(Ecofin Agency) - Burkinabe telecom users staged a protest in April against operators and their services, which were deemed too expensive. Despite commitments made by telecom companies, consumers have seen little improvement three months later.
Starting August 8, telecommunication consumers will start a fresh protest campaign against Burkinabe mobile operators Moov Africa, Orange, and Telecel. The announcement was made by the platform of human rights defense associations in Burkina Faso during a press conference on Thursday, July 20.
Joseph Ouédraogo (photo, center), president of the platform, explained, "We will begin this campaign with Moov Africa on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, followed, one week later, by a boycott of Orange on Tuesday, August 15, and finally Telecel on Tuesday, August 22." Subscribers are urged to disconnect from the mobile network for 5 hours from 7 am to 12 pm as a sign of protest.
This new wave of protests is presented as "Act 2" of an operation called "Vent du salut" (Wind of Salvation), which started in mid-April to denounce the high costs of services provided by Burkinabe telecom operators. At the instigation of the Regulatory Authority for Communications and Posts (ARCEP), telecom companies made commitments to address consumer concerns.
They decided to increase the volume of regular Internet packages by 10%, improve the customer experience, reorganize their offers for better clarity, and enhance customer support. However, protesters view these initiatives as "small steps forward, falling far short of our expectations."
With this new movement, telecom consumers hope to achieve reduced service costs and improved quality. Affordable costs and enhanced offers should accelerate Internet usage and adoption in Burkina Faso. According to ARCEP data, Internet penetration was at 65.38% in the second quarter of 2022, and mobile telephony penetration reached 111.69%.
Isaac K. Kassouwi