Roaming between Togo and Gabon may soon incur no additional charges after an agreement between the two states, which was made last week but only reported in recent days.
The memorandum of understanding signed in Libreville, Gabon, means the abolition of roaming charges and a drastic reduction in prices for voice, data and SMS services while roaming, thus promoting the mobility of citizens of the two (non-neighbouring) countries in West Africa.
The regulators of the two countries are quoted by the Togo First news service as saying: “It will now be possible to use a Togolese SIM card in Gabon and vice versa without paying roaming charges.” In addition the two authorities have said that “receiving calls will now be free and calls made in the country visited will be billed at local rates excluding packages, ie up to 10 times cheaper than currently”.
This protocol is said to be part of the creation of a single African market within the Smart Africa Alliance, a partnership among 32 African countries aiming to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the African continent through usage of ICTs and through better access to broadband services.
Efforts to ease the burden of Africa’s roaming charges have been ongoing for some while. It's been about nine months since we reported that the West African Telecoms Regulators Assembly (WATRA) said it hoped to address the standardisation of roaming tariffs in the sub-region.
After agreeing to do so in 2020, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), of which Gabon is a part, abolished roaming charges among its members late last year.