Listed as among the top five fastest growing economics in Africa by the World Economic Forum, Ghana is rapidly establishing itself as West Africa’s hub of choice. Supported by the government’s regulatory reform strategies to boost investor confidence, Ghana’s landscape is evolving and attracting more international players establishing themselves in the region.
Foster Plender, Managing Director, AfricaOnline, Ghana’s leading ISP and a Gondwana International Networks (GIN) subsidiary, says the market is in an exciting phase.
“The overall telecoms sector is gearing for a migration with increased network infrastructure investment in the fields of data centres, fibre to the X, 4G and high throughput satellites to deliver digital services and connectivity in even the remotest parts of the country,” said Plender.
“Customers nationwide are digitally-savvy wanting the widest coverage, best connectivity, fastest speeds and of course affordable pricing. Service providers need to stay on top of changing technology to meet customer demands and retain them with excellent customer service.”
Accra has benefited from Google’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) laboratory, a new Tier IV data centre, and the sale, by Government, of 800 MHz spectrum will further enhance the Ghanaian digital landscape.
Over the next decade, Plender says that technologies such as Blockchain, IoT and Big Data will be fully realised.
“The emergence of these tools has started to take form and we believe that they will gain more traction as the market continues to embrace digital innovation and disruption,” he said.
“Ghana already has a track record of incubating entrepreneurial talent and we fully expect new IoT smart solutions relevant to Africa to evolve from our local market.”
Ghana’s economy is dominated by a number of key market sectors. These include agriculture, education, financial services, mining, oil and gas, utilities and health.
“These collectively are major contributors to the country’s GDP, and technology will play a significant role in enabling services within these vital sectors to grow by solutions that will increase the ability to automate decisions, monitor progress, and take real-time actions for prevention of problems,” said Plender.
“That’s the core of the evolving IoT world, using lots of data to solve everyday problems for everyone.”
Agriculture, which includes fisheries and timber contributes over 20% of Ghana’s GDP, is an important source of export earnings, while at the same time it provides the main income for the majority of the population. Plender says that the adoption of technologies such as IoT and AI will see not only this sector, but other major areas of the economy continue to dominate and play a significant role in the country’s success.
“Ghana can leverage technology to improve the performance of its most important sectors, including the improvement of government activities and services,” he said.
“There is also a current focus on developing technology-focused start-ups. These will, in time, become key market players and help drive digital transformation and overall growth of the country and wider region.”