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Banks in Ghana advised to perform critical services locally

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Financial and utility service providers in the country have been asked to host critical services locally following the recent internet service disruption due to damages to undersea cables that provide international connectivity to Ghana. 

This is contained in Update Number Five from the National Communications Authority (NCA) since the service disruption happened las Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Per the statement from NCA, the decision was taken at a meeting with a number of stakeholder organizations including financial and utilities services providers, regulators, telcos, internet exchanges and subsea cable operators.

“It was further recommended that the financial and utility service providers should in the medium to long term, consider hosting critical services locally to ensure continuous service delivery in the event of a major disruption such as the current situation and to leverage local internet exchanges (GIX and AIX),” the statement said.

Ahead of this statement, an industry expert had told Techfocus24 that banks and some financial service providers in the country have been hosting customer detail at data centres out of the country, as a result of which customers are unable to access their fund digitally because of the undersea cable cut.

Below is the full UPDAT 5 from NCA

The National Communications Authority (NCA) wishes to update the public on the disruption of undersea cables that has since Thursday, 14th March, 2024 affected data services across the country.

1. The Authority this morning met the following key stakeholders at the NCA Tower in Accra:

  • Bank of Ghana (BoG)Ghana Association of Banks (GAB)
  • Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS)
  • Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)
  • Central Securities Depository
  • Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)
  • Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)
  • Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
  • Subsea Cable Landing Service Providers
  • Ghana Internet Exchange (GIX)
  • Accra Internet Exchange (AIX)

2. The objective of the meeting was to understand and find solutions to the peculiar challenges facing financial and public utility service providers regarding the impact of the current data connectivity disruptions affecting banking transactions and digital payments of utilities such as water and electricity.

3. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that due to the limited bandwidth currently available, MNOs would review their operations and consider the possibility of prioritising and allocating more data resources to the above-mentioned and other critical services while they work with the Subsea Cable Landing Service Providers to progressively improve internet data capacity.

4. It was further recommended that the financial and utility service providers should in the medium to long term, consider hosting critical services locally to ensure continuous service delivery in the event of a major disruption such as the current situation and to leverage local internet exchanges (GIX and AIX).

5. The meeting also noted that the Subsea Cable Landing Service Providers and MNOs progressively continue to receive capacity from their international partners as they work towards full restoration of data services. User experience will continue to improve as additional capacity becomes available.

The NCA will continue to update the public on any future developments.

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