Govt urged to make smart mobile phones cheaper

BY: Business Desk Report
Ms Geta Striggner-Quartey —  Legal and External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana
Ms Geta Striggner-Quartey — Legal and External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana

The Legal and External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana, Ms Geta Striggner-Quartey, has urged the government to work out a plan to make smart mobile  phone devices cheaper on the market to enable more people to have access to them.

“The government can collaborate with smart-phone manufacturers and operators to make more smart phones reach nearly every adult. Additionally, government can drive usage and adoption by waiving VAT on mobile devices,” she said.

Ms Striggner-Quartey made the call when she spoke at the second edition of the Telecoms Chamber’s Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) programme  last Friday.

She also called on the government to consider bringing down the cost of owning a mobile device in the country.

Speaking on the theme, ‘The Rise of Africa: Promoting Africa’s Sustainable Digital Ecosystem,’ she said innovative technology solution and partnerships played a key role in cushioning the human impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universal wallet

Ms Striggner-Quartey also pushed for the introduction of a universal wallet system to make it possible for customers to have access to their funds from any agent.

“We urge the government to lift barriers to significantly drive increased usage and acceptance across the board,” she said, adding that “having a universal wallet system which makes it possible for customers to access funds from every mobile agent will be a game changer.”

According to her, such a dispensation would usher in an era of real universal digital financial inclusiveness for the populace.

She said Vodafone Ghana reckoned that everyone must be connected to reap the benefits of a digital transformation and be part of the digital economy.

Liberalise mobile money

She stated that there was the need for a movement to liberalise the Mobile Money (MoMo) platform to make digital payments more active through the eco-system and at merchant points.

To broaden financial inclusion, bring relief to clients, increase volumes and frequency of monetary movements across networks, Ms Striggner-Quartey said she believed that the government and policy makers must engineer policies that would cause a “quantum shift and drive massive participation in the digital eco-system.”

Widening digital divide

She said the economic repercussion of the pandemic had also widened the digital divide and that was why Vodafone Ghana’s Pan-African initiative Africa was apt.

“Connected seeks to harness the power of technology to accelerate our efforts to build a better, more resilient, inclusive and green Africa,” she added.

The event

The two-day event involved presentations, panel discussions and speeches from various stakeholders.

Having made a commitment to bridge the digital and economic divide with its purpose led agenda, Vodafone Ghana in an industry first completely waived charges to any network via Vodafone Cash.