Telecommunication Reform in Ghana

40 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Luke Haggarty

Luke Haggarty

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mary M. Shirley

The Ronald Coase Institute

Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute

Date Written: November 2002


In 1996 Ghana privatized its incumbent telecommunications firm by selling 30 percent of Ghana Telecom to Telekom Malaysia, licensing a second network operator, and allowing multiple mobile firms to enter the market. The reforms yielded mixed results. Landline telephone penetration increased dramatically while the number of mobile subscribers surpassed even this higher level of fixed line subscribers. On the other hand, the network did not reach the levels the government hoped, the second network operator never really got off the ground, and the regulator remained weak and relatively ineffective. The sustainability of competition is unclear. The government ended Telekom Malaysia's management of Ghana Telecom and has invited Norway's Telenor as a strategic partner. What this means in practice remains unclear, and the process for selecting Telenor lacked any transparency. Meanwhile, some of the mobile firms are in precarious financial positions. Competition is still relatively strong, but its sustainability will depend on the government's future commitment to ensuring it.

This paper - a product of Investment Climate, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand telecommunications reforms in Africa.

Suggested Citation

Haggarty, Luke and Shirley, Mary M. and Wallsten, Scott, Telecommunication Reform in Ghana (November 2002). Available at SSRN:

Luke Haggarty (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mary M. Shirley

The Ronald Coase Institute ( email )

5610 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1602
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
United States


Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute ( email )

409 12th St., SW
Ste 700
Washington, DC 20024
United States
2027309441 (Phone)


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