Ghana and Benin Reportedly Agree to Free Roaming To Help Cut Communication Costs for Travellers

Ghana and Benin reportedly agree to free roaming to help cut communication costs for travelers. Benin and Ghana have reached an agreement to introduce free roaming services, allowing citizens to communicate more affordably while traveling between the two countries.

Ghana and Benin Agree to Free Roaming

Ghana and Benin Agree to Free Roaming

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Benin’s Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority, the two countries have agreed to implement free roaming services starting July 1, 2024.

This initiative aims to significantly reduce roaming costs for customers traveling between Ghana and Benin.

This decision is in line with the regulations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding roaming within the region’s public mobile communication networks.

These regulations were established in Praia, Cape Verde, in October 2017 but faced challenges in implementation, including the lack of direct links between telecom operators, high call termination rates, and fraud.

The Role of ECOWAS in This Development

Aliyu Yusuf Aboki, the Executive Secretary of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA), mentioned in a May 2023 interview with BusinessDay that 13 ECOWAS member states have amended their telecom legislation to waive roaming surcharges.

Harmonizing tariff regulations is expected to facilitate trade, especially in addressing cross-border trade challenges related to connectivity and data access.

“I believe it would boost trade and economic activities, and in terms of the digital economy, it would open a lot of doors for more businesses to thrive, especially SMEs. When traders arrive in any country in West Africa, they can continue using their phones to do business- check prices, communicate with staff, suppliers, partners, etc- without bothering about higher costs,” he further revealed

Other West African Nations to Take Steps to Enhance Communication and Reduce Roaming Charges

Previously, Ghana and Benin, along with other West African nations, have taken steps to enhance communication and reduce roaming charges. In June 2023, Ghana engaged in bilateral discussions with Côte d’Ivoire to implement free-roaming initiatives, becoming the first ECOWAS country to do so.

This move aimed to foster greater integration among member states and alleviate roaming charges within the subregion.

Benin and Togo’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) To Help Facilitate Free International Mobile Network Roaming

Similarly, in October 2023, Benin and Togo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate free international mobile network roaming between the two countries. These collaborative efforts reflect a broader commitment to improving communication networks and promoting connectivity across West Africa.



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