As part of its new strategy for West and Central Africa, Siemens International has announced the setting up of a USD30 million contract with Ghana Telecom (GT) to help introduce fast internet access into the country. Under the deal, Siemens has set up a build, transfer, operate (BTO) scheme through which it will commission, operate and manage the new network while GT employees are being trained for an eventual takeover. The contract is being handled by Siemens International’s Siemens Belgium unit which is spearheading the group’s overall strategy for the region. In recent years Siemens has built 18 mobile networks in 17 African countries. It also has projects underway with fixed line operators in Ghana, Gabon, Benin and Senegal.
In a separate story, top officials from Alcatel Shanghai Bell, including its chairman Yuan Xin, have met with their counterparts at GT to discuss a USD150 million contract the two signed in 2003 for network modernisation and expansion work. Mr Xin hopes to finalise the second stage of the project with GT, which would be completed by mid-2005.