The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ministers in charge of Telecommunications and Information Communications Technology (ICT) have approved free regional roaming regulation for member states.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja and made available to The Daily Times shows that the endorsement of the regional roaming regulation was made during the 15th Meeting of the ministers which held on the 6th of October, in Praia, Cabo Verde.

The statement said the ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecoms and ICT, Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa, described the decision as “historic and something expected to touch the lives of ordinary ECOWAS citizens and bring tremendous contributions to our regional integration process as we strive to establish a single digital market in the sub-region and as we move from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of people.”

It was gathered that the approved free regional roaming regulation includes a clear implementation roadmap which will start at the beginning of 2018.

“Also during the ministerial meeting, a number of other important decisions were also made to foster the development of the ICT sector in West Africa. This includes a revised supplementary act on Universal Access and Service and its funding for digital access.

“In addition to these is a list of laboratories selected for the accreditation of DTT decoders in the region to ensure compliance with the ECOWAS adopted standards; Regional Spectrum Coordination Committee, etc.

“Another important subject discussed during this meeting was the promotion of cyber security in West Africa and the ECOWAS cyber security agenda.

This initiative aims at assisting ECOWAS member states to develop their national cyber security strategies, to establish national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as to improve cyber legislation and train judges prosecutors, law enforcement agents, etc.

“Experts from ECOWAS member states had met in Praia from 2nd to 5th October 2017, preparatory to the ministerial meeting,” ECOWAS statement said.

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