The ECOWAS Parliament
has called for the immediate implementation of the Regulation on Roaming on Public Mobile Communications Networks in the ECOWAS Space to crash the outrageous charges of mobile networks on transborder communication in the West African sub-region
It also noted that ECOWAS can only achieve regional development by ensuring that the Regulation on Roaming on Public Mobile Communications Networks in the ECOWAS Space, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 16th December 2017 is implemented.
Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin mad this call while declaring open the delocalized meeting of ECOWAS Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology.
This regulation he said is intended to reduce charges paid by ECOWAS citizens for communication services while roaming within the community.
“According to the World Bank report 2018, there are over 320 million mobile subscribers in the Sub-region. However, the uptake of mobile data in the sub-region remains a serious challenge. It is a fact that most of the ECOWAS nationals
who travel to other countries in the sub-region have to pay higher premiums on mobile usage, while others have to change their sim cards to have access to the network available in their new destination,” he further explained.
He added that it is no gainsaying that telecommunications and information technology is fast becoming a driving force in today’s digital ecosystem by seamlessly connecting communities, businesses, and governments.
He explained that, “It is therefore more imperative now than ever to deploy the use of telecommunications and information technology to advance all sectors of one’s economy and also promote the development of the sub-region. Technology and ICT are indeed very useful and critical in propelling our sub-region forward, whether in the area of peace, development, education, health delivery, agriculture, etc. We must however bear in mind that whilst technology is extremely good for development, the human touch cannot be replicated. Thus, whilst we strive to inject a lot more technology and ICT into our approaches, we should bear in mind the quote by Lyndon B. Johnson, Former President of the United States of America, which reads “If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them with a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it”.
He conclueded that the theme for the meeting, is “the Role of Telecommunications and Information Technology (TIT) in Achieving Regional Development, Peace and Security and Human Rights’’.