July 27, 2021

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin said the West African sub-region can achieve regional development through the use of ICT tools hence the need to address concerns in respect of mobile roaming services.

According to him 2018 World Bank report indicates that there are over 320 million mobile subscribers in the sub region, however the uptake of mobile data remains a serious challenge.

And most of the ECOWAS nationals who travel to other countries in the sub-region have to pay higher premiums on mobile usage, while others have to change their sim cares to have access to the network available in their new destination.

He made these remarks at the opening of ECOWAS Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology, on the theme, “Telecommunications and Information Technology (TIT) in Achieving Regional Development, Peace and Security and Human Rights’’ in Winneba.

We can only achieve regional development by ensuring that the Regulation on Roaming on Public Mobile Communications Networks in the ECOWAS Space, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 16th December 2017 is implemented.

These regulations are intended to reduce charges paid by ECOWAS citizens for communication services while roaming within the community, it is therefore more imperative now than ever to deploy the use of telecommunications and information technology to advance all sectors of one’s economy and also promote the development of the sub-region.

“If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology, and must also leave them with the gimps of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it”.

Cybercrime and the insecurity in the maritime space in the Gulf of Guinea, are issues that require immediate attention. For this reason, countries in the sub-region through data collection and data sharing are strengthening their collaboration and existing co-operation with International Agencies such as (INTERPOL) and the West Africa Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), in order to combat cross border crimes and terrorism.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com