According to Abdiaziz Issak, Director-General, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Technology, Somalia, the low mobile data costs can largely be attributed to improved regulation in the communications sector, reduced taxes, and a unified licensing framework proteccting market competitiveness.
“The National Communications Act, which was passed in 2017 paved the way for further development and increase of investment for the telecom industry. A unified licensing framework was also developed which protects the competitiveness of the market and encourages more investment in the sector,” he told the Business Daily.
Another factor is the reduction of taxes to attract more investment and innovation. All those factors led to establishment of a competitive market and a high certainty for more investment in the sector. Therefore, the consumer’s choice is increased to more efficient low-cost services provided by the operators.” ~ Business Daily Africa
So far, there are now 11 players in the telecommunication industry in Somalia which has also contributed to competitive data rates offerings.
Below is a breakdown of internet data costs on the African continent for 1GB and among top 100 African countries with the most affordable internet data costs:
Somalia – $0.49 (7th worldwide)
Sudan – $0.63 (13th worldwide)
Algeria – $0.65 (15th worldwide)
Reunion Island – $0.71 (22nd worldwide)
Tanzania – $0.93 (23rd worldwide)
Ghana – $0.98 (34th worldwide)
Western Sahara – $0.98 (36th worldwide)
Morocco – $1.03 (37th worldwide)
Kenya – $1.07 (44th worldwide)
Mayotte – $1.08 (44th worldwide)
Egypt – $1.08 (45th worldwide)
Djibouti – $1.12 (48th worldwide)
By contrast, the two most expensive countries in data for every 1GB are also in Africa:
Malawi – $27.3 per 1GB
Sao Tome & Principe – $28.16
The countries with the cheapest data costs per 1GB globally are:
India – $0.083
Israel – $0.1
According to a recent World Bank Report, Somalia has one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, outpacing most other countries in Africa.
All the above stats point to a once war-torn country as one of the leading mobile economies is likely going to become one of the leading digital economies in the near future at the current growth pace.