NPP Manifesto: Data cost to further go down in NPP’s second term

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Dr Bawumia speaking the Manifesto launch

Though data cost has been significantly reduced by 40 per cent, from $1.56 per 1G in 2019 to $0.94 in 2020, placing Ghana as the sixth cheapest in Africa in terms of data cost, the NPP says it will further bring the cost of data down by reducing taxes on digital devices and reducing spectrum and licence costs in its second term.

Again, the NPP says it will further reduce the cost of international calls to support both regional and international trade, by removing the mandatory $0.19 per minute tariff for international incoming calls and replacing it with a competitive regime.

This is contained in the NPP’s 2020 Manifesto launched in Cape Coast over the weekend.

According to the party, though it has since 2017 demonstrated the potential for public policy to inspire digital transformation initiatives, another term for the NPP will see the creation of a digital services economy through the expansion of the Ghana Innovation Hub project to nurture start-ups to accelerate the development of applications software, provide regional e-backroom services, and enterprise-level software.

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“Over the next four years, we will leverage on our existing digital infrastructure and make the necessary investments and policies to establish firmly Ghana as the digital services hub of West Africa,” the Manifesto promises.

Economic infrastructure

The NPP adds that it will specifically put in place the next generation of connected market infrastructure on which the government and the economy can ride.

“This initiative will connect key pieces of Ghana’s national infrastructure, including identification, electronic KYC, and payment systems to improve transparency, promote competition, lower costs and ensure digital inclusion, rationalisation of the functions of institutions in the technology space to avoid functional overlaps, as well as streamline the legal and regulatory framework in line with international best standards and updating of Ghana’s spectrum policy and regulations to promote greater transparency, competitive and rapid expansion of internet services to rural areas,” it said.

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Moreover, the NPP has given the assurance that soft infrastructure will be enhanced through the establishment of a national data centre that centralises all digital information and data storage, management and protection.

It will further leverage “digital  transformation  as  a  driver  of  growth,  by  increasing  broadband coverage throughout the country, as well as increasing access and affordability of digital devices,   investment in human capital to build our digital skills base, by continuing our investments in teaching ICT from primary school.”

For the next four years, the NPP will ensure the creation of a large local digital market in West Africa and beyond, and provide solutions to problems in the region, exploration of innovations to make sure the visually impaired are not left out of the ongoing digital revolution.

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Free Wi-Fi

Meanwhile, the party says it will also provide Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions across the country with free wi-fi.

Speaking at the launch of the manifesto, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia said this will boost learning among students and broaden the scope of ICT education and research.

“The process has started and a contract has already been awarded. ECG is also levelling its fibre network across the country,” Dr Bawumia revealed.

He stated that government is expecting the work on the free wi-fi initiative to be completed by the year 2021.

Source: Daily Statesman

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