Vodaphone deal generates debate in Ghana
A proposed deal for Vodaphone to buy Ghana’s national telecommunication service provider – Ghana Telecom (GT), has generated a very hot debate throughout the country. Seventy percent of GT’s shares are being acquired by the telecommunication giant. This, according to Government, has become necessary because GT is making losses and there is the need to find a strategic investor to revamp its operations. However, opponents of the deal say GT is a national asset that should be kept at all cost. They also argue that the details of the sale which include the national fibre-optic network is a sell-out of the country’s asset. GT has gone through two deals already. The first one was a Telecom Malaysia’s purchase of thirty percent shares in 1997. The current government abrogated that deal in 2002 due to some managerial difficulties they had with the Malaysian company after taking over the administration of the country in 2000. After that GT entered into a Management deal with a Norwegian company, Telenor. This deal also ended but failed to change the fortunes of the company in a sector that has become very competitive over the last decade. GT has is the largest fixed line provider in Ghana but the global move towards mobile telecommunication is affecting the company. Yet opponents of the deal say that government should rather revamp the company itself and keep it as a strategic national asset. The deal is yet to be endorsed by parliament in which the government has a majority.
Tags: Vodapone , Telecommunication , Ghana , Deal
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