It’s another score for affordable internet!
The Alliance for Affordable internet (A4AI), on April 2nd, 2014, welcomed a new African country into its list of members. A4AI has announced that it signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mozambican government at the AITEC Southern Africa ICT Forum in Maputo, making Mozambique the first country in Southern Africa to join A4AI, and the third developing country to sign an MOU with the Alliance, with Nigeria and Ghana.
Although Mozambique has made progress in infrastructure and policy development in recent years, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that a fixed-line broadband connection still costs around 1.5 times the average monthly salary for a Mozambican, while the basic mobile broadband package costs between 40 percent and 66 percent of regular monthly income. Mozambique’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, A4AI and stakeholders across Mozambique will work closely together to drive down these high Internet access rates via policy and regulatory reform.
Pedro Augusto Ingles, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, signed the document on behalf of Mozambique. Also present were Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of A4AI, and Representatives from Nigeria, Sweden, the UK and the US, and other A4AI member organisations.
Earlier in the year…
In February, LIRNEasia, Mozambique Ministry of Transport and Communications, Volunteer in Nigeria and TechAide (Ghana) joined the A4AI.
While On the 11th of March, A4AI held the Second African National Coalition in Nigeria, welcoming more than 80 influential Nigerians from the tech and other sectors at its multi-stakeholder forum in Abuja. Stakeholders representing government ministries, private companies and other interested parties came together to discuss and find ways to overcome the major obstacles to internet affordability in Nigeria.
General consensus was reached on the following initial areas for support and engagement through the A4AI-Nigeria coalition:
- Pricing transparency
- Open access framework and infrastructure sharing
- Harmonization and rationalization of taxes across local, state and national levels.
- Spectrum policy
- Data collection and indicators (M&E)
- USF efficiency and collaboration among stakeholders
Detailed information of the coalition can be found on the A4AI-Nigeria Coalition webpage.