Mobile money transactions in Ghana reach GH¢30b first half of 2016
Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Chief Executive, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, on Thursday said the country’s mobile money transaction for half of 2016 has reached GH¢30 billion with over 80,000 people making a living as agents.
According to him the value for the country’s annual transaction which was GH¢400,000 per annum shot up to GH¢35 billion in 2015.
Mr Sakyi-Addo announced this at a ‘Thought Leadership Forum’ in Accra as part of the Chambers five years anniversary celebration.
The forum seeks to effectively and efficiently engage policy makers, law-makers, regulators and other stakeholders on its five years existence and prospects for the next five years.
He noted that despite the impressive numbers, only one out of four adults had signed up for mobile money.
Mr Sakyi-Addo said currently 6,200 people were directly employed by members of the chamber, noting that, people were more productive and efficient in terms of service delivery.
However, the CEO noted that, the telecoms industry had been hit by high energy tariffs, which was currently taking up over 60 per cent of operating cost and they could not ration their services.
Mr Sakyi-Addo said operators had invested in 3G technology throughout districts capitals but many in those places had their monthly revenue as “a tiny fraction of the running cost.”
“Throughout the five years, inflation in communication services had been the lowest in the non -food category. Whereas the cost of our inputs rose, the structure of the market and the nature of competition held us back from sharing out those cost,” he added.
According to Mr Sakyi-Addo, though that would sound great for their customers in the short term, it would raise serious risk for businesses sustainability in the long term.
These notwithstanding, Mr Sakyi-Addo said opportunities in the next five years exist for growth in area of mobile financial services and electronic payments.
“There are opportunities for government to make strategic policy decision that would enable mobile money to be utilised across sectors for citizens to make payments to government and vice-versa.
Policy and regulatory clarity, transparency and predictability are fundamental to teasing out the creative juices of innovators and appetite for investors,” he said.
Mr Sakyi-Addo said the Chamber was eager to think through policies with government and its subsidiary institutions as well as share knowledge and experiences from markets in Africa, Asia, Europe and America in order to do better in the next five years.
Mr Mawuko Zormelo, Deputy Director, Consumer and Corporate Business, National Communication Authority (NCA) said the Authority was committed to work with its stakeholders by accepting new ideas and innovations.
Prof. Justice Date-Bah, Board Chairman, Data Protection Board, reminded stakeholders that collection of personal data must be done in consultation with the people themselves so that the rights of individuals were not jeopardised.
Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications established in November 2011, comprises of mobile networks such as Airtel, Expresso, MTN, Tigo, Vodafone and other tower companies.
It also seeks to engage policy-makers, lawmakers, regulators and other relevant stakeholders to collectively serve all customers.