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Wednesday, Oct 16th

Ghana second country to endorse '1 for 2' internet target

Ghana second country to endorse '1 for 2' internet target

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is making strides among Africa's government leaders after it managed to secure a formal endorsement from Ghana for the affordability threshold it determined would best support efforts to ensure wider access to the internet.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications for Ghana announced that Ghana will start working toward A4AI's 1GB of mobile broadband for 2% or less of average monthly income affordability target ('1 for 2').

Ghana is the second country to endorse the target after Nigeria expressed its support eight weeks ago.

A4AI 2017 Affordability Report ranks Ghana 26th out of the 58 countries surveyed for its 2017 Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) which is the same placing it received in the 2015-16 Affordability Report.

"Currently, only 24% of Ghana's population is online (ITU) and a 1GB mobile bundle costs the average Ghanaian 4% of their monthly income," reveals the report.

Recommendations for Ghana in the report include one for an update and revamp of what is described as "outdated national ICT and broadband plans." The report also calls for the reduction of taxes on end-user devices, such as smartphones and computers.

In a statement issued on the Ministry's website, Minister Owusu-Ekuful assured Ghanaians of the government's willingness to work closely with the private sector and the telecoms sector in the country as it is regarded as very important.

"I have no doubts that Telecommunications is the biggest and best-performing industry in Ghana today," she said.

The '1 for 2' target was set by A4AI in its 2015-16 Affordability Report which showed that broadband is unlikely to be affordable to most, or all, population groups at current pricing levels.

The target, A4AI claims, is the more suitable as demonstrated by its research than the current UN-agreed target of 500MBs for 5% or less of income which "is likely to restrict access to the relatively well-off, while also severely restricting the amount of time people can spend online."

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