MTN officials visit Ghana for ‘peace talks’

17 November 2020

Senior MTN Group officials are on a “calming mission in Ghana”, following tensions between the Ghanaian subsidiary and the telecom regulator.

Ralph Mupita, chairman and CEO of South African telecom group MTN and Mcebisi Jonas, chairman of the board, have been in the west African country since October 27, 2020. It is as part of a tour of priority markets.

In a statement, MTN Ghana said that during the two-day trip, representatives of MTN Group who have already met with Vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia and former President John Kufuor, member of MTN Group’s international advisory board, will also hold meetings with minister of communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

During these various exchanges, the MTN Group delegation said it wanted to “align itself with certain key stakeholders on important issues of common interest”. The trip comes after some tensions between MTN Ghana and the government, following its designation as dominant operator which induces certain restrictions on its competitive capacities.

MTN Ghana, which appealed to Ghanaian courts last June to overturn the decision of the state, represented by the Communications Authority (NCA), finally ended the action in mid-October. The company stressed its willingness to settle this dispute amicably.

MTN Ghana said progress had been made with the regulator and ministry of communication on settlement discussions, leading to the operator to withdraw its case lodged to the Supreme Court in September.

“It is our expectation that this action will pave the way for further discussions and an amicable resolution, in the spirit of the renewed channels of engagement”, the statement read.

The operator noted “collective goodwill and commitment” was needed, to aid the country’s telecoms industry, and support government plans to enhance connectivity and communications services in Ghana. It added the decision to withdraw its court case was in the best interest of customers, shareholders and stakeholders.