Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire implement ECOWAS free roaming initiative

Article Image
Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire have successfully implemented the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) free roaming initiative. Under the ECOWAS initiative, citizens of both Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire can now use mobile services in each other's countries without incurring international roaming charges.

ECOWAS is a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa and its aim is to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc through the creation of a full economic and trading union.

During a press conference announcing the initiative, Ghana's minister for communications and digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said people can make and receive calls while being charged at the local rate of the country they are currently in.

Furthermore, she said, the implementation of the initiative will contribute to improving international connectivity and collaboration within the ECOWAS region.

"Ghana has also taken a bold step to implement the free roaming initiative, which was adopted in 2016 but suffered implementation challenges," Owusu-Ekuful added.

"In June 2023, we went into a bilateral discussion with Côte d'Ivoire to implement this initiative and the two countries became the first ECOWAS countries to implement the free roaming initiative to promote greater integration among member states and decrease roaming charges within the sub-region," she explained.

Under the ECOWAS initiative, citizens of both Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire can now use mobile services in each other's countries without incurring international roaming charges.   (Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik)
Under the ECOWAS initiative, citizens of both Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire can now use mobile services in each other's countries without incurring international roaming charges.
(Source: Image by wirestock on Freepik)

"This simply means that Ghanaian subscribers of any network in Ghana visiting Côte d'Ivoire will receive calls without paying any international roaming charges and will be charged the Côte d'Ivoire local rate when making calls to Ghana while in Côte d'Ivoire and vice versa," she added.

Moreover, she said, subscribers travelling between both countries also be exempt from international roaming charges.

ECOWAS connecting citizens

This is not the first time that Ghana has been involved in such an initiative. In November 2023, Ghana's National Communications Authority and Togo's Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications agreed to establish bilateral roaming services between the two countries. That agreement will activate bilateral roaming services between Ghana and Togo under the ECOWAS "free" roaming regulations and is expected to be executed by March 2024.

There has been an influx of ECOWAS member states either signing deals toward connecting the underserved or working toward infrastructure upgrades recently.

In October 2023, submarine fiber optic telecommunications company Pioneer Consulting completed deployment of the Togolese branch of Google's Equiano subsea cable on CSquared Woezon's behalf.

Senegal's government and the Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM) partnered with digital platform RIDE Space to launch the country's first satellite, GAINDESAT, also in October 2023.

Another ECOWAS member state, Sierra Leone, saw telecommunications operator Orange announcing in October 2023 that it would pilot 5G in the country's capital of Freetown.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Ghana Minister of Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful. (Source: Ghana Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation website.)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Four agritech startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of four agritech startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Paymentology looks to strengthen its African roots

Global issuer-processor Paymentology's CEO Jeff Parker spoke to Connecting Africa about the company's African roots and aspirations to work with more banks, fintechs and enterprises both on the continent and globally.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in February 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included 5G launches in Senegal and 5G trials in Egypt as well as Kenya's first 5G MVNO. Airtel also launched a new wholesale connectivity business while MTN and Huawei are planning a joint Innovation Technology Lab in South Africa – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002