African ICT Foundation pushes for a unified internet tariff in East Africa
The African ICT Foundation (AfICTF) East Africa Regional Executive Council has called for the adoption of a unified telecoms tariff for voice and data across all mobile telephone networks in the region.
Unlike in West Africa and other regions, where the operators charge a different tariff for voice and data, the Executive Council for East Africa said part of its key mandate for the region would be a push for the adoption of a unified pricing system of telecoms tariff for the region.
At their first regional meeting via webinar and chaired by its Regional Director, Dr. Hago Elteraifi Mohamed Dafalla, the Executive Council pledged to work with internet operators in the countries of the region for a unified price of services.
According to the Executive Council, the East African region is lagging behind other regions, noting that it needs to work assiduously to achieve its goals for the region.
Daffala explained that when operational, a unified telecoms tariff would encourage people to use the internet service saying, “We can make discussions with ISPs in the region and see if we can reduce the cost of the internet service.”
The Executive Council also promised to focus on the training of East Africans on ICT skills as well as start a sensitization on ICT education and its important noting that it would be working with students in schools and the youth training them on ICT.
The Executive Council noted that focus would be on Ethiopia or Kenya or Uganda where there is more infrastructure saying that Executive Council members would soon be contacting ISPs in their countries or identify stakeholders to partner with in achieving the goals.
While calling for the improvement of infrastructure to address the digital divide challenge in the Region, the Council said it is working on a physical meeting soon.