Home News Economic Integration: ECOWAS Seeks Seamless Communication In Sub-region 

Economic Integration: ECOWAS Seeks Seamless Communication In Sub-region 

Economic Integration: ECOWAS Seeks Seamless Communication In Sub-region 


Princess-Ekwi Ajide  Abuja


In its bid to ensure a seamless communication within the West African sub-region, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Parliament, has commenced processes that would ease difficulties associated with roaming within the ECOWAS sub-region.

The Regional Parliament through the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohamed Tunis, at a Delocalised Meeting of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications and Information Technology/Education, Science and Culture/Trade Customs and Free Movement in Niamey, Niger Republic, said issues concerning telecommunications, mobile roaming and its tariffs are critical and constitute major ingredients in the ECOWAS Integration Process.


According to Tunis, a study on Mobile Internet Adoption in West Africa, conducted by the Bonn Institute of Labour Economics in 2021, found that the widespread adoption and use of digital technologies have multifold potential for the sub-region.


He said the study, recorded benefits such as improved financial inclusion through mobile money applications, enhanced access to job opportunities from more effective delivery of basic services through e-government applications, as well as expanded access to markets through e-commerce.

Tunis lamented that none of the benefits would be achievable without standardizing the tariff regime in the sub-region and making it cheaper, given that free communication is the anchor fot free movement of people, goods and services and intra-regional trade.


He said that data from the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) showed that at the end of 2021, 515 million people subscribed to mobile services in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46 percent of the population, estimating an additional 100 million new subscribers by 2025, taking the total number of subscribers to 613 million, which is 50 percent of the region’s population.

The ECOWAS Parliament Speaker however said the burden or cost of connectivity served as a great disincentive for mobile adoption and penetration especially in the case for mobile roaming services in the ECOWAS sub-region.


Speaker of the Republic of Niger National Assembly, Seini Oumarou, on his part, expressed happiness that the meeting is looking into such a relevant subject as the roaming of telephone communications in the sub-region.

According to him, the subject is all the more relevant since communication systems using new technologies constitute real support measures for all efforts to the development and above all vectors, par excellence of the integration of the African space.


He said within countries, the system must be able to allow any user access the telephone network anywhere, even if the operator to which he subscribes is not accessible.



On the other hand, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, said the catalytic role of telecommunications networks in facilitating regional integration cannot be overemphasized.


The President of the ECOWAS Commission, represented by the  ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Douka Sediko, said, mobile technology has offered great opportunity to connecting community citizens easily.


He however noted that despite the ubiquity of the technology, West Africa still faces several other challenges in the ICT sector, including: the penetration rate of unique mobile subscribers in the region which is on an average of 50 percent of the population.


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