Ghana implements ECOWAS free roaming initiative with Cote d’Ivoire

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The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, announced on Sunday, February 18, 2024, that Ghana has successfully implemented the ECOWAS free roaming initiative in collaboration with Cote d’Ivoire.

The initiative aims to enhance integration and foster international connectivity between the two nations.

Speaking at a press briefing under the theme, ‘Digital Infrastructure to Bridge the Digital Divide,’ Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful revealed that the initiative, initially adopted in 2016, faced challenges in its implementation.

However, she disclosed that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire overcame obstacles and became the first ECOWAS member states to implement the ECOWAS free roaming in June 2023.

The initiative focuses on promoting greater integration among ECOWAS member states and reducing roaming charges within the sub-region. With this development, citizens of both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire can access the internet without incurring international charges.

Additionally, individuals can make and receive calls while being charged at the local rate of the country they are currently in.

The successful implementation is expected to contribute to improved 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. In June 2023, we went into a bilateral discussion with Cote 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.”

“This simply means that Ghanaian subscribers of any network in Ghana visiting Cote d’Ivoire will receive calls without paying any international roaming charges and will be charged the Cote d’Ivoire local rate when making calls to Ghana while in Cote d’Ivoire and vice versa. Subscribers traveling between both countries also be exempt from international roaming charges.”

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful further explained that Ghana has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Togo to implement a similar initiative and hoping for the results by the end of the first quarter of the year [2024]

Additionally, she said, the National Communication Authority has received calls from Benin and Gambia to establish a similar bilateral process.

“Following the successful execution of this agreement between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana has also signed an MoU with Togo to start the process of implementing this service between them by the end of the first quarter of the year. The NCA has also been approached by Benin and Gambia to establish a similar bilateral ECOWAS roaming service. ”

This she said will facilitate trade and interactions between citizens of these countries and give meaning to regional integration.

 

 

citinewsroom.com

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