MTN BUSINESS PARTNERS INVEST IN AFRICA TO GROW SMEs

MTN-building

Ghana’s leading telecommunications provider of business connectivity solutions, MTN Business has together, partnered with Invest in Africa (IIA) to provide custom-made ICT solutions to Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

In the partnership, MTN Business will provide services that will help SMEs optimise their productivity to enable them to grow and expand their businesses.

IIA which is not a profit making organisation is as well committed to addressing the challenges of identifying credible local suppliers, developing local content and driving cross-sector growth across the economy.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr Clarence Nartey disclosed that the organisation, in partnership with MTN Business, has a Pan-African mobile telecommunications powerhouse and local market leader whose commitment to providing tailor-made enterprise solutions will give a big boost to the SMEs.

In addition, the IIA also intends to tap into MTN Business’ suite of ICT solutions to improve the organisational efficiency and productivity as well as ensure that the IIA flagship online marketplace platform, the African Partner Pool (APP), is technologically enhanced for the benefit of all of its buyers and suppliers.

He said, “IIA plans to provide $500 million worth of business to Ghanaian SMEs, and in the process contribute to supporting 100,000 jobs by 2022.”

The General Manager of MTN Enterprise Business, Mr Samuel Addo, reiterated as well that by partnering IIA, MTN is living up to its overriding mission to be a vehicle for Ghana’s economic growth and development.

“MTN’s world-class telecommunications products and services, as well as innovative and sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives, are all contributing to the realization of Ghana’s strong development potential. This partnership is our way of helping SMEs grow and play their role in the nation’s development,” he emphasised.

Source: Ghanaian Times

VODAFONE GHANA DONATES TOWARDS FARMERS’ DAY

[caption id="attachment_5252" align="alignnone" width="300"]Vodafone Ghana donated packages including GHC20,000 for the organisation of this year's Farmers' Day Vodafone Ghana donated packages including GHC20,000 for the organisation of this year's Farmers' Day[/caption]

Telecommunications giant, Vodafone Ghana has donated cash and products worth GHC40,000 to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) towards this year’s National Farmers’ Day event which takes place on Friday, December 7.

The package includes GHC20,000 for the organisation of this year’s event, Vodafone souvenirs, Vodafone Farmers’ Club SIMs with 12 months airtime and data as well as free access to farmers’ helpline and useful information on crop and agric for all the Regional and National winners.

Additionally, the telco has announced a unique package of GHC10,000 cash, a Vodafone tablet, VIP access to Farmers’ Club with extra airtime and data for the Best National Female Farmer, in line with its continuous commitment to empowering females in agriculture.

Speaking to a cross-section of the media during the presentation, Director of Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) at Vodafone Ghana, Angela Mensah-Poku said, ‘’Vodafone is excited to join in the celebration of our national heroes and heroines within the agricultural sector. We are committed to driving innovation in agriculture whilst bridging the gap between farmers and critical farming information. Through our Farmers’ Club initiative, we have been connecting farms, agribusinesses and rural communities to drive productivity, profitability and innovation. This initiative provides farmers with access to relevant information on improved farming practices, crop information, prices of commodities and expert advice, in their preferred language.’’

‘’In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, we will from next year, reward and celebrate farmers who among other things use innovative and new technology in their operations. The category, to be titled “National Digital Farmer of the Year”, will encourage and drive innovation within the sector,’’ she added.

The 34th edition of the National Farmers Day celebration will be held in Tamale, Northern Region.

Source:Ghanaweb

BAWUMIA LAUNCHES PHASE TWO OF MOBILE MONEY INTEROPERABILITY

[caption id="attachment_5244" align="alignnone" width="300"]Dr. Bawumia, V.P of Ghana Dr. Bawumia, V.P of Ghana[/caption]

The launch of Phase two of the Interoperability platform concludes the Financial Inclusion Triangle, and ensures universal interoperability, making Ghana one of the few countries in the world to attain this feat.
Phase One of the project, launched on May 10th, 2018 saw the interconnection of the mobile money platforms and the Ghana National Switch (gh-link system), but not the E-zwich Payment Systems. This allowed users to make payments from Mobile Money wallets to bank accounts, and vice versa. It also allowed the transfer of funds between the various mobile money services provided by the telecom companies.

The second phase has completed the interconnection between Mobile Money and the e-zwich Payment Systems. Thus, the interconnection of mobile money and e-zwich platforms, to the gh-link platform means customers can conveniently move funds across all three platforms: bank accounts, Mobile Money wallets and the e-zwich payment systems.
Speaking at the launch ceremony on Wednesday 28th November, 2018, Vice President Bawumia, said this universal interoperability - known by players in the fintech and banking circles as the Financial Inclusion Triangle, because it interconnects three payment platforms; mobile money, bank account and e-zwich - is expected to remove the constraints faced in trying to move funds around, in real time.

“This should make us more efficient and enable us to accomplish more within the same time available to us. All of these important initiatives are in sync with other programmes by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government to quicken the digitization of the economy.
“Importantly, it will improve financial inclusion by bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked. It will also enable free flow of funds between and among all the three platforms; allowing the banked and the unbanked to interact at the same level.”

The benefits to business and ordinary Ghanaians will be enormous, with endless possibilities on the horizon, Vice President Bawumia indicated.

Mr. Archie Hesse; CEO of GhIPSS speaking at the launch
“The quick flow of funds enabled by the universal interoperability, should also translate into quick turnaround for businesses, because producers, wholesalers and retailers can receive funds in real time in order to deliver the goods to customers, regardless of which part of the country, they find themselves.
“The possibilities are enormous, and I expect the Fintechs to take advantage and collaborate with the banks and other financial institutions to give us great products.”

With the conclusion of phase two, Vice President Bawumia said it was time to work on Phase Three.
“It is said that the best reward for a good work is more work. So let me once again, in the spirit of transforming our economy, task the partners to this project, to take on an additional challenge - call it phase 3.

“The phase 3 that I propose, is mobile money operator/agent/or merchant interoperability. By this I mean, that it should be possible for an operator, agent or merchant with one phone and SIM, to be able to load electronic funds onto the wallet of the customer regardless of the network.

“An agent currently needs to keep different float accounts for each operator to serve customers. So, when the float of the agent for a particular operator runs out, the agent is not able to serve customers from that operator even though he or she may have electronic funds sitting idle on another network.
“So you see agents turn away customers not because they do not want to serve them, but they simply cannot use the float they have for one network operator for another.

“The status quo is not efficient and affects both the agent’s output and profitability as well as puts a spoke in the wheels of the cash-lite agenda. Let me therefore ask you to work together to fix this challenge, so that anybody who walks into an agent’s location can get service once there are electronic funds available.

“I think it is a normal sequence to what we have achieved so far, and I urge all the key parties to ensure we chalk this success too, so that customers can have wider access to mobile money service.”
Vice President Bawumia commended the Board and Management of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS), Bank of Ghana, Financial technology (Fintech) companies, the telecommunication companies, and all the partners for their cooperation and contribution towards the attainment of Mobile Money Interoperability in Ghana.

Source: Graphic.com

GSMA LAUNCHES EDGE CLOUD AR/VR INITIATIVEGSMA LAUNCHES EDGE CLOUD AR/VR INITIATIVE

images

The GSMA has launched a new industry-wide initiative focused on the development of cloud virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

The new GSMA Cloud AR/VR Forum is backed by a number of Asian and international mobile operators, including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, KT, NTT Docomo and SK Telecom. Also involved are vendor and content provider partners including Huawei and HTC.

As part of the program, the GSMA aims to encourage whole-of-industry collaboration on accelerating the delivery and deployment of 5G cloud-based AR/VR services.

The forum will encourage knowledge sharing between members, as well as discussion about new business models capitalizing on the emerging technology. A key priority will be the development of a service reference architecture to avoid cost fragmentation.

Other technical development areas will include research into ultra-low latency codec compression, cloud-based graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering and virtualization technologies.

Moving processing of VR and AR graphics to the cloud has the potential to stimulate demand for AR/VR headsets beyond the high-end enthusiast segment, allowing the devices to be sold at price points that will give them mass market appeal, according to GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair.

“Both VR and AR are disruptive forms of immersive multimedia that, combined with operator edge cloud and 5G connectivity, will transform the cost structures of the enterprise and entertainment fields,” he said.

“Mobile operators will play a key role in its development, but without a common approach and industry-wide collaboration we risk fragmenting the market from the beginning. The establishment of this forum will overcome this hurdle and ensure we can scale compelling solutions faster.”

Source:GSMA