Dumsor interrupts Ursula Owusu-Ekuful mid-speech during press conference

Communications and Digitalisation Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was addressing the press when an unexpected incident occurred.

The main purpose of the press conference was to shed light on a new initiative aimed at delivering affordable 5G mobile broadband services across Ghana. The Ministry also planned to address concerns about the company awarded the 5G network rollout contract, which was established just a week before receiving the contract.

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At the event on Thursday, May 30, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained that the company was specifically created for this purpose because there was no existing neutral infrastructure company capable of handling the rollout at the time. She said the new special purpose vehicle, Next-Gen InfraCo (NGIC), was a collaboration between the government and companies including Ascend Digital, K-NET, Radisys, Nokia, and Tech Mahindra, supported by all mobile network operators in Ghana, starting with AT and Telecel.

However, while she was explaining the rationale behind the new partnership, a power outage occurred. The lights, microphones, and speakers were all cut off, plunging the Information Ministry’s conference room into darkness. The outage lasted about five minutes.

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After power was restored, the Minister apologized for the interruption and continued her address. The unstable power supply over recent months has been a significant concern for many Ghanaians. Some celebrities, including actress Yvonne Nelson, have planned a demonstration against the situation, which has severely affected residents and businesses.

On April 18, 2024, a group called ‘Youth for Asanteman’ staged a demonstration in Kumasi to demand a load-shedding timetable amid recent unannounced power cuts. Dressed in red and black, the protesters urged the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Energy Ministry to ensure a stable power supply. The protest occurred after President Akufo-Addo commissioned the Kumasi 1 Thermal Power Plant, which aimed to improve access to power.

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