Vodafone Ghana is the country's second-largest operator offering a high level of customer experience and superior network quality
Vodafone Business Solutions is at the helm of digitally transforming businesses in Ghana; from SoHos (Small Office Home Office) to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and multinational companies. “Ghana and Africa does not have to evolve like Europe did in terms of the evolution of technology, we can skip steps and leapfrog into the future," said Angela Mensah-Poku, director for enterprise and wholesale at Vodafone Ghana. "Technology is empowering businesses and people to develop at a rapid rate. My remit is to make sure our clients’ businesses run as efficiently as possible by using innovative solutions.”
A significant part of her team's work is helping SMEs to become more digitalised in their business operations. “SMEs make up more than 85 per cent of Ghana's GDP, but the majority of which are not yet digital. We have to look at ways we can get these businesses ready for the future. For example, teaching small business owners on how to act global and be proudly local just by using their mobile phone, Vodafone cash and social media. A dressmaker in Sakumono [a suburb near Accra’s coastal area] can market her clothes and designs worldwide. This is the power of connectivity, m-commerce and innovation.
Regarding local corporate firms, she helps businesses find out how they can introduce flexible working to boost productivity. “Work is what you do, not where you are,” explained Angela. “The use of tablets and access to our Vodafone SuperNet is vital for businesses to perform effectively and freely. Our larger clients – multinationals –expect the same level of service from us in Ghana as it is in the UK or anywhere where their offices are based across the world, and it’s my challenge to provide it to them,” said Angela. Innovation is vital for Vodafone Business Solutions and this is apparent by the rollout of Internet of Things (IOT) by Vodafone Ghana last year. Companies in Ghana are now monitoring fuel usage, fleet, and assets, even smart – metering of utilities is taking place here and now, all powered by Vodafone’s unique IOT solutions.
The company has launched Vodafone Cash, which works in a similar way to M-Pesa in Kenya. “We have seen a huge uptake in the number of people that are sending money through their mobile,” continues Mensah-Poku. “It allows everyone to become part of the m-commerce ecosystem. Vodafone Cash and the things you can do with it is a fantastic innovation that is taking over Ghana.” Vodafone Cash can be used to pay for university fees, utility bills and even pay workers. “We have been able to localise services and made it accessible to all. "In Kenya, customers use M-Pesa to give food vouchers to refugees to buy items. It economically empowers the most vulnerable in the society, which in turn, stimulates the economy, who wouldn’t want to be part of this movement."
Mensah-Poku says Vodafone Foundation is seeking to make an impact on people's lives through providing mobility solutions. "We have done things like 'instant schools' in Ghana. We feel passionate about bringing a stop to children learning under trees. We, therefore, make it possible for children to use tablets and gain access either to a local or international teacher so they can be taught in a formal setting, and be able to download their lessons. It’s trailblazing. "Our business also supports digital healthcare, a remote doctor-patient interface, which is huge in Ghana and across the continent. It allows patients to see their doctors without leaving their home. "The world of technology is transforming the lives of communities, individuals and businesses in Ghana and the call to action is simple, think big, be creative and make an impact, it’s a fantastic time to be part of this technological movement taking place in Ghana."
*Angela Mensah-Poku is a speaker at the Tech in Ghana conference on Monday 27 February, organised by AB2020, the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) and TEDxAccra.