The Telecommunication sector’s contribution to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently estimated at almost 10 per cent more than tripled from 1.8 per cent to 6 per cent between 2000 and 2005, said Ms Efua Falconer, Acting Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of Scancom Limited (MTN Ghana).
Ms Falconer who was speaking on the topic “The Role of Telecommunications in the Development of Ghana’s Economy- Opportunities, Challenges and Technology- MTN Ghana’s Perspective” at a forum with a cross section of the media on Thursday in Sunyani, said total tax revenue for the country in 2008 amounted to GHC 4,299.5 billion of which MTN’s contribution was GHC 222.8 million or 5 per cent.
The forum aimed at ensuring sustainable engagement by the company with key partners and stakeholders as part of the drive to giving impetus to the social and economic development of the country.
Ms Falconer said MTN Ghana was providing an income to 120,000 Ghanaians through “its points of presence selling” (retailing) MTN products, whilst it was estimated that financially the company directly supported more than 500,000 Ghanaians.
She said the future growth and opportunity of the telecommunications industry depended on Data/Internet and Converged Services, saying the industry had therefore moved from “network centric” to “customer centric”.
The sector had now departed from what network services could be offered to the customer, to how and what technologies were needed to provide the customer with his/her desired experience, she explained.
She expressed worry that Ghana was the 28th out of 56 countries in Africa in terms of internet penetration, adding that despite being the first country to launch internet in West Africa in 1993, there were less than 800,000 internet users.
Ms Falconer said MTN Ghana was therefore deploying Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres in rural communities, including Techimantia in the Tano South District of Brong-Ahafo, to encourage internet usage in the country.
She announced that the company was presently assisting the Sene District Hospital in Brong-Ahafo with the construction of a ward and provision of some equipment at the cost of GHC 27,000.
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