SMS now mainstream as medium of communication in Ghana

I am saying Short Messaging Service (SMS) via cellular networks has become mainstream in Ghana, because corporate and government institutions are now embracing it as an effective medium of communicating to the populace.

Before now, I have been receiving text messages from time to time, from my bank (UBA Ghana), and other few companies. I was pleasantly surprised when I got two SMS ads, with Sender as BankOfGhana. Government institutions in many African countries are almost always the last to utilize modern technology, apart from when its about comfort for the political leaders. Of course, African Presidents, their ministers and other top officials will always ride in the very latest plush cars, wear the latest and most expensive attires, stay in the most expensive hotels when they are abroad on business. Never mind if this same leaders are the ones begging the East and West for crumbs, and claiming their own countries are eternally poor. Well, I digressed.

The Bank of Ghana is re-denominating Ghana’s national currency effectively from July 1st 2007 and the educational campaign has been in the earnest. TV, Radio, Newspapers, and ummmn…. SMS!

SMS #1 Received on 14th May 2007, at 19:48hrs GMT:

Transact business in either of the two currencies or both at the same time from July 2007. Quote prices in both currencies from 1st May. The Value Is The Same.

SMS #2 Received on 16th May 2007, at 16:04hrs GMT:

With the re-denomination of our currency, you can change your money at any commercial, rural bank or savings & loans company. The Value Is The Same.

I can’t wait to see what happens in December 2008 when Ghanaians will be electing a new president, and parliamentarians. The campaign might also be driven via SMS. 🙂

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. David are you aware of any SMS applications in use in Ghana beside texting? I’m thinking of for example financial transfers (like Safaricom in Kenya), automated weather information for farmers, market price information, government transactions etc.?
    Cheers, Tony

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