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Benin and Ghana set to launch free roaming as ECOWAS pushes for lower communication costs

Thursday, 04 April 2024 19:07
Benin and Ghana set to launch free roaming as ECOWAS pushes for lower communication costs

(Ecofin Agency) - ECOWAS countries are forging ahead with agreements to implement common roaming initiatives, aiming to cut the costs of electronic communications within the region.

Benin and Ghana have pledged to implement free roaming to reduce communication costs for their citizens traveling between the two countries. Last week in Cotonou, a memorandum of understanding was signed by Benin's Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) and Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA).

"The two parties have agreed that this memorandum will come into effect on July 1, 2024. The operationalization will lead to a significant reduction in tariffs for Beninese and Ghanaian consumers when roaming," ARCEP announced in a statement on Sunday, March 31.

This effort aligns with the ECOWAS regulations on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Community, initiated in Praia, Cape Verde, in October 2017. However, its implementation faced delays due to several challenges, including the absence of direct links between telecom operators, high call termination rates, and fraud.

In June 2023, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire became the first ECOWAS countries to implement community roaming. Other countries in the region have also begun discussions with neighbors to comply with the initiative. For instance, Togo and Niger started talks last week expected to lead to a similar agreement in the coming months.

Once fully operational, community roaming is set to ease communications and accelerate ECOWAS's goal of using telecommunications as a tool for economic integration. This initiative is anticipated to facilitate the implementation of the protocol on the free movement of people, goods, and services, thereby enhancing active citizen participation in regional economic activities.



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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