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Thoughts on the mobile phone market in Ghana and how software developers in Ghana can leverage on this market information for economic growth purposes.

Thoughts on the mobile phone market in Ghana and how software developers in Ghana can leverage on this market information for economic growth purposes.

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Published by Akwasi Adu Biggs II
Thoughts on the mobile phone market in Ghana and how software developers in Ghana can leverage on this market information for economic growth purposes.
Thoughts on the mobile phone market in Ghana and how software developers in Ghana can leverage on this market information for economic growth purposes.

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Published by: Akwasi Adu Biggs II on Mar 03, 2013
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03/03/2013

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What are your thoughts on the mobile phone market in Ghana and how software developers in Ghana can leverage on this market information for economic growth purposes? The mobile phone market in Ghana is one that keeps growing at an interestingly fast rate. In 2009, according to the National Communications Authority, mobile phone penetration in the country was 63%. This had increased substantially to 80.5% as at August 2011. In the early days, the main focus seemed to be on mobile hardware but as patronage and availability increases, the software aspect of the mobile phone is also garnering its fair share of market attention in terms of firmware and app availability. This is not unwarranted as the software is what really makes the phone tick. This has led to the evolution of smartphones with functionalities which go beyond the traditional voice call. The Ghanaian market now has access to phones that allows surfing the internet either directly or by using the phone as a modem connected to a laptop. Smartphones have placed superior mobile app offerings in the hands of the average Ghanaian. The benefits, amongst many, include enhanced social networking on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter which has proven most popular with the youth. Mobile phones have been cleverly put to use locally by several people in bids to solve problems and stimulate economic growth. First, are the obvious advantages to be gained just by harnessing the voice calling functionality of mobile devices. Several traders in Ghana now use mobile phones to cut down cost and travelling expenses. It is also on record that some fisherman in Moree and the port area of Jamestown use mobile phones to get information on competitive pricing locations and whether it is more economically prudent to haul some forms of catches to shore or release them back into the waters. They also use these devices to call for supplies to be delivered to them and to report emergencies. Mobile phones as reported by Ghana’s Ambulances Service Directorate have also helped to reduce childbirth mortality considerably in some parts of rural Ghana, by being used to enhance communications between patients and health care institutions in other locations. Moving on to the uses to which the extra functionality of mobile phones can and have been put locally, most financial institutions now allow their clients, access to their banking information via mobile phones. They also offer certain mobile financial services aimed at reaching Ghanaians operating outside the banking sector. Some software developers have also developed solutions using the mobile phone as a primary resource. There is “Txtnpay”, a system that can be used to send and receive money, pay bills etc. by Afric Xpress, one such developer. A similar service is also to be found in “eTranzact”. The National Lottery Authority has also developed “Mobi Game 2 Sure” which makes use of mobile phones and is generating a lot of revenue for the nation. There are several other such successful uses to which mobile phones have been put in Ghana.

it is clear that the opportunities that still abound to be harnessed by mobile software developers in furtherance of economic growth are limitless. There is a need for local software developers to look toward the mobile platform for development. The mobile phones aren’t going away and it is imperative and would ultimately prove beneficial if we embrace this fact and look to harness them for our economic growth as Ghanaians.From the above. I am happy that outfits like MEST and Ashesi University (in partnership with Nokia) are already on this. We have only scratched the surface. . More software developers also have to be trained.

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