#GhVetting: Ghana to sign onto central identity register for mobile phones – Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Ghana is close to signing onto a global central identity registry to better safeguard the use of mobile phones, according to the Communications and Digitisation Minister-nominee, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.

This will be a by-product of the policy to have all SIM re-registered.

Unlike before, this re-registration will also register the device using the SIM card.

She has already indicated that the registry will be connected to the Global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA).

Speaking during her vetting, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful sounded a warning to persons who profit off the theft of mobile phones.

“We hope that by that, we will cut down the theft and resale of devices… If the device is also registered, once it is reported stolen, it can be blocked and cannot be unlocked,” the nominee explained.

“Ghana will be signed onto the global central identity register so if a phone is stolen from outside, it cannot be used here as well so if it is blocked there, it will be blocked here,” she added.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful noted that this new endeavor could even present new opportunities for the telecoms sector.

“It can even generate new business opportunities in insurance for devices and as is done in other jurisdictions, your service provider can give you a device and tie you to a data plan and upgrade your device as and when necessary.”

Owners of SIM cards of various networks in the country were to re-register their cards by June 2020.

But Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said these timelines were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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