Vodafone tops them all at Second Ghana Telecom Awards
Vodafone Ghana's aggressive approach to everything they do on their Ghanaian market paid off at the Second Mobileworld Ghana Telecom Awards, as they swept an unprecedented six out of a total 17 competitive and four honorary awards.
Vodafone maintained the prestigious Telecom Brand of the Year award from last year, snatched Customer Service of the Year and Marketing Campaign of the Year from Airtel, and won Best Business/Enterprise Service of the Year (Vodafone Business Solutions).
But top among Vodafone's laurels for the night was probably the Telecom CEO of the Year, which Vodafone Ghana CEO, Kyle Whitehill snatched from Airtel Ghana MD, Philip Sowah.
The overjoyed Kyle Whitehill, spotting a Vodafone branded shirt, shouted on stage “the party begins tonight” after receiving his award.
Vodafone's female Chief Technical Officer, Patricia Obo-Nai also won the newly introduced Special Recognition for Best Female Technologist Award, which was one of four honorary awards.
MTN Ghana maintained the prestigious Telecom Operator of the Year award from last year and also kept the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Initiative of the Year from the maiden event.
Tigo's innovative and relevant mobile-based insurance scheme, Tigo Insurance, which sought to rope in low-end customers on a low-premium insurance scheme not available at the traditional insurance companies, emerged as the Best Innovative Mobile Product of the Year.
Airtel Money, which was the first and only mobile money service in country that linked customers' mobile money account to their bank account and allowed customers to cash money at the ATM from their mobile account, emerged as the Mobile Service of the Year.
But apart from the telecom operators, other industry players like vendors, tower companies, ISP's (internet service providers), handset dealers and content providers also won awards.
Tecno Phone, which boasts of about 35 to 40 per cent handset market share in Ghana, won the Phone of the Year award.
Busy Internet was adjudged the ISP of the Year, GT Bank won the Best use of ICT in Banking, Ericsson won the Best Equipment Vendor of the Year; Infrastructure Company of the Year was Helios Towers; Wholesale Provider of the Year was Main One and Best Software Company of the Year was Rancard Solutions.
Director-General of National Communication Authority (NCA), Paarock VanPercy, was given the Special Recognition for Commitment to the Telecom Industry, and the most prestigious MobileWorld Lifetime Achievement Award most deservedly went to Softribe Founder and Chairman, Herman Chinnery-Hesse.
There were no winners for the Best Mobile Content, and none to pick the Young ICT Entrepreneur honorary award.
The well attended awards ceremony was put together by Instinct Wave Limited, publishers of Mobileworld Magazine.
Patrons and some award recipients described the awards as a great initiative that recognized the immense contribution of the telecom industry to the economy of Ghana.
Telecom operators have since the 1990s invested some US$5.6billion in the country, contributes 10% of government annual tax revenue and two per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
The industry also employs over 6,000 people directly and about 1.5 million people indirectly. The World Bank reported recently that the industry generates some one billion dollars revenue every year.
CEO of Instinct Wave Limited, Akin Naphtal said the significance of the telecom industry to any economy could no longer be overlooked, adding that his organization would remain committed to identifying and rewarding innovation and commitment by industry players.
He was however worried that industry players initially shied away supporting the initiative significantly, as many did not even confirm their participation initially and showed up last minute, which led to some amount of crush arrangements on the night to accommodate an extra 85 persons at the dinner-style awards.
Mr. Naphtal prayed that telcos and other industry players would show commitment to the awards scheme and help to raise it to the standard the industry deserved.
Story by Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News/Ghana