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New President of Ghana has thorough ICT experience

July 24, 2012  »  UncategorizedNo Comment

With John Atta Mill’s untimely death in office on July 24, 2012, John Mahama has now assumed the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana. However, President Mahama, as of a couple of days ago, was not expected to run for president in the upcoming December 2012 elections. Still, he will be in power for a full 4 1/2 months – plenty of time to influence policy and guide Ghana along an ambitious path of development.

What’s more, President Mahama has extensive experience in communications – perhaps more than Late President Mills. He’s been involved in the deregulation of Ghana’s telecoms sector and has been an advocate of e-government and competition among Internet operators.

A timeline of President Mahama’s notable interactions with computing is as follows:

November 1998 – January 2001

  • As Minister of Communications, played a key role in stabilizing Ghana’s telecommunications sector after it was deregulated in 1997, helped organize African Telecom Summit to bring together Ministers, Policy Makers, Regulators, Operators, Investors and Consumers to dialogue in one forum. {Source}

December 1999

  • Aimed to bring a telephone to every village with a user-demand of 500 or more people, encouraged collaboration among three mobile phone operators and Ghana Telecom, focused on increasing competition among Internet operators.
  • On the National Telecommunication Authority (NCA) issuing internet service provider licenses to two major telecommunication companies, John Mahama said, “But, of course, we have licensed a lot of private operators too. What we are trying to do is to let the consumer get the best from the competition that will take place.” {Source}

December 1999

  • Limited the number of mobile telecom operators to five in order to prevent over-saturation of the market {Source}

June 2000

  • Part of agreement to bring now-defunct Africa ONE international fibre cable to Ghana {Sources}

May 2011

  • Launched the national ICT Policy Review Forum in Accra under the theme: “ICT – Towards Employment Creation” {Source}

June 2012

  • Launched the start of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training program that will train 5,000 persons with disabilities nationwide in ICT, mobile phone and computer repairs {Source}
  • Launched e-Government Leadership Capacity Building programme {Source}

President Mahama was active with ICT as Vice President, especially in the past couple of months. All signs point to the same momentum in his administration for the rest of the year and beyond.