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Overview of the “Establishment of Emergency Communications Systems Instrument, 2020”

On 23rd March 2020, the President of the Republic of Ghana gave his assent to Executive Instrument 63 which brought the “Emergency Communications System Instrument, 2020” into force. The aim of the Executive Instrument to assist the Government in its fight against the Coronavirus by establishing an “emergency communications system to trace all contacts of persons suspected of or actually affected by public health emergency and identify places visited by persons suspected or actually affected by the public health emergency.”

And here is what the President requires of the telecom operators.  First, the Executive Instrument requires the telecom operators to make their systems available to the government for the mass dissemination of information in the case of an emergency.  And secondly to cooperate with the National Communications Authority Common Platform to provide information to state agencies in the case of an emergency. 

But in terms of specifics, the Executive Instrument requires Telecom Operators to provide the state/ National Communications Authority with the following information: 

  1. All caller and called numbers
  2. Merchant Codes (i.e. a specific code assigned to a merchant by a mobile money operator for payment on platform)
  3. Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number codes 
  4. International Mobile Equipment Identity Codes and Site locations (which is a unique code a mobile device bears and with which it can be identified)
  5. All roaming files 
  6. Location log files 

The Executive Instrument also establishes a Central Subscriber Identity Module Register, which in plain language, is a centralised database where you can find all validly registered subscriber Module Cards and numbers on all mobile network and service providers in the country. In addition to the Central Equipment Identity Register, a Central Equipment Identity Register is established for information on all validly registered terminal equipment on all networks of mobile and service providers in the country. Terminal devises are basically devises that are used to process large amount of data in a speedy manner such as a servers and hardware devises. 

Click to download Executive Instrument below

Samuel Alesu-Dordzi

Samuel Alesu-Dordzi

Samuel Alesu-Dordzi is an Editor of the Ghana Law Hub.

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