The Information, Communications and Technology Ministers of Namibia and Botswana have agreed to work on a framework to reduce roaming charges between the two countries.
ICT Minister Dr. PeyaMushelengaand his delegation arrived in Windhoek on Thursday after a working visit to neighbouring Botswana.
Mushelenga and his neighboring counterpart, ThulaganoSegokgo, held extensive discussionsagreedthat the two regulators, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran)and the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (Bocra), in consultation with mobile network operators, should agree on a collaborative framework to reduce roaming charges between Namibia and Botswana.
In addition, they agreed that a standardised percentage charge on the handling of roaming costs be investigated between the two countries.
The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to implement the SADC Ministers decision by March 2024.
Namibia and Botswana are interested in broadening their relations to include the sphere of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT).
Speaking on Wednesday to reporters, Minister Segokgothere is the need to address high roaming charges for accessing cellular network services when visiting either of the two countries.
He said it was important for roaming charges to be harmonised as it was of interest to the citizens of the two nations.
He said currently, Botswana was accessing the West Africa fibre network cable system through Namibia.
“Harmonising roaming charges is an initiative that has already been tabled by the regional organ SADC, as such, the two nations will take the lead that other regional member states must embrace, he said.
His counterpart, Dr.Mushelenga concurred with MinisterSegokgo on the issue of harmonising roaming tariffs.
He said while the two nations collaborated on a number of areas for the benefit of their people, the ICT sector was not adequately covered hence the need to share notes.
He said his ministry was on the process of tabling two bills in the near future relating to Data Protection and Cyber Security.
Therefore, Dr.Mushelenga said the visit would assist the Namibian government to come up with legislation that would serve the people accordingly.
As part of the bench marking visit, Dr.Mushelenga and his team also toured, Botswana Fibre Network (BOFINET) as well as Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub (BDIH).