14 August 2014

East Africa: EAC States to Scrap Roaming Charges in October

Nairobi — East African Community (EAC) Heads of State are set to launch the waiving of roaming charges in the five partner member states in October 2014.

Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i says the presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda will converge in Kampala October 9, 2014 to endorse the waiver of the roaming charges.

Matiang'i says discussions have been ongoing to do away with the interconnectivity fees charged by mobile networks for calls and data originating from another country.

He says the waiver will see calling rates in the five EAC member-states drop by 60 percent beginning September 2014.

"The Heads of State approved to eliminate roaming charges within the partner member states in a summit in Kigali. This will see a call to Uganda or Rwanda charged like a local call," he said.

Kenya has been pushing for favourable call rates within the EAC, with the private sector saying that the high call rates are a barrier to trade.

This is expected to increase cross-border trade and exchanges.

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