ECOWAS holds key meeting in Abuja, sets stage for reduced mobile costs across West Africa

The 14th Focal Point Meeting of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) gathered in Abuja, Nigeria, yesterday to accelerate progress on the implementation of the ECOWAS Regulation on Roaming, a pivotal step towards reducing mobile communication costs across West Africa.

Over two days, representatives from ECOWAS Member States convened to evaluate advancements in lowering voice, SMS, and mobile internet charges for regional travelers, underscoring the region’s commitment to unified telecommunications cooperation.

Initiated by the ECOWAS Commission, the meeting welcomed delegates from Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities and the Secretariat of the West African Assembly of Telecommunications Regulators (WATRA).

Mr. Mawuli Amoa, speaking on behalf of Mr. Sédiko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitalization, emphasized the paramount importance of collaborative efforts in delivering tangible benefits to consumers navigating the region.

Mr. Amara Brewah, Director-General of Sierra Leone’s National Communications Authority (NatCA) and Chairman of WATRA’s Executive Committee, applauded the Commission’s initiative in organizing the gathering. He urged Member States to exchange insights on regulatory strategies that effectively drive down roaming costs, promoting seamless cross-border communication.

Highlighting the urgency of removing communication barriers in a region committed to free movement of people, Mr. Lanciné Fofana, Focal Point of Ivory Coast’s Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications/ICT, stressed collective action towards implementing the ECOWAS Regulation on Roaming.

Throughout the meeting’s agenda, discussions centered on reviewing progress reports from prior sessions, assessing the status of NRA implementations, and sharing successful regulatory practices, including bilateral agreements among regulators.

The anticipated outcome of this assembly is a comprehensive report detailing each country’s progress in implementing the Regulation, to be presented to ECOWAS Ministers responsible for Telecommunications/ICT. This report will guide regional efforts in consolidating reduced roaming costs and fostering greater connectivity across West Africa.

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