(Ecofin Agency) - The removal of roaming charges is a significant concern in various economic zones in Africa. Just like ECOWAS, EAC, and SADC, they are increasing initiatives to establish a single network among their respective members.
Community roaming is now in effect between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Officially launched on June 14th, the initiative helps citizens of either country traveling to the other to keep their phone numbers and enjoy affordable rates, including free incoming calls.
"Following the successful launch of the service, subscribers traveling between both countries will be exempt from international roaming charges. This simply means that Ghanaian subscribers visiting Côte d'Ivoire will receive calls without paying roaming fees and will be charged Côte d'Ivoire's local rates when making calls to Ghana while in Côte d'Ivoire, and vice versa," Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA), explained.
Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire are the first two countries to implement Regulation No. C/REG.21/12/17 on roaming in the public mobile communications networks within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Both parties signed an agreement to this effect on February 22.
The two countries will also discuss with their other neighbors to implement community roaming. Last May, NCA signed an agreement with Togo's Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation Authority (ARCEP) for bilateral roaming. Other neighbors of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire include Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, and Mali.
It is worth noting that ECOWAS aims to accelerate the establishment of homogeneous roaming among its member states as part of its vision to make telecommunications a tool for economic integration. This will help facilitate the implementation of the protocol on the free movement of people, goods, and services, thereby bolstering citizens' active participation in all regional economic activities.
Isaac K. Kassouwi