Internet Without Borders Joins the Alliance For Affordable Internet in Developing Countries

Internet Without Borders joins the Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI), as a civil society organization. Internet Without Borders is pleased to be part of a coalition that advocates for cheaper Internet access costs in developing countries, a claim that our organization has been advocating for 3 years in the Gulf of Guinea.

Internet Without Borders Joins the Alliance For Affordable Internet in Developing Countries
Recognized as a space of communication, expression and a tool for socio-political change, Internet remains inaccessible to 960 million people in developing countries, according to estimates by the International Telecommunication Union. However, in its resolution A/HRC/20/L.13 the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations affirms the need to protect the rights and freedoms online, and calls upon all States members "to promote and facilitate access to the Internet and international cooperation aimed at the development of media and information and communications facilities in all countries".

Because the Internet has become a prerequisite for the exercise of other fundamental rights and freedoms, Internet Without Borders has joined the Alliance For Affordable Internet, alongside with the World Wide Web Foundation, IREX, and Ford Foundation. This coalition of civil society organizations, governmental organizations and private sector campaigns for a reduction in cost of Internet access, which is the first obstacle to participation in the global conversation for citizens of developing countries. A fight that is in line with the one initiated by the Africa desk of our organization 3 years ago in the Gulf of Guinea.

high Access Costs in the Gulf of Guinea

Despite an important number of submarine cables on the West African coast, Internet penetration rates are still low in the Gulf of Guinea, with the exception of Nigeria and Ghana. One explanation lies in the high prices for an Internet connection in most countries in the region. According to Jeune Afrique  [fr] information site, "The monthly broadband (1 megabyte) subscription is charged 114 euros for individuals in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, about 130 euros in Benin, and 150 euros in Cameroon."

In October 2012, Internet Without Borders, in partnership with PEN International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), submitted a report to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, in the context of the Universal Periodic Review of Cameroon, a country in the Gulf of Guinea. Our organization highlighted political obstacles and gaps in terms of market regulation of the Internet that have a direct impact on Internet access prices, despite the proclamation by the Cameroonian legislator of the right to universal access to Internet for all persons in the country.

Recommendations for cost reductions

According to the recommendations made by the Alliance For Affordable Internet, the Internet access cost can be reduced, notably by ensuring the existence of independent regulation gencies, and/or by promoting collaborative and shared management of the infrastructures that provide bandwidth . All the recommendations can be found here.

Mercredi 20 Novembre 2013
Julie Owono
Head of Africa Desk @ Internet Sans Frontières En savoir plus sur cet auteur

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