Africa: Towards free roaming between Benin and Ghana

Two West African nations are coming together to lower communication costs for their citizens. Bénin and Ghana have committed to implementing free roaming to allow citizens of either country traveling in the other to communicate at reduced rates. A memorandum of understanding was signed last week in Cotonou by the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services of Bénin (ARCEP) and the National Communications Authority of Ghana (NCA).

«The two parties have agreed for this memorandum of understanding to take effect on 1 July 2024. The operationalization of this agreement will result in a significant reduction in tariffs applied to Béninese and Ghanaian consumers in roaming situations», stated ARCEP.

This initiative is part of the ECOWAS regulation on roaming on public mobile communication networks within the Community.

The project was conceived in Praia, Cape Verde, in October 2017. Its effective implementation has been hindered by several obstacles, including the lack of direct links between telecom operators and high call termination rates.

It is worth noting that in June 2023, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire became the first ECOWAS countries to implement community roaming.

Other countries in the sub-region have also initiated discussions with their neighbors, at varying stages, to comply with this regulation.

For example, Togo and Niger began discussions last week, expected to lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding in this regard in the coming months.

Once implemented, community roaming should streamline communications and accelerate ECOWAS’s ambition to make telecommunications a tool for economic integration.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *