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Telecom Regulation, the Postcolonial State, and Big Business: The Ghanaian Experience

Amin Alhassan


This paper interrogates contemporary communication policy practices of the Ghanaian state. The rise of the global digital economy has transformed the hitherto bland telecommunication sector in developing countries into a steamy and juicy pie that attracts the attention of big business, the expertise and finance of international capital, as well as local businesses. In its bid to increase phone access, the postcolonial state in Ghana, under the tutelage of organizations such as the World Bank, has embarked on setting in place a new regime of liberalized and privatized telecom industry. A new regulatory agency, National Communication Authority has been put in place to independently oversee the sector. But can the state and its purportedly independent regulator face up to the challenges and the temptations of the new digital economy? What are the motives of the policy choices made? What are the forces that shape policy trajectory? These are some of the questions discussed in this article as it tells the story of the vagaries of policy action in the apparently indomitable new world of telecom politics in Ghana.

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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