Ghana ranks 28 in Internet penetration in Africa
Even though Ghana is the first country in West Africa to launch the Internet in 1993, the country ranks 28, out of 56 countries on the continent when it comes to Internet penetration, an official of MTN Ghana has said according to a report by the GNA. Ghana was also among the first countries in Africa to introduce ADSL broadband services.
Ms Efua Falconer, Acting Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of Scancom Limited (MTN Ghana), told the GNA that there were less than 800,000 Internet users in the country. This figure however, just like the number of Ghanaians using mobile phones, conflicts with another figure on how many Ghanaians have access to the Internet – a 2008 data from the National Communications Authority (NCA) puts the number of Ghanaians with access to the Internet at 1.5 million.
Indeed, Internet penetration in Ghana has not been encouraging and one of the factors attributed to the slow growth is cost. Recently Internet service providers in Ghana called on the government to reduce or completely eliminate taxes incurred by broadband suppliers to make the service available and affordable. The cost of setting up and running an ISP business is also high.
They argued that by reducing the cost element of the service facility, the country will be on course to achieving 50 per cent broadband penetration by 2015 since the service will become cheap and affordable. Eric Akumiah, Secretary of the Internet Society, Ghana told the media in 2008 that Internet usage in Ghana was a mere 2.7 per cent as compared to 5.3 per cent in Africa.