I hope SADC leaders are taking note of current developments in West Africa. From January next year citizens of any of the 15 countries belonging to the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) region will no longer pay roaming charges when visiting a neighbouring country.
The ECOWAS Roaming Initiative as its creatively named is meant to ensure affordable access to roaming services for voice, SMS and data services for customers within the region.
The hope is that the agreement will help promote cross border investments and also to encourage competition among operators. It’s not clear if this means officials hope that a Ghanian can use a Nigerian network in Ghana for instance. If that is the case it definitely will encourage competition since networks are competing regionally and not just within their borders.
From January 1, 2020, all ECOWAS citizens travelling within the region will experience no roaming tariffs but will roam at local ratesGhana’s Minister of Communications – Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful
This roaming agreement ties-in well with the proposed Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement which will be a free trade area among 54 of the 55 African Union nations. At least that’s what is on paper. We will see how it is executed…
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