Mali government demands lower internet prices

18 June 2021

The Malian government is in talks with telecom operators to lower costs as the internet becomes an indispensable resource for development in Africa.

The country’s minister of communication and digital economy Hamadoun Touré said that the state will not be afraid to take action if talks fail to progress and will consider entering the national market of a fourth mobile operator if prices for telecom services remain low affordable.

Touré said while discussions have been held with telecom service providers for a drop in the cost of Internet access, the ministry is also trying to convince operators that the fall in costs will not lead to a decrease in their profits but will instead cause them to increase with the increase in the number of users.

Demand for affordable, quality connectivity has grown in Mali as it has in many African countries. The lower costs that the minister of communications and the digital economy wants are the result of the government’s strategy to give Malians access to opportunities offered by the internet.

In its report Worldwide Mobile Data Pricing 2021: The Cost of 1GB of Mobile Data in 230 Countries, places Mali in the bracket of African countries where the average cost of gigabit is still quite expensive at US$3.28.

With more affordable data, Touré said he is certain that the government will be able to achieve its ambition of bringing Mali into the top 10 of the most digitalised countries on the continent. Better internet access will contribute to economic development, in particular by supporting the development of innovation and job creation.