Ghana Internet Policy

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Ghana was one of the first countries to be connected to internet in Africa.[1]

History[edit]

Ghana became the next country to have internet in the Sub Sahara. Internet services began in Ghana in 1995.[2] This was made possible through the collaborations between Network Computer Systems (NCS), Pipex International, The Ministry of Transport and Communication of Ghana, Ghana Telecom, and British Telecom.[3] NCS had registered ghana.com domain in 1993.

Wireless internet[edit]

Ghana has over 15 internet service providers who mostly provide different forms of internet services. Most of these ISPs provide wireless internet. And these include all the telcos in Ghana.

Internet speed[edit]

According to bandwidthplace, Ghana's internet speed hovers around an average of 1.46 Mbit/s uploads across most of the internet enabled devices tested.[4]

Internet accessibility[edit]

There are over 7.9 million internet users in Ghana who mostly access the internet from mobile devices.[5]

Internet service providers[edit]

There are a number of ISPs in Ghana, apart from the major telecommunication companies like MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, Airtel Africa, Millicom and Globacom there are other companies like Africaonline, ADTech IT and Blue Cloud Network which also provide internet services. There is also Busyinternet and Surfline which offers wireless internet services through their omternet enabled devices. Internet closure during elections

Net neutrality[edit]

As it stands now, Ghana does not have any provisions on net neutrality.[6] This has raised concerns and brought together netizens and tech firms to protest for this provision in Ghana[7][8]

Ghana has however faced a net neutrality crisis in the past. This was as a result of the NCA wanting to ban sites like Skype,Whatsapp,Viber and other internet based instant messaging platforms with the excuse of they causing losses to telcos in Ghana. This campaign was led by telecommunication giant MTN which complained of losses due to people's continuous use of these platforms which reduced the number of calls. This brought a huge debate and in the end this never happened.[9] NCA reacted to this that their press statement was taken out of context and the said ban was not going to happen anytime.[10]

Internet censorship[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight. Individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail.[11]

Although the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, the government sometimes restricts those rights. The police arbitrarily arrest and detain journalists.[12] Some journalists practice self-censorship. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government respects these prohibitions in practice.[11]

In 2002 the government of Ghana censored Internet media coverage of tribal violence in Northern Ghana.[13]

Internet shutdown during elections[edit]

During the heat of the 2016 election year, there were rumors that the Inspector General of Ghana Police wanted to shut down access to internet. The civil society organizations came out to condemn the intended shutting down of the internet and proferred solutions like tracking of the internet.[2][14]

The then President John Mahama came out to state that the internet won't be shut down on the day of elections.[15]

Data centers[edit]

Cyber Fraud[edit]

Cyber fraud has been a major issue in Ghana like most developing countries in the world. A Kenyan IT firm report that Ghana lost over $50 million due to cyber fraud, this was projected to increase to around $100 million in 2018.[16] Several Ghanaians and foreigners have also been arrested for crimes relating to cyber fraud.[17] One notable crime is sim box fraud.[18][19][20] In 2017 he National Cyber Security Week was held in Ghana to bring stakeholders together to help address issues of cyber security and cyber fraud.[21]

Internet laws in Ghana[edit]

The laws governing internet in Ghana include

Electronic Communication Amendment Act[edit]

This Law addresses some technical, regulatory and financial challenges related to interconnection.[22]

Data Protection Act[edit]

The Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) was formulated to protect personal information. This legislation was enacted by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana to protect the privacy and personal data of individuals. It regulates the process personal information is acquired, kept, used or disclosed by data controllers and data processors by requiring compliance with certain data protection principles.[23][24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Internet access in Ghana". Just Landed. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  2. ^ a b "History of Internet in Ghana". www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  3. ^ "Development of the Internet in Ghana". www.isoc.org. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  4. ^ "Ghana Internet Speed | Average Speed Test Results | Top Cities, Devices, Trends". Bandwidth Place. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  5. ^ "Ghana Internet Users". www.internetlivestats.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  6. ^ "There has never been Net Neutrality in Ghana! There may never be!". Mfidie.com. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  7. ^ "Tech firms unite for 'net neutrality' protest - citifmonline.com". citifmonline.com. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  8. ^ "There has never been Net Neutrality in Ghana! There may never be! - The New Ghana". The New Ghana. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  9. ^ "NCA receives proposals to restrict WhatsApp, Skype, Viber calls". 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  10. ^ "NCA denies reports on banning Whatsapp, skype calls - citifmonline.com". citifmonline.com. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  11. ^ a b "Ghana", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 25 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Ghana". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  13. ^ "Ghana Internet Censorship 2008". NIBII. 15 December 2008.
  14. ^ AfricaNews. "Ghana stands to lose if internet is shut down on election day | Africanews". Africanews. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  15. ^ "Victory! President of Ghana says no to internet shutdowns during coming elections". Access Now. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  16. ^ "Cyber-crime to cost Ghana $100m in 2018 - citifmonline.com". citifmonline.com. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  17. ^ "22 Nigerians, one Ghanaian arrested for cyber-crime - citifmonline.com". citifmonline.com. 2018-03-03. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  18. ^ "10 Facts About SIM Box Fraud In Ghana". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  19. ^ "The SIMbox Fraud Debate - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  20. ^ "Afriwave cracks down on SIM-Box fraud, detects 300,000 numbers so far - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  21. ^ "National Cyber Security Week 2017 "Securing Ghana's Digital Journey". | Ministry of Communications". www.moc.gov.gh. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  22. ^ "Electronic Communication Amendment Bill 2015 Undergoes Second Reading - Government of Ghana". www.ghana.gov.gh. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  23. ^ "Ghana commended for enacting Data Protection law - Government of Ghana". www.ghana.gov.gh. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  24. ^ "Law in Ghana - DLA Piper Global Data Protection Laws of the World". www.dlapiperdataprotection.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  25. ^ "Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-05-03.