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Ghana Implements Free Roaming Initiative With Benin on July 1

Ghana and Benin are set to implement the ECOWAS free-roaming initiative from July 1, 2024, after representatives of both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week.

The agreement was signed in Cotonou by Benin’s Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA).

“The two parties have agreed that this memorandum will come into effect on July 1, 2024. The operationalization will lead to a significant reduction in tariffs for Beninese and Ghanaian consumers when roaming,” Benin authorities said in a statement on Sunday, March 31.

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The signing of the MoU comes about a month after Ghana’s Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful announced plans to establish bilateral ECOWAS roaming services with Togo, Benin, and the Gambia following the successful implementation of a similar pact with Côte d’Ivoire in 2023.

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The initiative according to stakeholders, will cut the costs of electronic communications within the ECOWAS region. It’s likely prompted by last month’s internet outages that were experienced in most of West Africa, including Ghana.

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But in a much bigger picture, it is anticipated to facilitate the implementation of the protocol on the free movement of people, goods, and services, thereby enhancing active citizen participation in regional economic activities.

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