Ghana Is First In Mobile Broadband Penetration In Africa

Ghana has been ranked as the country with the highest mobile broadband penetration in Africa. This is according to a recent International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report. According to the “Measuring Information Society Report” released in the last quarter of 2012, mobile broadband penetration surged from 7% in 2010 to 23% in 2011. The report said 14 per cent of Ghanaians were internet users, up from 10 per cent in 2010. The ITU report is the most comprehensive statistical and analytical document on the shape of ICT markets worldwide. Among African countries, Ghana’s telecommunications sector had the highest investment to revenue ratio in 2009 and 2010, which shows that operators invested relatively heavily in fixed assets in order to maintain and enhance networks. Fixed broadband penetration has remained marginal, however. Ghana’s mobile broadband prices are also relatively low. At 14% of Gross National Income (GNI) per person, it is four and half times cheaper than the African average which stands at 64% of GNI per person. The report also includes an ICT Development Index (IDI)which combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool to track progress in ICT development over time. (The indicators include ICT access, use, skills, mobile cellular subscriptions and basic literacy rates, households with a computer, Internet users, fixed and mobile broadband Internet subscriptions, and basic literacy rates.) Nevertheless, Ghana remains in the lower half of the index at 117th out of 155 countries. This is an improvement by four places from 2010. No other African country recorded such an improvement for internet access as well as usage. South Korea is ranked top in the ICT Development Index. All countries in the top 30 are high-income, underlining the strong link between income and ICT progress.