- Parliament has approved an agreement between government, Vodafone and Ghana telecommunication by majority of 124 votes over 74 for a private equity takeover.
The agreement is for sale of 70 per cent of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone UK for an amount of 900 million US dollars.
The debate which was heated between majority and minority side of the house was led by Mr Adu Mante, Chairman of Finance Committee and Mr Kojo Armab Chairman of Communications Committee. Debates were mainly on argument that the agreement does not value $900 million deal which gives Vodafone UK 70 per cent shares, saying it was very cheap.
Minority side further said were against the entire process because it was not transparent, while majority members argued it was best for the country and could lift the country's mobile technology to higher levels.
Ghana Telecom (GT) is the country's third largest mobile phone firm with 1.4 million customers as well as mobile interests, employs 4000 staff, and has a monopoly over fixed line services.
The state company is however said to be unprofitable and running debts of around $400m.
The coming in of Vodafone is said to have in the pipeline plans to boost Ghana Telecom's share of the mobile market to 25 per cent from its current 17 percent and invest $500m to expand network coverage.
There are 2.7 million mobile subscribers in Ghana, although overall mobile penetration per head of the population in west African country remains low at 35 per cent.
Some members of parliament are said to have left chamber before voting took place, protesting the deal as corrupt and unprocedural.
The special sitting of parliament ended after today's proceedings and members are expected to carry on work on 7 October 2008.
Vodafone already owns half of Vodacom, leading mobile business in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo.
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