Ghana and Benin Sign a Bilateral Roaming Agreement

NCA and ARCEP ink deal for ECOWAS roaming, boosting cross-border communication, business, tourism, and social ties.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et de la Poste (ARCEP) of Benin, have signed a bilateral roaming service agreement. The agreement was signed on 27th March, 2024 in Cotonou, Benin.

The agreement is for the implementation of the regulation on roaming on mobile communications networks within the ECOWAS region and it is intended for the respective Mobile Network Operators in Ghana and Benin to collaborate on the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Free Roaming Initiative.

Welcoming the delegation from Ghana, the Executive Secretary of ARCEP, Dr. Hervé Coovi Guedegbe, indicated Benin’s commitment to collaborate with the NCA and other Member States to facilitate a smooth implementation of the ECOWAS Free Roaming services in the sub-region. He further expressed satisfaction for the progress made by NCA and ARCEP to pilot the service toward its full implementation.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of ARCEP, Mr. Flavien Bachabi, also commended Ghana and Benin for the significant progress made towards the implementation of the ECOWAS Free Roaming Initiative and urged other ECOWAS members to speed up efforts in ensuring the realisation of the initiative proposed by the ECOWAS Ministers of Telecommunications, ICT, Digitalisation and Posts during their meeting in Niger in 2016.

Speaking on behalf of the NCA, the Deputy Director General for Technical Operations, Prof. Ezer Osei Yeboah-Boateng, said the NCA is committed to partnering with ARCEP to leverage telecommunications as a tool for regional integration and economic growth. He added that Ghana is optimistic that the implementation of the proposed bilateral agreement would facilitate seamless cross-border communication for consumers in Ghana and Benin, thereby promoting business, tourism, and social ties at reduced costs.

Prof. Yeboah-Boateng also said, in 2019, the Government of Ghana amended the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) to exempt incoming intracommunity roaming traffic within the ECOWAS region from the minimum rate of USD$0.19 for incoming electronic communication traffic to demonstrate the country’s commitment towards the ECOWAS “Free” Roaming Initiative within the ECOWAS Sub-region.

In the coming weeks, the MNOs from both countries will continue to work collaboratively to address all outstanding issues to allow for activation and testing of the agreed roaming services in both countries prior to the launch of the service in July 2024 in Accra.

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