Journal of African Political Economy and Development Vol 2 Dec 2017
Journal of African Political Economy and Development | ISSN 2518-847X | Volume 2 | December 2017
Advent of mobile telecommunications in Ghana: Their role and contribution to the business activities of small and medium-scale enterprises
Peter Arthur+ And Emmanuel Arthur*
+ Department of Political Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
* Central Business School, Central University, Accra-Ghana
The last two decades have seen tremendous growth in mobile phone ownership and use in both the global North and in developing countries like Ghana, which has contributed to the transformation of the social and economic lives of citizens. Nowhere is this evident than in small-scale business activity. This paper therefore focuses on the role and contribution of mobile phones on the operations of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. Rather than the quantitative and macro-level analysis prevalent in the literature, this present research advances prior research by undertaking a micro-level discussion that draws on several research instruments, including the interviewing of 40 owners of SMEs in Accra, Ghana and examines the impact of mobile phones on their businesses. The main argument and most significant insight and findings from the research is that, from the perspective of small-scale business owners, while mobile phones help to provide better market information, improve communication and efficiency, and reduce business costs, the environment in which they operate remains one of the most key factors that can help their prospects of contributing to overall development. Thus, if mobile telephony is to help the SME sector contribute to development, there is the need for support by the Ghana government in the form of financial assistance, marketing opportunities and infrastructural development.
Keywords: Ghana; SMEs; Mobile telecommunications; Economic development.