Selling Ghana Telecom: Crony Capitalism or Real Privatisation?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ghana TelecomFor the past few days the sale of 70% of Ghana Telecom by the government of Ghana to the world’s leading mobile phone operators, Vodafone at 900million has really sparked a lot of political debate among the ruling party and the opposition parties with the opposition merging with each other to speak against the sale.

The opposition NDC has no problem with the sale of the network giant; the only unclear aspect is the lack of transparency in the sale of national assets.

The CPP quite expectedly has joined the NDC to speak against the sale of Ghana Telecom and has called on well meaning Ghanaians to reject the sale of the national assets.

The worry is that in return for US$900m, Vodafone will not only assume control of One Touch (Ghana Telecom’s mobile arm), but also, ownership of Ghana’s fixed telecom network (both core and access) will be transferred and with it, monopoly over the provision of international, long distance telephone and fixed broadband services.

As at 18th July the parliament of Ghana sat to debate on the issue of the sale of the telecom giant but couldn’t come to a conclusion and therefore the sale has been postponed until parliament reopens for another session. But insiders at Ghana Telecom say the sale is really complete and some lean staff of Vodafone is already reporting to work.