Ghana considers approving Starlink three months after declaring it illegal

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March 21, 2024
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2 min read
A Starlink dish placed on a fence next to a house
  • Ghana is considering granting SpaceX's Starlink an operational licence to provide Internet connectivity.
  • Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the country's Communication Minister, disclosed this during a recent meeting with parliament.
  • The consideration comes after the National Communication Authority warned on December 7, 2023, and directed anyone involved with the sales or services of the device to stop.

Furthermore, the country's telecommunications authority declared the sale and operation of Starlink illegal, citing the provider's failure to obtain a licence and approval to operate in the country.

This reconsideration comes in the wake of the recent internet outage that affected most African countries, including Ghana. The outage was said to result from subsea cable damages.

Following the outage, Ghana's Chamber of Telecommunications confirmed that it impacted mobile network operators, Internet service providers, and subscribers. Consequently, the government is considering approving additional Internet service providers due to the expected five-week repair period. 

At the meeting, a local media reported that the Communication Minister told members of the parliament that Starlink is in the process of being licenced.

Meanwhile, Starlink reportedly informed government officials that its services would be available to high-end customers whenever it launches in the country.

The minister also encouraged other Internet providers to enter the country and suggested that existing ones consider subscribing to RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communications Organisation), an organisation established to provide telecommunications services throughout Africa. 

Starlink has also updated its website's availability map, stating it will be available in Ghana beginning in Q3 2024.

Despite bans in Zimbabwe and Botswana, Starlink has already launched in several African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia.

In Zimbabwe, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) said it will arrest individuals and businesses found engaging with Starlink. The authority made this move, citing that Starlink has yet to obtain a licence and operational approval. In Botswana, the authority also banned Starlink for similar reasons. 

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However, on the Starlink website, the availability map indicates the service will be available in both countries in Q3 2024.


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