Vice President John Dramani Mahama, delivering his address at the 3rd Graphic Business Forum in Accra

Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, has called on telecommunication companies in the country to improve local content and ensure equal participation of indigenes.

He noted that “after more than 10 years of the liberalization of the telecom sector it is time for telecom companies to increase local participation.”

Vice President said even though some telecommunication companies have employed top level managers, there is still room for improvement and stressed the need to make Ghanaians feel part of their operations.

“Apart from Vodafone where government owns about 30 per cent and Airtel where Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) owns 25 per cent, the rest of the telecommunication companies are owned by foreign investors because of the capital involved,” Mr. Mahama emphasized.

He entreated them to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) so Ghanaians “could truly benefit from their operations.”

The Vice President was speaking at the 3rd Graphic Business Forum in Accra.

The one-day forum, which was on the theme “Leveraging ICT and Oil & Gas Resources to Accelerate Ghana’s Economic Development,” was aimed at bringing together industry leaders, the business community and academia to brainstorm on the business climate in the country.

Mr. Mahama said Ghana had learnt from the best and worst experiences of other oil producing countries to ensure that the country properly manages its revenue.

He added that Ghana’s oil & gas was discovered at a time when democracy, transparency and the media were vibrant to ensure that revenue from the resource was properly managed and utilized.

On Information Communication Technology (ICT), the Vice President stated that “ICT affects every sector and industry and it’s a tool the enables us to be effective and efficient therefore we need to improve on ICT training so it relates to specific careers.”

“ICT and oil & gas will not fully give off their potential if they are not integrated backward into the economy in the form of both local content and participation,” he indicated.

He assured that government will continue to create the environment for businesses to take advantage of ICT for growth.

Instituted in 2009, the Graphic Business Forum, an initiative of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), has the overall objective of providing a platform for captains of industry to discuss issues that border on sound economic environment, healthy competition in industry and good corporate governance.  

The Managing Director of GCGL, Kenneth Ashibey, said the forum will come up with innovative solutions to solve challenges in ICT and oil & gas sectors.

By Esther Awuah

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