Government to implement Open Data Initiative

Accra, Jan 27, GNA – Government in collaboration with World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF), an NGO, is to commence the implementation of the Ghana Open Data Initiative to make government data available to citizens for re-use. The initiative if implemented will make government more transparent, improve efficiency and spark off innovation from the demand side for applications to be developed to better serve the citizenry. Mr. William Tevie, Director General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), announced this at a stakeholders meeting to sign a memorandum of Understanding between Government of Ghana and WWWF in Accra on Thursday.

He said in September 2010, Ghana made a commitment to join the open Government partnership, an initiative of the United State Government. “This was a commitment by the Government of Ghana to work towards an open Government data initiative, which will make Government data available to the citizens for re-use,” he added. Mr. explained that providing Government data without developing an open data community that works towards making it meaningful and re-usable by the citizenry would not serve the interest of the state. He noted that over the years the agency has been rolling out the e-government infrastructure and facilitating the roll-out of e-government application. The aim of the project in rolling out the network is to ensure efficiency within government and improved services for citizens and business.

Mr. Jose Alonso, Data Programme Manager, WWWF, said they were in the country to share their experience and expertise and to support government in the implementation process. He noted that the initiative would increase transparency of governments; boost number of services to people, new business opportunities and jobs for application and service developers, new synergies between government, public administration, and civil society organizations.  “It will also increase citizen participation and inclusion through extended offers of services closer to them and new, innovative uses of data in a ways that owners of data would never have thought of,” he added. He observed that for data to be useful, it should be complete, primary, timeliness, ease of physical and electronic access and machine readability. Mr Alonso called for stakeholder support to fulfill Government’s commitment to the open government partnership.

Dr Nii Quaynor, Board Chairman of NITA, called for the development of a multi-sectorial ownership of the initiative to enhance transparency and accountability in government institutions.

via Government to commence implementation of Open Data Initiative.

Gov’t denies Minority claims on $3bn CBD loan but concedes it made errors in documents before Parl.

Seth Terkper

 

Government has denied claims that the country will pay as much as 2.3 billion dollars more for the loan it is contracting from the Chinese Development Bank in addition to the principal and interest.

The Minority in Parliament raised concerns on Thursday that the country will commit nearly 7 billion dollars worth of the country’s crude oil to the Chinese.

They claim this violates the Petroleum Revenue Management Law and smacks of corruption.

But Deputy Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has told Joy News the claims are false.

“Ghana’s oil is not being collateralized. The proceeds from the off-take will be paid into bank of Ghana just like any sale of crude oil and out of the proceeds that go into the Petroleum Holdings Account, the distribution will be made into the Stabilization Fund, Heritage [Fund] and [the] annual budget funding amount.”

He explained that the part of the proceeds that go into the Consolidated Fund will be the only resource that will be used in servicing the loan.

Mr Terkper also denied claims that government has set the price at which the Chinese will buy the country’s oil at 85 dollars, well below the prevailing market price. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh had earlier accused the government of pegging the cost at an unreasonably low price compared to the prevailing crude oil price.

Mr. Terkper, said the volatility in crude oil price makes it unrealistic to fix the price, adding that the “off-taker agreement calls for the use of average prices that will be adjusted periodically.”

He, however, conceded that there were errors in the documents presented to Parliament which must have informed the Minority’s views on the matter.

Tigo’s subscriber base dips further, as Vodafone rises, but…

Vodafone Ghana Boss, Kyle Whitehill

Tigo has always said it determines subscriber figures through activity across networks, i.e. calls between networks, adding that within the 90 day period, any number that makes at least one call is captured as active, but it does not capture dormant subscribers on its own network, who are more than a million.

Experts say that method helps the network employing it to also know how many of the competitors’ subscribers are active because within 90 days each active subscriber on another network would have made at least one call to every network.

In November when the report first showed that Vodafone was now ahead of Tigo, Adom News contacted Vodafone for comment but they stated precisely “we are not commenting on this issue.”

Meanwhile Adom News has forwarded requests to all the telecom operators, including Vodafone, to find out how they determine their subscriber numbers, and what are the components of the figures they present to NCA every quarter?

Airtel, which also showed strength in its forward movement, increasing subscribers from 2,581,942 in November to 2,625,705 in December, has also answered the method question somewhat.

Airtel Ghana Boss, Philip Sowah told Adom News Airtel’s network is managed by Ericsson, which works with the technical team at Airtel to monitor and record active subscribers daily.

“We pay Ericsson per how many customers they are serving on our behalf so we have no interest in over bloating our figures because that would mean we have to pay more money to Ericsson so what we quote are actually active subscribers,” he said.

But Philip Sowah did not say exactly how Ericsson and the Airtel technical team determine all of those subscribers are active.

Meanwhile Expresso continued its losing spree, falling from 191,779 in November to 186,751 in December 2011, representing some 0.88% of the total of 21,165,843.

Market leader MTN consolidated its lead by increasing subscribers by more than 100,000 from 10,053,479 to 10,156,112 in just one month.

As things stand right now, going by the NCA’s figures, MTN commands 48% market share, Vodafone commands 20.2%, Tigo follows with 18.53%, Airtel comes in at 12.4% and Expresso trails with a relatively insignificant 0.88%.

Meanwhile, for the fixed line market, Vodafone enjoys a near monopoly at 274,607, which represents a dip from 275,917 last month.

Vodafone’s fixed line subscription has had a checked history, rising and falling through the year, until it hit a peak of 285,364 in August and has been falling since.

Airtel recorded 10,114 fixed lines in December, a marginal increase from 10,061 from a month before.

The total number of fixed lines therefore stood at 284,721, which represents a fall from 285,978 a month before, indicating a gradual demise of the fixed line service in Ghana.

That brings the total number of mobile and fixed line subscriptions in Ghana to 21,450,564, which represents 89.4% of Ghana’s estimated 24 million people, comprising of 88.2% mobile penetration and 1.2 fixed line penetration.

Tigo has always said it determines subscriber figures through activity across networks, i.e. calls between networks, adding that within the 90 day period, any number that makes at least one call is captured as active, but it does not capture dormant subscribers on its own network, who are more than a million.

Experts say that method helps the network employing it to also know how many of the competitors’ subscribers are active because within 90 days each active subscriber on another network would have made at least one call to every network.

In November when the report first showed that Vodafone was now ahead of Tigo, Adom News contacted Vodafone for comment but they stated precisely “we are not commenting on this issue.”

Meanwhile Adom News has forwarded requests to all the telecom operators, including Vodafone, to find out how they determine their subscriber numbers, and what are the components of the figures they present to NCA every quarter?

Airtel, which also showed strength in its forward movement, increasing subscribers from 2,581,942 in November to 2,625,705 in December, has also answered the method question somewhat.

Airtel Ghana Boss, Philip Sowah told Adom News Airtel’s network is managed by Ericsson, which works with the technical team at Airtel to monitor and record active subscribers daily.

“We pay Ericsson per how many customers they are serving on our behalf so we have no interest in over bloating our figures because that would mean we have to pay more money to Ericsson so what we quote are actually active subscribers,” he said.

But Philip Sowah did not say exactly how Ericsson and the Airtel technical team determine all of those subscribers are active.

Meanwhile Expresso continued its losing spree, falling from 191,779 in November to 186,751 in December 2011, representing some 0.88% of the total of 21,165,843.

Market leader MTN consolidated its lead by increasing subscribers by more than 100,000 from 10,053,479 to 10,156,112 in just one month.

As things stand right now, going by the NCA’s figures, MTN commands 48% market share, Vodafone commands 20.2%, Tigo follows with 18.53%, Airtel comes in at 12.4% and Expresso trails with a relatively insignificant 0.88%.

Meanwhile, for the fixed line market, Vodafone enjoys a near monopoly at 274,607, which represents a dip from 275,917 last month.

Vodafone’s fixed line subscription has had a checked history, rising and falling through the year, until it hit a peak of 285,364 in August and has been falling since.

Airtel recorded 10,114 fixed lines in December, a marginal increase from 10,061 from a month before.

The total number of fixed lines therefore stood at 284,721, which represents a fall from 285,978 a month before, indicating a gradual demise of the fixed line service in Ghana.

That brings the total number of mobile and fixed line subscriptions in Ghana to 21,450,564, which represents 89.4% of Ghana’s estimated 24 million people, comprising of 88.2% mobile penetration and 1.2 fixed line penetration.

From: Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News/Ghana

Fresh figures published by the National Communication Authority (NCA) for the year ending December 2011, indicate that between November and December Tigo lost a further 108,995 subscribers whiles Vodafone added on some 96,697 more.

The report indicates Tigo posted some 3,921,754 subscribers in December, indicating a dip from 4,030,769 a month ago, while Vodafone posted 4,275,521, a rise from 4,179,824 in November.

But a highly placed source at Tigo told Adom News in spite of what the NCA report said, Tigo believes it is still the second largest operator in Ghana.

The subscriber numbers the NCA publishes are nothing more than figures presented to the NCA by the individual telecom operators based on the telecom companies’ own separate and completely different methods.

There is no common method for determining subscriber levels, and there is no auditing to verify the authenticity of figures presented by individual operators to the NCA.

Telecom Risk Management experts maintain that the disparity in the methods of generating subscriber numbers could paint a picture different from the reality because some operators may include figures, which others may not see fit to add on.

All telecom operators claim to report active subscribers only, but experts have told Adom News for every telecom operator, there are huge numbers of registered dormant subscribers sitting on their networks; for some operators the dormant subscribers run into millions, depending on how large one’s subscriber base is.

The risk managers revealed that while some telecom operators are noted for including the dormant subscriptions in their quarterly figures, others capture only active subscribers.

“So in real terms an operator that captures the dormant figures may post higher figures but could have less active customers, and therefore less revenue than another operator which captures only active subscriptions,” said the risk manager.

It is not very clear whether that is what is happening in the Tigo/Vodafone case, but Tigo insists it is still the second largest operator in Ghana by subscribers.

Tigo has always said it determines subscriber figures through activity across networks, i.e. calls between networks, adding that within the 90 day period, any number that makes at least one call is captured as active, but it does not capture dormant subscribers on its own network, who are more than a million.

Experts say that method helps the network employing it to also know how many of the competitors’ subscribers are active because within 90 days each active subscriber on another network would have made at least one call to every network.

In November when the report first showed that Vodafone was now ahead of Tigo, Adom News contacted Vodafone for comment but they stated precisely “we are not commenting on this issue.”

Meanwhile Adom News has forwarded requests to all the telecom operators, including Vodafone, to find out how they determine their subscriber numbers, and what are the components of the figures they present to NCA every quarter?

Airtel, which also showed strength in its forward movement, increasing subscribers from 2,581,942 in November to 2,625,705 in December, has also answered the method question somewhat.

Airtel Ghana Boss, Philip Sowah told Adom News Airtel’s network is managed by Ericsson, which works with the technical team at Airtel to monitor and record active subscribers daily.

“We pay Ericsson per how many customers they are serving on our behalf so we have no interest in over bloating our figures because that would mean we have to pay more money to Ericsson so what we quote are actually active subscribers,” he said.

But Philip Sowah did not say exactly how Ericsson and the Airtel technical team determine all of those subscribers are active.

Meanwhile Expresso continued its losing spree, falling from 191,779 in November to 186,751 in December 2011, representing some 0.88% of the total of 21,165,843.

Market leader MTN consolidated its lead by increasing subscribers by more than 100,000 from 10,053,479 to 10,156,112 in just one month.

As things stand right now, going by the NCA’s figures, MTN commands 48% market share, Vodafone commands 20.2%, Tigo follows with 18.53%, Airtel comes in at 12.4% and Expresso trails with a relatively insignificant 0.88%.

Meanwhile, for the fixed line market, Vodafone enjoys a near monopoly at 274,607, which represents a dip from 275,917 last month.

Vodafone’s fixed line subscription has had a checked history, rising and falling through the year, until it hit a peak of 285,364 in August and has been falling since.

Airtel recorded 10,114 fixed lines in December, a marginal increase from 10,061 from a month before.

The total number of fixed lines therefore stood at 284,721, which represents a fall from 285,978 a month before, indicating a gradual demise of the fixed line service in Ghana.

That brings the total number of mobile and fixed line subscriptions in Ghana to 21,450,564, which represents 89.4% of Ghana’s estimated 24 million people, comprising of 88.2% mobile penetration and 1.2 fixed line penetration.