Very soon stolen mobile phones may immediately be rendered unusable because the government has begun the processes to establish a registry for smartphones in the country.
The Communication Ministry is setting up the Central Equipment Identity Registry to track the unique International Mobile Equipment Identity Number of all smartphones in the country.
Once you register the phone, it will be possible to render it unusable when someone steals it. The Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, explained that the proposal is awaiting Cabinet’s approval before a possible deployment by the end of this year.
“But for those who slip in the phones through unauthorised routes, or somebody is coming [to Ghana from abroad] and they pack it in their luggage, and so it is introduced into the country without the knowledge of our port authority…it is those devices that we are seeking to rope into the network,” she explained.
Phone theft is common around the world, and the feeling of losing your mobile phone with no hope of finding is often devastating. Usually, it is not the loss of the device that frustrates but also because of the loss of important contacts, bank details, saved documents.
Ghana’s mobile phone subscription is expected to hit about 40 million in the next two years, according to the Jumia Annual Mobile Report 2018.
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With such a growth rate, it is projected that Ghana’s mobile penetration is going to hit above 130% by 2020.
The report said factors that influenced this growth is the rapid interest in social media, a general drop in smartphone prices, availability of easy payment platforms and the growth in e-commerce and online retail platforms.
The report launched by E-commerce Company Jumia, also revealed that Ghana is one of Africa’s largest mobile markets, with about 34.57 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 119%.