Holding the country’s first Mozambican Country Forum organised by the A4AI, the formation of a national coalition has been seen as the first step towards reducing the cost of access in Mozambique.
“Guided by the global experience of its 60+ members – which include the likes of Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Omidyar Network and Yahoo – and international best practice, A4AI will then work alongside the national coalition to support the development and implementation of the changes needed to make affordable broadband access for all a reality,” the AAI said in a media statement.
According to statistics from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), less than 5% of Mozambican citizens make use of the internet, which is a driving force for the AAI. The biggest reason for the low uptake in internet use is because of the costs involved – a basic mobile broadband subscription costs over 65% of average monthly income.
Mozambique is only the third country to have joined the A4AI by signing a formal memorandum of understanding with A4AI in April.
“Mozambique is the first SADC nation to become an Alliance member, and joins Ghana and Nigeria in publicly committing to develop and implement key policy and regulatory changes designed to force down the cost of Internet access for all.”
Sonia Jorge, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet commented that the meetings held in the capital city of Maputo is a great step towards empowering the nation, and bringing information to those who previously couldn’t afford it.
“[It is] an important step on Mozambique’s march toward universal access. By starting this process of open dialogue between the government, the private sector, and the range of other in-country stakeholders, Mozambicans will have the opportunity to work together to implement the regulatory changes needed to ensure a more affordable and accessible Internet for all. We are excited to embark on this journey together with the newly-formed Mozambican national coalition of A4AI, and are confident that increased access to affordable broadband will have positive effects for citizens across the country.”[Source – A4AI]