The Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) will engage and consult key stakeholders and all telecommunication companies to determine whether to extend the recent SIM card registration exercise or not, Sector Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has disclosed.
Barely 48 hours to the second deadline, which was prolonged to Sunday, July 31, 2022, from the previous deadline of March 31, some Ghanaians are still calling for an extension of the new deadline – possibly to the end of the year.
Despite the appeals, the MoC has emphasised its resolve to stick to the current date – a duration it maintains has been enough to ensure compliance.
However, speaking to the B&FT on the sidelines at the launch of the Tertiary Digital Innovation Programme to herald the unveiling of the 5th anniversary of the Ghana Digital Centres (GDCL) in Accra, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said: “We’ll engage all stakeholders and all telecom companies on the matter. Until then, the deadline remains same”.
Meanwhile, notable civil society organisations (CSOs) including CUTS Ghana and some personalities are continuously appealing for an extension of the deadline.
Per the directives, individuals who do not register their SIM cards risk being removed from the communication network.
Current data from the National Identification Authority (NIA) has it that a little over 16 million people have so far registered for the Ghana Card – an access card which enables the registration of SIM cards.
Per the figures, it appears that more people are yet to register their SIM cards as data from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication suggests that more than 30 million phone gadgets are being used in Ghana.
About the Tertiary Digital Innovation Programme
The Tertiary Digital Innovation Programme is designed by the GDCL to equip tertiary graduates with the knowledge, skills, and tools to transition from school to industry in response to the growing youth unemployment in Ghana.
CEO of GDCL, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, in his remarks indicated that as an agency of the MoC, GDCL is positioned to bridge the gap between academia and industry toward digital skills development and job creation, and is thus, pleased to partner with GIZ to make the TIP an important programme in Ghana’s digital innovation ecosystem.
The programme will select and onboard graduates, who at the point of completion from the participating universities, have developed a concept for a technology start-up which they have the desire to pursue with the needed support.
He said to be eligible for the programme, the participant must be a final year student or a recent graduate of (University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Communication and Technology University (GCTU) or Academic City University College (AUCC).
“Applicants must also have a concept/idea for a digital/technology or a tech-enabled start-up that has the potential to contribute to the SDGs, and have 2-3 co-founders with a passion to develop their idea,” he said.
Successful applicants will be formally onboarded by the Ghana Digital Centres Limited to enable them to develop their innovations during the mandatory National Service period. Thereafter, innovators will be provided with an additional six months of support to further assist with the development of their businesses.
To ensure inclusivity, the programme will target at least 30 per cent female participation, with a preference for all females and female-led teams.
The Tertiary Digital Innovation Programme will run over 18 months, helping participants build viable business models, product prototypes, market testing and a full launch plan.