25.06.2012 Technology

Ghana's live Parliamentary debates go global

25.06.2012 LISTEN
By Frank Agyemang

For the first time in the world, a country's live legislative proceedings and procedures could now be accessed globally without geographic limitation. Ghana's parliament in its bid to make parliamentary debates and information accessible to all Ghanaians has subscribed to a teleconferencing facility that provides worldwide broadcast of its debates.

This teleconferencing platform is operated via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) which could be accessed by all fixed line and mobile subscribers in any part of the world.

International organisations, Governance institutions, Individuals, Educational institutions, corporate organisations and the general public can now listen to live parliamentary debates via any mobile telecom network by just dialing 0242427777 at normal call rates and long distance charges. For MTN subscribers, they can dial MTN short code 30033 at 4p per minute during proceedings which normally commence at 10:30am from Tuesday to Friday.

This is made possible by Forum Networks Limited, a teleconferencing service provider in collaboration with MTN with approval from the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament.

By the application of this teleconferencing technology, the Ministries, Metropolitan and District offices as well as other government agencies can now listen-in to live debates that relate their sectors and be informed.

Through this technology, the ordinary Ghanaian now has the opportunity to monitor parliamentary debates and make informed decisions based on parliamentary presentations. That aside, the electorates now have the opportunity to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of their representatives in Parliament through contributions to debates on the floor of the house.

Further arrangements are ongoing for discounted call rates for MTN subscribers.