The ICT sector is a viable industry for investment due to its dynamism, periodic technological upgrades, and requisite know-how. The country’s ICT industry players comprise of telecommunications operators, internet service providers, Very-Small-Aperture-Terminal (VSAT)data operators, software manufacturers, broadcast institutions, ICT education providers, internet cafés, etc. overseen by the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority (NCA). The infrastructural base of the sector includes licensed gateway operators, undersea cable connectivity, private licensed VSAT systems, fixed wired line networks, wireless mobile operators, public telephones systems, telecentres, dedicated transmission networks, public distribution networks (cable, tv, dsl, etc), internet backbone connectivity throughout the country and public access point and broadcasting systems.
ICT in Ghana has evolved from an option to the very lifeline of businesses. The essence of the ICT sector and its overarching benefits to the Ghanaian economy cannot be over emphasized. Ghana’s economy since 2017 was seeing continuous growth, however in 2020, the economy experienced a contraction in growth to a 0.4% overall growth rate due to the Corona Virus pandemic and its impact on the various sectors of the economy. Nevertheless, the ICT sector experienced a 22.5% growth rate in 2020 contributing the most to the service sector. This placed Ghana in the top 5 countries with a positive economic growth rate in the ECOWAS sub region and as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa despite the pandemic. The year-on-year growth in value added services in the ICT sector was 28.9%,32.6% and 17% for Q3,2019 to Q3,2021 respectively. The 2022 budget projects the service sector to grow by 5.6% led by a strong average growth performance of 8.6% in the information and Communication technology sector. In 2021 the number of Mobile Voice subscribers stood at 40.45 million subscribers representing a 0.02% decrement from the same period in 2020. Q3 2021, the sector recorded a penetration of total access lines (mobile and fixed network operators) of about 136.70%
The government of Ghana through the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) aims at bridging the digital divide in the country. According to Plender the MD of Africa Online, Ghana is showing signs of significant growth and is building itself into a key business hub for West Africa: “We are seeing an uptake in global investment, infrastructure development and an increase in internet penetration. There is a definite uptake within vertical sectors as well as growth of last mile fiber and wireless technology, 4G mobile, and high throughput satellite deployments”.
The recent impact of COVID-19 has seen a surge in the interest of digitization of business processes and e-commerce for business sustainability and continuity. COVID-19 has revealed the importance of building efficient and robust digital platforms to support businesses and the delivery of government services. Considering this, the government has launched and is implementing the Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa” Programme to return the country to a sustained path of robust growth and to create a stronger, more resilient and transformed economy. One area of focus in the CAREs Programme is developing the ICT/digital economy. As such, government intends to fast track digitization in the country by expediting implementation of Government digital initiatives such as the National ID, digital address systems, land records digitization; introduce initiatives to digitize fiscal revenue collection, to support a cashless society; expand the national fiber network backbone to improve internet connectivity; promote increased digital literacy; and establish tech hubs.
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