the implementation of the LICOM project, included literature reviews, questionnaire administration, focus group discussion, and key informant interviews.

The review of the legal instrument and framework was done through literature review and discussions with public officers from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Communications.

The LICOM project is being done, in collaboration with Senegal, Nigeria and Benin.

Source: Ghanaian Times/Ghana

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