GHANAAfriwave Telecom, a mobile operator, has joined the Smart Africa Alliance project by Smart Africa to unite Africa into a single digital market.

Smart Africa is an alliance of 32 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players which aims to define Africa’s digital agenda.

The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs.

The vision is to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, as a precursor to the creation of a pan-African common market.

“The Republic of Ghana has been a committed member of the Smart Africa Alliance therefore it is an honour to welcome the first wholly owned Ghanaian company joining the Alliance,” said Mr. Lacina Koné, CEO/Director General, Smart Africa Secretariat.

“More importantly, Afriwave Telecom’s membership presents an opportunity to leverage Afriwave Telecom’s experience and that of other Smart Africa Private Sector members as we take steps towards developing a blueprint for the deployment of national and regional Interconnect Clearinghouse across Africa.”

Afriwave is the first wholly owned Ghanaian company to join the Alliance and its membership and experience could inspire other African operators. It creates a blueprint for a national and regional Interconnect Clearinghouse across Africa, according to Lacina Koné, CEO of the Smart Africa Secretariat.

Afriwave Telecom (AT) is the first and the only licensed Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) Operator in Ghana and currently provides these services to four licensed mobile network operators, MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo Mobile, in Ghana.

AT also provides international telecommunications interconnect clearinghouse (ICH) services to international wholesale carriers who route international telecom traffic into Ghana.

ICH services provide a simple, cost-effective and reliable point of interconnection and interconnection links leading to a reduction in interconnect OPEX and CAPEX; efficient handling of new and traditional interconnect requirements.

It also provides a point of interconnection and reduces the entry barrier to other service providers into the telecom interconnect ecosystem; provides independent verification and reconciliation of interconnect billing records to enhance quick clearing and settlements among connecting entities.

The operations of ICH have brought several benefits to the Ghanaian telecom sector, according to AT’s deputy CEO Francis Poku, so AT is seeking to extend its services to other parts of Africa and collaborate with other stakeholders with similar ambitions.

“For us in Afriwave Telecom, joining the Smart Africa Alliance is a dream come true and this is because the Smart Africa Alliance has a unique institutional framework that brings together all the relevant stakeholders to accelerate the Africa digital transformation agenda,” Mr. Francis Poku, said.

“And we look forward to taking advantage of this unique opportunity to consolidate our operations in Ghana, Africa and other parts of the world. We are also looking forward to collaborating with other Interconnect Clearinghouse Operators in Africa and beyond as we contribute towards achieving the One Africa Network objectives of Smart Africa.”