Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the delayed national SIM card re-registration exercise will begin on 1 October and run until 31 March 2022, after which date all unregistered SIMs will be blocked.
Speaking at a press briefing, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained all existing mobile network subscribers will be required to provide their name, date of birth, residential address – or business address and Certificate of Incorporation in the case of a company – and an identification document. Only the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to an individual shall be used for registration of SIM cards held by citizens, foreign residents and foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days. In the case of foreigners staying for less than 90 days, a valid passport or other travel document is required. Individuals will be permitted to register a total number of ten SIM cards across all networks, although foreigners will be limited to three.
Outlining the aims of the registration campaign, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful commented: ‘SIM registration, when undertaken correctly as we intend to do, will reduce or eliminate fraudulent and criminal activities, help authorities ascertain the accurate number of valid and accurate SIMs on the networks, enable operators to build better demographics of their customer base and help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings.’ The minister also argued the initiative will provide the National Communications Authority (NCA) with more accurate data to improve regulation of the industry, while greater confidence in the telecoms sector will enhance economic growth through the adoption of e-government services and other private mobile-based digital solutions. ‘It will minimise mobile money fraud and support financial inclusion across the vulnerable sectors,’ the Minister added.