The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has today signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mozambican government. This makes Mozambique the first SADC country to join A4AI, and the third developing country to sign an MOU with the Alliance, joining Nigeria and Ghana.
The signing will mean that A4AI and stakeholders across Mozambique will work closely together to drive down the cost of Internet access through policy and regulatory reform.
Launched in late 2013, A4AI has already grown to become a coalition of more than 50 private sector, public sector, and civil society organizations who have come together to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries.
The Alliance’s primary focus is to reach the UN Broadband Commission Broadband Target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5 percent of average monthly income. A4AI has a dedicated focus on policy and regulatory tools to drive change. Members include Google, Omidyar Network, UK DFID and USAID.
Pedro Augusto Ingles, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications said: “The signature of this MOU represents yet another step that the Ministry of Transport and Communications is taking in order to ensure affordable Internet for the entire population. We hope that this partnership with the Alliance for Affordable Internet, World Wide Web Foundation and SIITRI will spark deep collaboration between private sector, public sector and civil society actors to drive down the cost of broadband for Mozambicans.”
Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of A4AI said:“We are delighted to welcome Mozambique as a formal member of A4AI. Latest figures from the ITU suggest that a fixed-line broadband connection costs around one and a half times the average monthly salary for a Mozambican, whilst a basic mobile broadband package costs between 40 percent and 66 percnet of monthly income. We are confident that by working closely with the government, private companies and civil society organisations, we can help to drive prices downwards and unlock the immense social and economic benefits of the Internet for ordinary Mozambicans.”
Prof. Dr. Eng. Venancio Simao Massingue, Founder of SIITRI and former Minister of Science and Technology, Mozambique, said: “Today, the priority is to make sure that Mozambique finishes the last mile and ensures affordable access to the internet for all. Partners and friends such as A4AI are vital.”