Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Digitisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the country’s national SIM card re-registration process will start at the beginning of October. Ghanaians over the age of 15 will have until 31 March 2022 to re-register their SIM cards.
As for why this is necessary, according to the news site Ghanaweb, it seems to be, among other things, down to the increased use of communication services since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to facilitate e-education. The Minister mentioned reduction in criminal activities and accurate data for the National Communications Authority (NCA) as potential benefits of the exercise.
Only an individual’s National ID card – the Ghana card – can be used for registration of SIM cards of citizens, foreign residents in Ghana and foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days. Foreigners visiting Ghana can acquire a SIM card using their passport or travel card but they can only use the SIM card for 30 days after which it will be deactivated. Foreigners intending to use the SIM card for more than 30 days will have to obtain a non-citizen Ghana card to do so.
Ghanaians can only register a total of 10 SIM cards across all networks. Foreigners will be limited to three SIM cards across all networks.
A business can register SIM cards in bulk, but to do this a shareholder or a director of the company will have to be linked personally to the registration of the SIM cards. The Minister warned against any misuse of the business registration process to allow multiple registrations.
This isn’t Ghana's first attempt to register SIM cards. However, it is hoped that the Ghana card will help to guarantee a successful SIM registration this time around.