bridge the digital divide
Accra, June 26. Ghanadot
- Clients and patrons visiting Vodafone Ghana’s
internet cafés have praised the introduction of the Vodafone
Café concept as an opportunity that will help bridge the
digital divide in Ghana.
The patrons, notably students,
researchers, lecturers and the general public, who spoke in
separate interviews at different Vodafone cafés, in Accra,
Cape Coast, Koforidua and Kumasi said even though the cafes
came at a time when broadband access, across the country,
was at a low ebb, these Vodafone cafés have been
instrumental in changing that trend and have reduced the
hassle of browsing.
A student, Richard Asante, said during one of the interviews
that the Vodafone café concept is one of the best things
that have happened to the ICT industry in Ghana, lately. “We
students are now able to get access to the internet for
research purposes that will help us gain better insight into
our respective fields of study.”
The digital divide is commonly defined as the gap between
people and communities that have, and those who do not have
access to information technologies that are transforming our
Vodafone, currently, has 11 cafés spread across all 10
regional capitals in Ghana. These cafés according to reports
are always filled to capacity by patrons who say they are
happy Vodafone introduced the internet cafés.
Martin Nsiah, a student of NIIT, an ICT training school in
Accra, believes that the Vodafone cafes have come as relief
to internet users compared to the drudgery that is usually
associated with some of the regular cafés who do not apply
for the appropriate bundle category and thus create
congestion on the lines at their cafés.
Goerge Doe, an IT specialist in Accra also said in another
interview that he is a regular patron of the Vodafone cafés
at Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Cantonments and, “I can say that
I love the upload and download speed at these cafés. You can
do whatever you want on the net, unlike what happens in
At the Accra Mall, Cantonments and the head office of
Vodafone Ghana, at Circle, Vodafone
internet cafés were all bustling with activity and satisfied
customers who urged Vodafone to expand its cafés to
accommodate more patrons.
Other customers would want Vodafone to
give them discounts because they are regular at the cafés.
“We must get discounts because we come here on regular basis
and give Vodafone a lot of business.”
Answering questions as to what motivated Vodafone Ghana to
get into running internet cafés, Nana Otuo Acheampong Manu,
Head of Consumer Fixed Promotions at Vodafone, said the café
concept is in line with supporting Ghana’s dream of bridging
the digital divide and providing internet access to as many
people in Ghana as possible.
“We are constantly working to ensure that we provide our
customers with the best of services at our internet cafes
and will stop at nothing to give them the best”, said Nana
"Vodafone is working on special
packages for its café clients, and one of these packages is
the loyalty card," the Head of
Retail Operations, Kate Amoo-Gottfried told journalists.
“The number of visitors to the
Vodafone Internet Cafés" she said "has
continued to increase since the launch. Young students who
have never used the internet before are able to connect to
the World Wide Web for the very first time or set up their
own email account. It is exciting to be able to share such
an incredible resource like the internet and be part of
these first-time experiences for Ghana’s youth.”
Vodafone is also powering private internet cafés as part of
efforts to reach out to more people and thus increasing the
total number of people who have access to ICT.
“We will furnish these third party cafés
with full Vodafone products to make our products and
services easily available” Kate Amoo-Gottfried said.