There is peace at Tano North-MCE


Mr. Ernest Kwarteng, the Tano North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), has stated that the security situation in the area was very stable.

Mr Kwarteng, during his address at a general committee meeting at Duayaw Nkwanta in the Tano North Municipality, stated that peace and stability were fundamental for the growth and development of any society.

He commended the security agencies in the Municipality for their relentless efforts at maintaining law and order in the area and hoped it would be sustained.

The MCE appealed to the people to prioritise development in the area and desist from partisan politics.

He urged them to be united, objective and fair in prosecuting its developmental agenda, to ensure the Municipality’s progress and the nation in general.

Touching on preparations for this year’s general elections, Mr Kwarteng disclosed that a total of 2,479 eligible voters from 18 years and above, were registered by the Electoral Commission while 1,443 persons were able to transfer their votes in the just-end
ed electoral processes.

He expressed satisfaction with the peaceful manner in which the exercises were carried out and indicated that a credible voter register would ensure fair, orderly and peaceful elections in the 2024 general election.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Local Government Minister inspects ongoing infrastructural projects in Northern Region


Mr Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, on Wednesday inspected various projects under the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Project, and the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) in the Northern Region to assess progress of work on them.

Various infrastructural projects are at various stages of completion under the project which is meant to improve socio-economic well-being of the people.

They include the construction of two-storey 60 lockable stores at the Yendi Central Market, paving of walkways, car and lorry park and the construction of 0.45-kilometre (km) Kumfong-link Road and the provision of pedestrian lanes in the Yendi Municipality.

The others are the construction of 0.9-km road with drains, road markings, streetlights at Kataraga off the Tamale-Kumbungu Road, construction of two-storey 40 lockable stores, two-storey 24 lockable stores, two-storey banking facility and paving of lorry park at Jinsonayili, as well as an addi
tional two-storey 22 lockable stores, Police Post, creche, clinic, 72 stalls, butchery, and the rehabilitation of washrooms at Jinsonayili in the Sagnarigu Municipality.

The rest are the construction of an astro turf at Zogbeli Junior High School in the Tamale Metropolis, and a CHPS Compound with three-bed accommodation for staff and a two-seater KVIP at Gambuga in the Nanumba North Municipality.

Mr Korsah, who interacted with the press at Gambuga in the Nanumba North Municipality after the inspection, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work on some of the projects and said they would soon be completed to serve the needs of the people.

He was impressed at the level of work on the Gambuga Health facility, which was 95 per cent complete, saying it would help ensure quality health care delivery for residents.

He, however, was unhappy at the rate of work on the astro turf in the Tamale Metropolis and warned the contractor that the Ministry would consider all legal means to terminate the contract.

He
said, ‘The project (astro turf) was scheduled to be completed in May, this year. We are in June with only 30% of work done with no commitment to the terms of the contract. Obviously, we have to consider terminating it to save the situation.’

Mr Korsah appealed to the contractors on the projects to speed up work to deliver on time, saying government would not hesitate to terminate their contracts and reward them to ensure that they were completed on time to serve their intended purpose.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NGO builds capacity of smallholder women farmers on access to marketing opportunities


The Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), a gender-focused organisation in collaboration with ActionAid Ghana, has trained leaders of smallholder women farmers’ groups in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region on access to marketing opportunities for their farm produce.

The leaders, drawn from 10 communities of the district, were equipped with ways they could create a market for their farm produce, take advantage of technology to market their produce and adopt best agricultural practices to maintain soil fertility for high yields.

They were also taken through a variety of seeds available and adaptable to their soil, as well as other agriculture projects at their disposal that they could benefit from, including access to farm input.

The training formed part of the Green Economy project aimed at promoting food security and climate change resilience.

Ms Nancy Awinbisa Amiziah, the Project Officer, WOM, said the sensitisation became necessary following concerns by the smallholder farmers over their lack o
f information about high-yielding crops and market opportunities for their products.

‘We work with these women groups, and during one of our meetings with them last year, it came out that most of them do not have information on which crops were in high demand and readily available for the market, and so they end up producing crops that they find it difficult to sell,’ she stated.

This, she said, coupled with the fact that the women had limited access to land and considering how they could maximise those lands to get higher yields to support their families and earn income for themselves, occasioned the collaborations of the two organisations to help them make informed decisions.

‘The main aim is to inform them about cropping, and that is why we have organised this training in this period of the season so that the women would know whatever crops they should go for to enable them to make profit out of their produce to support their families,’ she added.

Mr Matthew Sulemana, the Talensi District Director of t
he Department of Agriculture, reiterated that his outfit was open to assisting the farmers reach a larger market and urged them to reach out for assistance.

He also emphasised that agriculture projects, including the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining project, and the Food System Resilience project, were there to benefit smallholder farmers and encourage them to take advantage.

Madam Beatrice Saa, the President of the Upper East Regional Widows Network and Leader of the Wakii Women Group, said the training had exposed her to a lot of things she was unaware of and would be beneficial to her and the members of her group.

She, however, bemoaned that access to land and tractor services were major problems affecting their farming activities.

‘As women, we don’t have access to good land. Last year, for instance, I wanted to farm, and they gave me an outer place where monkeys are, so the monkeys, together with cattle destroyed my crops,’ she said.

So
urce: Ghana News Agency

We need collective efforts to reverse high rate of environmental destruction – UNCCD


Dr Asher Nkegbe, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) National Focal Point, has called for collective efforts and strategic approaches to reverse the current rate of environmental degradation to mitigate climate change and its adverse impact.

He said environmental degradation continued to pose significant threats to global, national and local targets, deepening the already environmental crisis and underscoring the need for all stakeholders at all levels to get involved to ensure sustainable practices to reverse the trend.

‘Today, the future of our land is on the line,’ Dr Nkegbe, who is also the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said.

‘Globally, we are degrading about 100 million hectares of healthy and productive lands. Our soils, which take up to hundreds of years to form are being depleted in a matter of minutes.

‘Every second, the equivalent of four football fields of healthy lands is degraded. It is more important than ever to engage
current and future generations to halt and reverse these alarming trends since we depend on land for our survival.’

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in line with the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Dr Nkegbe said promoting good environmental management practices would not only help restore degraded lands but would help curb drought, desertification and floods while increasing agriculture productivity and employment opportunities.

This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is being marked on the theme: ‘United for the Land: Our Heritage, Our Future’, which calls for global efforts to raise awareness about desertification and drought, to ensure sustainable land management practices as well as preventive and recovery methods from drought.

This year’s celebration also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the United Nations to Combat Desertification, which is the sole global agreement dedicated to sustainable land management, ratified by 196 countries and t
he European Union.

Dr Nkegbe emphasised that Ghana and the Upper East Region in particular continued to grapple with environmental destruction and identified overgrazing, annual bushfires, unsustainable mining and indiscriminate tree felling among others as root causes of such destruction.

These activities, he said, were perpetuated by actors in the environment value chain and those stakeholders had the power to reverse the trend.

He therefore called for collective efforts from all stakeholders, including the citizenry, farmers, political leaders, scientists, private sector and media among others to innovate and roll out stringent policies and interventions that would help create awareness and build resilience in communities to reinforce the fact that land is a cross-cutting issue relating to all the three conventions (climate change, biodiversity conservation and desertification control linkage).

He added that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals one, two five, 13
and 15 depended on the sustainability of the land and encouraged practices such as agroforestry, woodlot, earth bonding, composting, stone bonding, natural regeneration, protection of water bodies, tree planting among others, especially along the Savannah Ecological zone which had been heavily depleted.

‘For this, Ghana needs to scale up the sustainable land and water management practices we have been implementing since 2008 under the Ghana Environmental Project, the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project, the ongoing Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project, to deliver a moon shot moment for the land as Ghana contributes to the restoration of the worldwide target of 1.5 billion hectares of degraded lands by 2030,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Believe in Ghana’s manifest destiny; let’s all work to achieve it – Bawumia to FBOs


Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia says achieving Ghana’s development objectives entailed the ‘collective ownership’ of the national vision with the collaboration of all key stakeholders.

He, therefore, underscored the need for faith-based organisations (FBOs) to work hand-in-hand with government to move the nation to its desired direction.

Vice President Bawumia made the call during the Second Biennial Joint Conference of the East, West and Mid-Ghana of the AME Zion Church held at the Pentecost Convention Centre, Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region.

Reflecting on the theme of the conference, ‘The Freedom Church: Securing our Future,’ Dr Bawumia emphasised the importance of collectively crafting national goals, relying on relevant knowledge and experience.

He said the theme evoked ‘stirring appeal’ to every citizen to believe in the country’s future and take deliberate steps now to preserve, protect, and secure it at all cost.

‘As with all nations around the world, we have had some very turbulent and troubli
ng economic challenges in recent times, yet this cannot and should not be allowed to dampen our confidence and faith in the future that God himself has for us.

‘We must determine where we want to be in the future and carefully plan how to get there. It requires visionary leadership to chart the path for the future and committed and dedicated people who strive to achieve their ideals and aspirations for the future,’ the Vice President stated.

‘Thus, if we are to truly secure the future, it is imperative that we carefully consider the implication of our current actions and inactions on our future and take steps to attain the desired goal,’ Dr Bawumia added.

He challenged Christians to reflect on how their actions and inactions could have a direct bearing on national development.

‘Would it be too much to ask that Christians complement their prayer vigils and revivals with honest diligent work?… Is it too much to ask that each individual commits to personal cleanliness and respect for the environment?… Can we
commit to holding leadership at all levels to account, irrespective of political or religious leanings, with the same passion with which we strive to uphold the rule of law?…Can the church reclaim its prophetic voice and mandate by being faithful and true to her divine calling?’ Dr Bawumia queried.

The Vice President, thus, commended the AME Zion Church for its invaluable contributions to the national development effort in the areas of healthcare, basic and secondary education, advocacy and promotion of social justice, noting that the denomination’s participation in the activities of the Christian Council of Ghana aimed at addressing critical issues of national interest also deserved commendation.

Expressing absolute belief that Ghana was on the cusp of greatness, Dr Bawumia challenged Ghanaians to believe that with oneness of mind, and a frank and open exchange of ideas, achieving accelerated national development was possible.

‘I have no doubt that the Almighty God has brought each of us to a time such as
this for a reason. He has divinely equipped us to rise up to the occasion and build our beloved nation Ghana,’ he stressed.

The Right Reverend Hilliard K. Dela Dogbe, Presiding Bishop of the African A.M.E Zion Church – Western West Africa Episcopal District, called on Ghanaians to reject politics of violence and division, noting that the process of choosing leaders should not lead to acrimony.

‘Politics should not divide us; it should rather showcase our diversity.

‘As the parties campaign, let’s listen to ideas, deliberate on them and choose the ones that best address our challenges. Peace is what we all desire, not conflict.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana needs robust, resilient internet connectivity to avoid March 2024 service disruption


March 14th, 2024, saw a massive disruption of internet connectivity in several African countries. West Coast African countries affected include Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Benin.

It was reported that the disruption was due to several submarine fibre optic cables being cut.

These cable systems are the West African Cable System (WACS), Main One, South Atlantic Telecommunications 3 (SAT 3), and ACE.

On May 13, 2024, Main One reported the successful completion of repairs and the full restoration of services on its cable.

The nearly eight-week mean time to repair and fully restore services highlights the vulnerability of critical submarine fibre optic cable infrastructure, which circumvents the continent and links it to the rest of the globe.

Reminiscence

It reminisces the early days of 2002 when Ghanaians engineered the first digital internet connectivity via the satellite earth station at Kuntunse for a palsy 64kbps data speed and an unimaginable $21,000.00 monthly fee.

User access to this
shared bandwidth was via the then-fixed copper-based telephone line network and analogue dial-up modems.

Then, it was a constant challenge to provide access while offering shared access to 64kbps and, later, 128kbps internet bandwidth.

Today, internet access speeds on some smartphones exceed several megabits per second (Mbps).

At the time of the internet’s emergence in Ghana, most could not have predicted its effect on how we access information, communicate, play, entertain, do business, and interact with our governments.

The struggle of providing access to internet users was hazardous at best.

From the early analogue dial-up modems to the implementation of various last-mile technologies via the Ghana Telecom copper cable-based telephone infrastructure, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) implementation challenges, legally contested anti-competition practises, frustrations of access limitations to copper lease lines and associated sudden overnight 1000 per cent increase in their monthly access fees were major
concerns.

Point-to-point and or point-to-multipoint wireless systems deployment, WiMAX user access technologies, associated access frustration to GT towers, the regulator’s incapacity and incapabilities to regulatable the industry, the emergence of fibre optic cables and digging rights of way, the politics of access to internet connectivity on the SAT 3 submarine cable, its outrageous pricing, are but a microcosm of the struggles and frustrations of the pioneers of internet service provision in Ghana.

Internet Today

From the early internet days, the early 1990s, when access was mainly for urgent email, browsing a few web pages, and using early search engines, today, internet access is ubiquitous over your smartphone or via fibre optic cable to the home (FTTH).

Today, internet traffic encompasses all converged communications, voice, video, and data.

Today, Internet usage encompasses casual web browsing and crucial commercial, business, entertainment, leisure and commercial gaming, and e-government applica
tions and services.

Technologies, applications, and services include Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which transmits voice communications over the Internet, Cloud services (for data storage and software applications), Data centres (that house and host a multitude of servers and other network equipment for services such as email servers, web hosting, and online games), Content Delivery Networks (that deliver content quickly to global users), to today’s integration of Artificial Intelligence into every aspect of technology and human endeavour.

Internet networks are now a critical infrastructure that underpins all Internet services.

Threat

This growing dependency on the internet as the sole technological platform for almost all human technology interactions means that any disruptions to its continuous availability highlight its critical and crucial importance.

The vulnerability, robustness, and resilience of the network infrastructure underpinning the internet are a grav
e threat to countries’ national security, ‘a clear and present danger’ threat to the wealth of nations and most rightly so! Any disruption is a catastrophic event.

As a result, more and more urgent and essential steps are being taken globally to build and maintain more robust, resilient, reliable, and secure internet infrastructure. The infrastructure that encompasses the African Continent and integrates seamlessly with other global internet networks no less.

Search for solutions

Government agencies at the highest levels are now conscious of the potential threat that internet disruptions pose and are reacting and participating in the search for solutions at the highest level.

In response to the March 2024 disruption, the Ghanaian regulator recently announced that all operators, including mobile network operators, Internet service providers, and cable service providers, met to discuss ways to mitigate the disruptions and restore services as soon as possible.

Indeed, governments and telecom regulators in o
ther affected African countries are taking similar approaches to seek a collaborative solution to service disruptions in their respective countries.

Internet economy

In its e-Conomy Africa 2020 report, the IFC projects an African Internet economy of $180 billion.

Research shows a direct correlation between a country’s GDP and internet access in Africa.

It’s estimated that internet availability and usage positively impact GDP per Capita.

A 10 per cent increase in mobile Internet penetration can increase GDP per capita by 2.5 per cent in Africa compared to 2 per cent globally.

Ghana Internet Data

As of January 2024, statista.com reports Ghana’s internet users population at 24 million, up from 23 million in January 2023, indicating a penetration rate of 71.94 per cent.

Furthermore, there are 6.6 million social media users as of January 2023.

The top 3 social media sites accessed were WhatsApp, Facebook, and Tic Toc. Mobile Internet traffic as of 2023 costs $0.73 per gigabyte.

The full impact on the cou
ntry’s GDP due to the March 2024 disruption may not be readily computable; however, disruptions to telecommunications affect several sectors of the economy, including government operations, businesses, and financial services.

Prolonged disruptions can, therefore, lead to significant economic losses.

Resilience needs

Therefore, governments, regulators, engineers, and operators must urgently address the need for a robustly secure, redundant, resilient, and self-healing solution that eliminates future disruptions to the provision of internet services in their respective countries, including Ghana.

Achieving such a goal requires infrastructure integration, critical advanced technology implementation, and enforcement by Africa-centric laws and legislation based on similar initiatives in the more advanced countries.

In this article, the writer seeks to highlight and explore useful technologies and make some critical recommendations towards achieving this objective.

Solution layers

In the quest for an enginee
red, robust internet network based on the vast submarine fibre optic cable resources already ringing the African continent, the solution must be immune from any single or multiple points of failure.

A robust, resilient continental internet infrastructure must be complemented by an even more robust in-country engineered infrastructure based on on-land FO cables and microwave radio systems.

That is the only way to ensure that the final last-mile access to the customer is free of disruptions.

Thus, three distinct interconnected solution layers are identifiable. These being:

I. The African continental infrastructure,

II. In-country infrastructure.

African Continental Infrastructure

1.1 Current links

Several multiple submarine Fiber Optic cable systems currently ring Africa.

The total inventory of operational fibre optic cables reached 1.8 million km, and the total inbound international Internet bandwidth reached 26.9 Terabits per second (Tbps) as of June 2021.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 16.6Tbps, w
ith 91.7 per cent supplied directly via submarine FO cables.

North Africa accounts for the balance of 10.3 Tbps.

The usage recorded is still only a fraction of the total designed capacity of at least 406.5 Tbps available on the 31 submarine cable systems installed.

These figures are subject to rapid and significant change as several new cables are being installed today on the continent. (africanwirelesscomms.com)

Africa’s current submarine FO cable systems map illustrates the geo routes and capacities.

Diagram 1: African Undersea Cables (2023)

These are generally in three major FO cable groupings: the West Coast, East Africa, and the Mediterranean (Northern Africa).

The map illustrates the key landing cities of the continent’s multiple cable systems.

West Coast African cables generally terminate in Europe, London, Sisymbria, and Penmarch.

East Coast cables terminate in the Middle East and Asia, in cities such as Karachi and Mumbai.

Mediterranean Cable systems link Asia, typically Karachi and Mumbai,
to the east and European cities such as Marseille and Palermo to the west.

Cable Concentrations

An examination of Diagram 1: Africa Undersea Cable shows that most West Coast cable systems from Europe concentrate their landings in Lagos, Nigeria, Melkbosstrand, and Yzerfontein in South Africa.

However, Southern Africa terminated fibre cable from both the West Coast and East Coast of Africa, thus serving as a critical cross-connect between both cable systems.

The cross-connection remains crucial in engineering a more integrated, resilient, robust internet infrastructure for the continent.

Internet Provisioning

Almost all these fibre cable systems implement connectivity on a point-to-point basis, linking African cities individually via fibre optic cable pairs within the cable system to major global internet backbone infrastructure in these European cities.

Thus, Accra, and Lagos, on the SAT3 cable system, are linked via point-to-point cable pairs directly to the global internet Backbone located in Sisymbr
a, Portugal.

In other words, all internet traffic from Accra to Lagos, for instance, transits (routed) via Europe before arriving in Lagos.

A fibre pair cable within the SAT3 cable system originates from London and lands in Accra.

A redundant fibre optic cable pair continues from Accra to Lagos, Nigeria. That redundant fibre optic cable pairs from Accra to Lagos are usually not engineered to carry traffic.

As a result, any internet traffic from Accra headed to Lagos transitions to London before reaching Lagos, even though both Accra and Lagos are connected via the same SAT3 cable.

African Cites interconnect

Therefore, despite the many fibre cables, none appear to facilitate fibre pair links point-to-point between African cities.

This is typical for most of the cable systems that ring Africa.

This connection topology is crucial in understanding the reasons for the massive disruptions of March 2024, the difficulty in rerouting traffic onto alternative fibre cable systems, and the extended mean time to r
epair and restore service.

Ghana Experience

In the Ghanaian experience, the redundancy strategy for mobile network operators (MNO) and Internet service providers (ISP) was to connect to multiple alternative fibre optic cable systems available in Accra.

A case in point is MTN Ghana, which utilised fibre systems from SAT3/WASC, MainOne, and WACS.

All these cable systems were terminated in Europe, either Sisymbra, Portugal, or London, UK.

This redundancy strategy was considered adequate since simultaneous cuts of all three fibre optic cable systems were impossible.

However, the events of March 2024 have shown that that scenario was no longer credible.

Notably, at least one MNO, AirtelTigo, was unaffected by the March 2024 disruptions. Its entire traffic is routed south towards SA via East African cable systems to the global internet as opposed to Europe, where the cable cuts occurred.

This can be understood because their previous parent company was Asia-based.

Diversity

Therefore, if the MNO’s and ISP’
s redundancy strategy had dictated that at least one of the cables routed through SA to Asia, the cataclysmic disruption experienced by all the other significant MNOs would not have occurred or would have been minimised.

Examining the fibre optics cables that terminate in SA illustrates a diversified gateway redundancy strategy.

SA takes advantage of its geographical location to have fibre cable systems from both the West Coast, linked to Europe and the East African Cables, connected to the Middle East and Asia.

Therefore, in SA’s case, if the cables from the West failed, the East was always available, and vice versa.

SubmarineNetworks.com states it perfectly when it writes ‘The SAT-3/WASC and the West Africa Cable System (WACS) are most important international subsea cables in West Coast of Africa.

The WACS lands at the Yzerfontein CLS in Western Cape Town, the SAT-3/WASC lands at the Melkbosstrand CLS in Western Cape Town, South Africa, forming alternative gateways to South Africa.’

Multi-Gateway

The
experience of AirtelTigo, which did not suffer the March 2024 service disruption, coupled with the diversified gateway redundancy strategy of the SA cable architecture, offers the best lessons in proposing a solution for greater internet service resilience, stability, and vulnerability elimination.

The functional key phrase is the Diversified Multi-Gateway Redundancy Strategy.

Fail Proof Redundancy

A diversified multi-gateway redundancy strategy.

Cisco.com defines a multi-gateway setup as a network configuration with multiple exit points or gateways for the data to leave the local (in-country) network and reach other networks or the internet.

Besides redundancy and load balancing, multi-gateways’ true benefit in this context is the policy-based routing of internet traffic via different connected FO cable systems.

For a typical MNO operating in Ghana, the imaginary, hypothetical operator called MNO-1, implementing the diversified multi-gateway redundancy strategy would first entail choosing FO cables tha
t best deliver diversified terminations.

Thus, the fibre optic cables should typically terminate in Europe but also offer the capability to terminate in SA.

Further, the cable should provide terminations directly in the Americas.

Configuration

MNO-1’s internet access architecture, described below, illustrates how a Fail-proof, redundant, resilient internet platform MAY be designed.

MNO-1 chooses three fibre optic cable systems in this configuration to implement its resilient, failproof internet connectivity and redundancy strategy.

The MNO-1 cables are:

1. The WASC, 14.5-terabit bandwidth capacity

2. The ACE cable, 40-terabit bandwidth capacity

3. As the EQUIANO,144-terabits bandwidth OR the PanAfrican Cable system 2AFRICA, 180-terabits bandwidth.

WASC

WASC is the first cable. Configuration is as follows;

1. Connect di-directionally on the WASC, terminating directly into London, routing internet traffic to Europe and, by extension, North America.

2. On the same WASC, connect southbound to Yzerfon
tein, SA.

In SA, the WASC is cross-connected to East Africa cable systems such as DARE1 or PEACE, each with a 60-terabit bandwidth capacity. SA proper, the Middle East, and the Asia-bound internet use this route.

3. A third cable connection is possible on WASC, which links directly from Accra to Sangano, Angola.

This facilitates a cross-connect to the SACS, a 40-terabit cable system that terminates in Brazil and the Americas.

Thus, a diversified set of routed gateways is achieved on the single WASC: Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America.

ACE

ACE is the second fibre optic cable system deployed in the MNO-1 network architecture.

Similar to the WASC, it connects di-directionally, terminating in Penmarch, France, and Melkbosstrand, South Africa, where it cross-connects with East Africa cable systems as described above.

Thus far, the MNO-1 network architecture results in 2 independent, mutually exclusive connections to Europe: London on WASC and Penmarch on ACE.

The SA x2 independent connection
terminates at Yzerfontein for WASC and Melkbosstrand for the ACE cable.

The architecture includes a direct link to the American continent’s internet backbone via Brazil.

EQUIANO/2AFRICA

MNO-1 may deploy connectivity to the latest, most advanced fibre optic cable systems, EQUIANO or 2AFRICA.

It must be observed that, in the MNO-1 network architecture, neither of the three fibre optic cable systems is set up in a primary and redundancy role.

All cable systems are at a PEER level, and routing algorithms or policy-based routing are implemented to route internet traffic automatically to their final destinations based on route efficiency.

Route efficiency is determined by route latency and hop count.

EQUIANO or 2AFRICA cable systems are the latest, newest, and most advanced cable systems circumventing the African Continent. While global tech giant Meta backs the 2AFRICA cable system, Google backs EQUIANO.

Their respective web pages state that these new cables deploy the latest technologies for submarine cab
le systems, such as Space-Division Multiplexing (SDM), Optical switching at the fibre-pair level, and branching Units for connectivity extension.

These technology features enhance capacity and flexibility, significantly advancing Africa’s and global internet infrastructure.

Unfortunately, Ghana does not land the Equiano cable directly but via land-based fibre optic cables from Lome, Togo. Research currently does not indicate whether 2AFRICA lands directly in Ghana.

Disruption Analysis

An analysis of the architecture and configuration above, in light of the March 2024 disruptions, would result in near-zero downtime for internet traffic.

March 2024 disruption scenarios would play out as follows. With both WASC and ACE cables cut towards Europe, Europe-bound traffic would reroute for both cables via SA cross-connecting to East African cable systems to the Global Internet, albeit with slightly higher latency and route hops.

All other traffic, i.e., SA, Middle East, and Asia internet traffic, would not be af
fected.

American-bound traffic would also not be affected, as it is routed to the Americans’ backbone internet resources via Sangoro, Angola, which is cross-connected to Brail.

Similarly, should there be disruptions on the East Coast cable systems, Middle East and Asia traffic will be rerouted via the West Coast cable systems through the European internet backbone network.

So far, in this article, we have examined the African continental fibre optic cable systems, leveraging that to achieve a more robust, reliable, and resilient internet architecture for the Ghana-based hypothetical operator herein referred to as MNO-1.

Experts have examined the current redundancy configuration before the March 2024 disruption and illustrated the more resilient and technically superior multi-gateway routing architecture in contrast to the default single gateway routing, primary, and redundant cable configuration.

Of course, the Multi-Gateway architecture results in a much more complex implementation and programming of ma
ster border routers and switches. However, these complexities are quickly resolved using Cisco’s AI tools set or similar tools.

Continental Perspective

The proposed hypothetical solution for MNO-1 will be typical for any operator in any other African country looking to implement a more robust, resilient, and failproof internet architecture for its people.

However, what is clear is the failure of the numerous fibre optic cable providers to facilitate direct connectivity between the various African countries where their cable terminates.

This situation is, even more, exasperating for landlocked countries.

Such connectivity guarantees resilient, robust internet to every single African country, facilitating seamless connectivity between each country without recourse to the global internet infrastructure.

An Africa-centric Internet infrastructure, hypothetically named RingAfrica-1.

Therefore, the push for better internet provision on the continent should be a fundamental pursuit of an Africa-centric organis
ation such as the African Union for all Africans.

Ghana Connectivity Resilience

In the second part of this article, the author will examine the options available for engineering a more robust, resilient, and capable unified internet infrastructure for Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Wa Naa demands police investigative report on mysterious killings in Wa


Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, the Overlord of the Wala State, has requested the Upper West Regional Police Command to furnish the Traditional Council with the report on the mysterious killings, which plagued Wa in 2022.

The request followed the killing of two private security guards in Wa on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, which had caused fear and panic among the people in the region and Wa in particular.

A statement signed by Naa Pelpuo and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Wa on Wednesday, said they could not fight fresh killings in Wa without knowing what had happened to the people arrested in connection with similar killings in Wa about two years ago.

Nine people most of whom were private security guards were killed in Wa in 2022 and the police made some arrests but nothing had been heard about investigations of those cases to date.

‘The Traditional Council has as a matter of urgency, requested for an update on the investigations into the previous ritual murders.

We cannot fight against fresh murders if we
have no idea of what happened to those people apprehended after the previous ones,’ the statement explained.

The chief indicated that the silence of the police service on the previous killings had, to a large extent, dampened the spirit of volunteerism in many people.

The statement said the Traditional Council had also requested the National Security details in the Wa Municipality to work hand-in-hand with the team of young men in the Municipality ‘who know the terrain better’ since security was a shared responsibility.

Naa Pelpuo said during a joint meeting of the Traditional Council and the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, some measures had been taken to ensure no life was lost in Wa again.

The measures included beefing up security with support from the Headquarters of the Security Services, increasing security patrols and security visibility in the Municipality and providing light at all the dark areas of the Municipality, among others.

The statement added that the Tradi
tional Council had also directed landlords and hoteliers to report their guests who went out only at night for them to be investigated.

Naa Pelpuo, in the statement, appealed to the people to provide the security services in the municipality with relevant information to enable them maintain peace and security.

‘We are assuring you all that these measures are being undertaken in conjunction with others, which for security reasons, we cannot put in the public domain.

Go about your work without fear, but with vigilance. Above all, support the system and put in place with valuable information and the Wala State will be free of these heartless criminals,’ the statement added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Okada rider chops off farmer’s hand over misunderstanding


A 21-year-old Okada rider has chopped off one of the hands of Mr Enock Kabutey, a 28-year-old farmer at Amlakpo, in Ada over a misunderstanding on speed riding.

Maxwell Tsiani Osabutey, the Okada rider, allegedly severed the left hand of the victim, who had cautioned him and his friends to stop riding their motorcycles with speed through the township to prevent the occurrence of accidents.

Mr Moses Teye, an eyewitness, told the Ghana News Agency that, to force the riders to slow down, the victim and his team created a straight, shallow hole across the gravelled road.

He said that in retaliation, the Okada rider, together with others, also dug a hole near Kabutey’s house to register their displeasure over their attempt to slow their movement.

This, the witness said, resulted in an altercation, during which the suspect reportedly attacked a member of the victim’s team, who sustained some minor injuries.

The GNA further gathered that on the evening of Sunday, June 16, 2024, the victim and his friend attende
d a programme at a pub in Kasseh, where they were ambushed by the suspect and his associates, who threatened him.

On Monday, June 17, 2024, the suspect allegedly attacked the victim while he was sitting on a bridge at Amlakpo, and during the confrontation, he removed a cutlass from his motorbike and chopped off Kabutey’s left hand.

The victim was rushed to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment and later transferred to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The GNA learned that despite efforts to preserve the severed hand in ice for potential reattachment, the lack of an ambulance at the district hospital delayed the transfer to the teaching hospital, resulting in the inability to attach the severed hand.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Joseph Atsu Dzineku, the Ada Divisional Police Commander, confirmed the incident, stating that the suspect has since been arrested to assist with the investigation.

ACP Dzineku cautioned the public against taking the law into their own hands, stressing that ‘no matter
what the issue might be, it is not enough reason to take the law into your own hands.’

He also urged them to abstain from hard drugs and alcohol and encouraged them to report any issues to the police rather than seeking revenge.

Source: Ghana News Agency

ECOWAS Court President Receives West African Law Students Association, Ghana Chapter


The President of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, Honourable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, has met with the Executive Committee of the West African Law Students Association (WALSA), Ghana Chapter.

The meeting was held during the Sensitization and Training of Lawyers and Government Agents on the use of the ECOWAS Court Electronic Case Management System (ECMS) held in Accra Ghana between 14th and 19th June 2024.

The WALSA Ghana Chapter, led by the International Vice President Prince Roland Diamond Okorie, joined Justice Asante and other distinguished dignitaries for the three-day sensitization and training programme for the anglophone Lawyers and Government Agents held in Accra-Ghana between 14th and 19th June 2024.

At the sideline of the programme, the WALSA Executive Committee paid a courtesy visit to the President of the ECOWAS Court. The Association shared their vision, mission, and objectives with the President and underscored their commitment to advance justice and build a more connected West Af
rica. Thereafter, the Association extended an invitation to Justice Asante to attend their conference scheduled for October 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Honourable Justice Edward Amoako Asante, welcomed members of the Association and expressed his pleasure in meeting such a dedicated group of future legal professionals.

He enjoined the Association to stay focused on delivering on their objectives and shared valuable insights and ideas on how they could continue to advance their mission and goals.

He concluded by pledging his support to the Association.

The interaction with the President of the ECOWAS Court was a significant and an enriching experience for the WALSA members. The Association looks forward to future opportunities to engage with the ECOWAS Court of Justice, as they continue to grow and evolve in their legal careers and education.

Source: Ghana News Agency