West Africa Policy Day, part 1::Journée des Politiques – Afrique de l’Ouest, partie 1 - GSMA Mobile 360 Series

West Africa Policy Day, part 1

Side Meeting

Date & Time

Wednesday, 17 Apr

09:00 - 12:00

Description

West Africa Policy Day is by invitation only. If would like more information, please contact Governmentevents@gsma.com

 

This second day of the Mobile 360 – West Africa event, dedicated to policy, will be opened with welcoming remarks from Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, GSMA Head of Sub Saharan Africa, followed by an opening address by Mr. John Giusti, GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer.

 

09.00 – 09:30 Registration and Coffee
09.45 – 10:45 How encouraging investment will drive digital inclusion in West Africa

 

This session will be moderated by the GSMA in collaboration with guests and partners.

While the number of mobile internet users is continually increasing and operators are investing in network upgrades to support this growth, there are still large numbers of West Africans who are not connected. Such digital exclusion increasingly leads to economic exclusion. However, extending digital inclusion requires significant further investment. Such investment would be greatly encouraged by removing unnecessary barriers from the legal and regulatory frameworks.

The GSMA commissioned research to assess how current regional and national regulatory frameworks could better enable investment, innovation and digital inclusion in ECOWAS Member States.

Following the presentation of this new study, participants will be invited to discuss, along with panelists from government and industry, the urgent actions that are needed to achieve digital inclusion.

 

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee Break and Networking
11.00 – 12.00 First results for ECOWAS from the World Bank’s African Regulatory Watch Index

This session will be moderated by the World Bank’s Digital Development team in collaboration with consultants in charge of an African Regulatory Watch study and guests.

The ICT African Regulatory Watch Initiative (ARWI) launched by the World Bank aims at helping ECOWAS Member States assessing differences between their regulatory frameworks on a series of key dimensions. The initial focus of this study is on licensing regimes, OTT regulation and International Gateway liberalization. Further developments of ARWI should encompass more countries and more subjects.

ECOWAS countries present large differences in terms of their respective telecom markets with key market indicators widely spread between Cape Verde and Nigeria, or Ghana and Niger. ARWI shows there is a form of correlation between market development and regulation in force.

Best practices are observed in a variety of ECOWAS Member States and those could be use as basis for a future reform of the regional regulatory framework. However some practices which have negative consequences for the development of broadband remain and would need to be reconsidered by the national authorities in charge.