By Maurice Okore in Mombasa
Prices of broadband internet are likely to drop significantly when Uganda, South Sudan Kenya, and Rwanda extend the One Network Area to data and mobile money in 2016
One area network is a regional framework comprising countries that have agreed to eliminate additional taxes and levies on international calls within the region.
The One Area Network project is under the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Framework, which involves four countries, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Southern Sudan, but Tanzania might soon join the Network as plans were underway to have them integrated on the platform by June.
Speaking at Connected East Africa, the inaugural regional ICT conference in Mombasa, Kenya’s Cabinet secretary for ICT, Dr. Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i said that East African countries are working towards replicating the achievements of the One Area Network initiative.
“It is not true that internet prices are so high. Our region has the cheapest internet in the whole of Africa. Our problem as East Africa has been the different tax regimes. We are now in talks to harmonise tax regimes on data and mobile money,” Matiang’i said.
He added that governments in the region were determined to take broadband internet to the villages to help the youth to get connected.
“Expansion of broadband in Eastern Africa is a priority. Let us help the youth get connected. This is something that will help drive the economy of the region,” he said.
Cyber security, Matiang’i said was still a challenge and that the governments of the region have to work together to fight cybercrime. He added that Kenya was working on a new law on cybercrime to help create a secure environment for businesses.