Monday, July 21, 2014

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda: " Appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi "

Africa Top Success reports

Telephony: Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda adopting a common local rate

Good news for the Rwandan, Kenyan and Ugandan consumers. Up from 1st. September 2014, the communication between these three countries will be charged in local rate. This was the decision that was just taken during the 6th. summit of the “North Corridor Integration“.

This is an excellent initiative.
With the initiative “One-network-aera“, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda removed the telephone communication borders. From 1st. September 2014, the mobile phones users will no more need roaming during their travels in these three countries. The communication costs will be the same as if they were in their country of origin.
As a Vodafone user it pisses me off that I can't avoid roaming charges when traveling in countries that Vodafone operates in.
Vodafone owns and operates networks in 21 countries and has partner networks in over 40 additional countries. Its Vodafone Global Enterprise division provides telecommunications and IT services to corporate clients in over 65 countries. "
The usual way of dealing with the telecom's price gouging is to have a second phone and purchasing an alternate sim card when you arrive at your destination. Phones with multiple sim's are common in Africa although that has more to do with infrastructure reliability.

The South Sudan will join three aforesaid countries before the end of the year, according to a communiqué relayed by Jeune Afrique Magazine. According to the same source, this new initiative will reduce at 60 % the cost of the telephone communication between the signatory countries of the agreement.
The initiative should be expanded to include all the remaining Great Lakes Nations, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia. It will be interesting to watch the economic benefits that accrue from this, they should be significant.

The Rwandan government indicated that “mobile phone operators will have to renegotiate their bilateral agreements to assure the complete implementation of the agreement within the indicated dates.
A bit ironic for this blog but well done Rwanda. Telecom's are notoriously reluctant to alter their business models, if they won't innovate then I have no issues with a bit of government intervention.

Let us remind that Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda signed several agreements that facilitate the free circulation of their populations. Since 1st. January 2014, three countries have adopted a common tourist visa.
This will certainly complement the visa effort. The challenge will be extending these gains across the remaining Great Lakes member nations and breaking down barriers to growth caused by international borders.

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