State Decries High Mobile Roaming Charges in East Africa

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Image Credit: BBC

THE government is concerned over the high mobile roaming charges within East Africa saying it poses a challenge to the growth of the regional communication sector.

Acting Ministry of information and communications PS Bruce Madete said it is quite discouraging that the mobile roaming charges between Kenya and Burundi are much higher than between Kenya and United Kingdom or between Kenya and India.

Madete who spoke at the official opening of the East African Communications Organizations said the high charges negate the drive towards regional integration and act as a disincentive to communication
and trade.

“We cannot attain our ultimate goal of becoming a single market if this situation is allowed to persist,” said Madete.

He said in order to take advantage on the opportunities presented by broadband,the government needs to fast track the development of National Addressing Systems in the region.

“These systems shall prepare the post to harness the emerging business opportunities that the uptake of e-commerce presents,”Madete said.

He said this will go along way in ensuring that the post remains relevant in the increasingly digitalised world adding that Kenya is already implementing and addressing system for Nairobi on a pilot basis.

Madete called on East African Organizations to share experiences and best practice in ICT regulation development. He said this is important in ensuring that the countries learn from the success of the peers and avoid repeating mistakes. CCK director general Francis Wangusi said technological progress and
innovations have taken the centre stage as long term drivers of economic
growth especially in developing countries.

“ICTs have have been in the forefront of these developments that have impacted both the economic as well as social spheres in our lives,”Wangusi said.

He added that ICTs are now being deployed to facilitate better delivery of services in health,education and governance among others.

Source: The Star

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