The Ghana Internet Service Providers’ Association (GISPA), has elected new leadership, bringing the tenure of Ing. Richard Densu to a successful end.
Mr. Michael Komla Kumah Nfodzo of Vodafone takes over from Richard, who has served two terms, as the association’s new President/Chairman.
Other newly elected members of the GISPA Board are Daniel Kofi Ansa Akufo of INET Communications, Isaac Teye Ayiku of Dolphin Telecom, Peter David Kotoko of Dimension Data, and Emmanuel Kwarteng of MainOne. The new Board and Chairman/President have a two-year mandate subject to another term.
In his address, Ing. Densu expressed gratitude to the board and members for supporting his administration to deliver on his mandate for two consecutive terms. He recounted the hard work and dedication that went into rebuilding the association and admonished members to uphold the work ethics and contribute to creating a more sustainable impact.
Since the election of Ing. Richard Densu as President of the Governing Board of GISPA in 2018, the association has seen several purposeful transformations, especially in re-aligning its operations to deliver on its mandates.
Achievements of the Board
GISPA, at its formative stage, outsourced the administration of its operations to a third-party entity that was primarily engaging stakeholders on its behalf, holding technical discussions, and running the association’s day-to-day operations.
However, during the outgoing board’s tenure, the association has established its own well-equipped secretariat that handles its operations, including stakeholder engagements and other administrative activities. The outgoing President says this has lifted the association’s image and enabled it to effectively carry out its work.
Similarly, the day-to-day management of the Ghana Internet Exchange (GIX), which was hitherto managed by a third party, has also been brought in-house where members have co-opted technical experts to handle its management. This has significantly improved the operations of the GIX and reduced costs.
Ing. Densu added that the board also anticipated the future growth of the digital space and pursued the digitalization of GISPA operations to ensure efficiency and quick redress of all association-related matters. This he said became handy during the peak of Covid-19.
The Board led by Ing. Densu has also put in place an annual conference dubbed Ghana Internet Conference serving as a platform for stakeholders to discuss critical issues impacting the industry. Ing. Densu said the Board is happy about how well the Ghana Internet Conference platform has been received and the influence it is already wielding in the industry. “We hope that this platform and the newly launched GISPA newsletter will go a long way to contribute to the industry’s growth,” he said.
Additionally, the outgoing board has successfully promulgated a new constitution to replace the previous one. The document, now in force, sets out the rules and regulations to govern the association. Ing Densu said the provisions in the constitution are well thought-out in consultation with members and are in tandem with international best practices to stand the test of time.
Among the challenges experienced during his tenure, Ing Richard Densu said, COVID-19 was an incredible let-down for many businesses, and GISPA member organisations were no exception.
“The economic challenges coupled with high industry taxes haven’t helped much. Some of the members, especially the local ISPs have had to fold up and others are barely managing to sustain their operations. The industry is critical for national development and everything must be done to sustain its growth.”
Ing. Densu suggested that the new board prioritize the retooling of the research desk of the association to provide valuable data concerning the internet space to members and stakeholders to support the growth of the industry.
Ing. Densu thanked the members of the outgoing board which was made up of Emmanuel Kwarteng, Michael Nfodzo, Stephen Cudjo-Seshie, and Isaac Ayiku. He expressed his gratitude to the NCA, the Telecoms chamber, the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation and its related agencies for their support and cooperation during his term of office.
GISPA is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of local ISPs and other internet providers. The association aims to lobby the government and regulatory bodies to grow the internet space in the region and make it easier for the community to access effective communications services.