Rwanda, Gabon Launch One Area Network

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Rwanda, Gabon

Call rates to Gabon from Rwanda are set to go down significantly following the recent launch of a one area network between the two countries.

The initiative, launched by President Paul Kagame and his Gabonese counterpart Ali Bongo, will see both countries scrap roaming charges, thus allowing their citizens enjoy reduced call rates.

President Kagame said the development will serve greatly to integrate the continent and enable citizens of the two countries communicate cheaply.

“When integrating, why should one pay roaming charges when travelling to the next country? Of course we want to treat the integrated region as one area where you can be served without making it very expensive,” he said.

Going forward, he said, such developments and digital integration would serve to achieve the goal of having a single digital market.

“The One Area Network marks one step forward toward our goal of having a single digital market for Africa. I hope to see more of these launches to serve our citizens, to communicate more cheaply,” Kagame said.

A similar initiative implemented in the Northern Corridor region, covering Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, was found to have increased mobile traffic by about 800 per cent, consequently increasing profits of operators in the region.

The President reminded leaders that they had a task and purpose to speak boldly to ensure that the internet creates new opportunities for everyone.

To achieve affordable and accessible internet, he noted the importance of involving the private sector.

The alliance has 11 member countries that had committed to put ICT at the centre of their socio-economic development and started in 2013 at the inaugural Transform Africa Summit.

Calling on other African countries to consider joining the Alliance, the President said more members would only multiply benefits to member countries.

Smart Africa Alliance Executive Secretary, Dr Hamadoun Toure, said that implementing the alliance’s agenda was part of the ways to actualise the dreams of African Union founding fathers.

By working closely to form a single market, Toure said Africa would be in a better position to attract multinationals operating in the ICT sector as well as be in a better position to negotiate better deals with the firms.

The Smart Africa alliance targets to attract at least $300 billion worth of investments in ten years.


Source: The New Times

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