Telecommunications in Ghana

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Telecommunications in Ghana
Ghana Orthographic Projection
Ghana communications topics
Land lines285,000 (2012)[1]
Mobile cellular lines25.6 million (2012)[1]
Internet users4.2 million (2012)[2][3]

Telecommunications in Ghana include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Telecommunications is the main economic sector of Ghana according to the statistics of the World Bank due to the Ghana liberal policy around Information and communications technology (ICT).[4] Among the main sectors of investments, 65% is for ICT, 8% for communications and 27% is divided for public administration.[4][5]

Freedom of the press[edit]

After the overthrow of the elected government by Jerry Rawlings in December 1981 the Provisional National Defence Council repealed the liberal media reforms of previous governments, abolished the Third Constitution and the Press Commission, and passed laws that prevented criticism of the government or its policies, dismissed editors critical of Rawlings or the provisional council, the Preventive Custody and Newspaper Licensing Law which allowed indefinite detention of journalists without trial, and the Newspaper Licensing Law which stifled private media development. Ghanaian press freedom was restored with the promulgation of a new constitution in 1992, presidential and parliamentary elections in November and December 1992, and a return to multiparty democratic rule on 7 January 1993.[6]

The mass media of Ghana is "among the most liberal in Africa",[7] with Ghana ranking as the third freest in Africa and 30th in the world on the 2013 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders.[8] Article 21 of the Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the press and other media, freedom of speech and expression, thought, and information.[9]


Fiber optics, used for high-speed Internet access and telecommunications.

The top-level domain of Ghana is .gh.[1]

Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to connect to the Internet.[10] With an average household download speed of 5.8 Mbit/s Ghana had the third fastest speed on the African continent and the 110th fastest out of 188 countries worldwide in February 2014.[11]

In 2009 the number of Internet users stood at 1.3 million, 93rd in the world.[1] In 2012 the number of Internet users reached 4.2 million (69th in the world) or 17.1% of the population (149th in the world).[2][3]

In 2012 there were 62,124 fixed (109th in the world; 0.3% of the population, 156th in the world) and 8.2 million wireless (27th in the world; 33.3% of the population, 49th in the world) broadband subscriptions.[2][12][13]

In 2012 there were 59,086 Internet hosts operating in Ghana, 93rd in the world,[1] and Ghana had been allocated 332,544 IPv4 addresses, 102nd in the world, with less than 0.05% of the world total, and 13.2 addresses per 1000 people.[14][15]

In 2010 there were 165 authorised Internet service providers of which 30 were operating.[16]

Internet censorship and surveillance[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.[17]

While the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, the government sometimes restricts those rights. The police arbitrarily arrest and detain journalists.[18] Some journalists practice self-censorship. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government respects these prohibitions in practice.[17]

In 2002 the government of Ghana censored Internet media coverage of tribal violence in Northern Ghana.[19]

Radio and television[edit]

In 2007 Ghana was served by one state-owned TV station, two state-owned radio networks; privately owned TV stations and a number of privately owned radio stations. International broadcasters and cable and satellite TV subscription services were available.[1] In 2010, there were 140 authorised radio stations with 84 in operation and 32 authorised television stations with approximately 26 in operation.[16] Television broadcasters include First Digital TV (ATV, BTA, FAITH TV, CHANNEL D, STAR TV, FTV, SPORTS 24, CINIMAX, PLANET KIDZ) TV Africa, Metro TV, TV3, GTV, GH One TV[20] and Viasat 1.

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) founded by decree in 1968 is the state agency that provides civilian radio and television services. It was created for the development of the education and entertainment sectors and to enhance the knowledge of the people of Ghana.[21]


Ghana mobile phone and smart phone use, July 2009.

The prefix code of Ghana for international calls is +233.[1]

As of 2012 there were 285,000 fixed telephone lines in use, 120th in the world, and 25.6 million mobile cellular lines, 42nd in the world.[1]

The telephone system has a fixed-line infrastructure concentrated in Accra and some wireless local loop installed, domestic trunks primarily use microwave radio relay. There are 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) satellite earth stations. Microwave radio relay links Ghana to its neighbours (2009).[1]

The SAT-3/WASC, Main One, GLO-1,[1] and ACE international optical fibre submarine cables provide links to countries along the west coast of Africa and on to Europe and Asia.[22]

In 2010 two fixed line and six mobile phone companies were authorised to operate in Ghana of which 5 were operating, 13 satellite providers were authorised of which 8 were operating, 176 VSAT providers were authorised of which 57 were operating, and 99 public and private network operators were authorised of which 25 were operating. Authorized telecommunications companies include Mobile Telecommunications Networks (MTN), Vodafone Ghana which purchased Telecom Ghana, Tigo which replaced Mobitel (Millicom International Cellular), Bharti Airtel and Zain which acquired Western Telesystems Ltd (Westel), Glo Mobile Ghana Limited,[16] and Expresso Telecom which acquired Kasapa Telecom.[23] In 2017, Tigo Ghana and Airtel Ghana merged to form AirtelTigo.

Competition among mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth, with a mobile phone teledensity in 2009 of more than 80 per 100 persons and rising.[1] The cost of mobile phones is increased by taxes of around 38%.[24]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jonnie Akakpo (October 2008). Rural Access: Options and Challenges for Connectivity and Energy in Ghana (PDF). International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS). p. 41. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 May 2009.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Communications: Ghana", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 29 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  3. ^ a b "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000–2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  4. ^ a b Statistics of Ghana "World Bank". Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  5. ^ Ghana. Internet usage and telecommunications. "Internet World Stats". Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Ghana – History", "Country Facts". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Ghana – Culture and Media", "Country Facts". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  8. ^ 2013 World Press Freedom Index Archived 13 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Reporters Without Borders, 30 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  9. ^ Article 21: General Fundamental Freedoms, Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 28 April 1992. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  10. ^ Ghana: Internet Usage and Telecommunications Report. Internet World Stats. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Ookla: Household Download Index". Ookla Net Metrics. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  14. ^ Select Formats Archived 13 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  15. ^ "Population". The World Factbook. United States: Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Market Report: Telecommunications in Ghana (in Spanish), Nabila Atteneri Benítez Trujillo, Proexca, November 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Ghana". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Ghana Internet Censorship 2008". NIBII. 15 December 2008.
  20. ^ "GhOne Television". Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Ministry of Information and Media Relations". Government of Ghana Portal. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  22. ^ fibre-project—898764 Ghana to start eastern corridor fibre-optic project. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Expresso takes over Kasapa Telecom, pledges good services". Ghana News Agency. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  24. ^ "Mobile phones are transforming Africa". The Economist. 10 December 2016. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 15 December 2016.

External links[edit]