Kenyan businessman Dr Chris Kirubi (pictured with Richard Branson) among…
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.
Vodafone Ghana is the country’s second largest operator, offering the highest level of customer experience and superior network quality.
‘Ghana and Africa does not have to evolve like Europe did in terms of the evolution of technology, we can skip steps and leapfrog in to the future,’ says Angela Mensah-Poku, Director for Enterprise and Wholesale at Vodafone Ghana. ‘Technology is empowering businesses and people to develop at a rapid rate, it’s actually mind blowing. My remit is to make sure our clients’ businesses run as efficiently as possible by using innovative solutions.’
A large majority of her team’s work is helping SMEs become more digitalized in their business operations.
‘SMEs make up close to 85 per cent of Ghana’s GDP, 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 dress maker in Sakumono (a suburb near Accra’s coastal area) can market her clothes and designs world-wide. 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,’ Angela explains. 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,’ Angela says.
Innovation is key 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, all powered by Vodafone’s unique IOT solutions.
The company has just 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 phones,’ continues Angela. ‘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.’
Angela 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 for free. It’s trailblazing.
‘Our business also supports digital healthcare, a remote doctor/patient interface using our Healthline call centre, which is huge in Ghana. It allows patients to interact with doctors without leaving their homes.
‘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.’
This article appears in the March edition of African Review magazine, and was published on their website here