Ghana set to license Starlink for satellite internet operation

By Kent Mensah in Accra March 20, 2024

Ghana's minister for communications and digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has revealed that the government will grant a licence to Starlink, the satellite internet network of billionaire Elon Musk, to operate within the country, reports Citi News.

This initiative aims to tackle internet disruptions experienced nationwide. It comes days after a major disruption affecting eight West African countries and South Africa due to undersea cable damage.

During a parliamentary briefing on March 18, Owusu-Ekuful emphasised the importance of addressing internet disruptions by licensing satellite gateway air stations and networks. OneWeb has already secured a licence, with Starlink in the process of obtaining one, she said. 

Additionally, the West African government encourages other operators to establish a presence in Ghana, writes Joy News.

Owusu-Ekuful urged organisations to mitigate such disruptions by storing their data and services in multiple tier-three or tier-four data centres, including the National Data Center for primary or backup recovery hosting.

Previously, Ghana lacked a framework for licensing satellites. However, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has developed a framework, approved by its board, awaiting final policy approval. This framework will delineate policies, rules, and licensing requirements for satellite services.

In December 2023, the ministry cautioned against purchasing items from Starlink due to a lack of licensing. Nevertheless, after conducting due diligence, the ministry is prepared to grant Starlink an operating licence to enhance internet accessibility.

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