from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Port Louis, Mauritius
PORT LOUIS – TELECOMMUNICATIONS companies in the Southern African region have been urged to collaborate in order to reduce the roaming between the countries.
The call was made in Mauritius on Friday as the Southern African Telecommunications Association (SATA) launched the SATA Connect, a digital sharing and collaboration platform for member organisations.
Sherry Singh, who is SATA chairman said such joint efforts by telecommunications operators would drive down tariffs to the benefit of travelers and business executives in the region and ultimately contribute to economic growth.
Singh, who is also the Mauritius Telecom chief executive officer, said these alliances would in addition to slashing prices of voice and data, would ease ways of doing businesses in the region.
“One operator cannot afford to go alone. We need to collaborate. As chairman of SATA, I would like to invite other Southern African Development Community member states to come in these agreements,” he said.
The executive lamented that out of the 15 SADC member states, two had still not signed to the SATA Connect agreement.
While he could not mention the two countries yet to adopt the initiative he raised concern that such individualistic approaches were making it difficult to enable the ease of doing business in the region.
He said lack of a common database, non-engagement and lack of collaboration were some of the challenges associated with telcos that did not sign for SATA Connect.
Singh said digital sharing platforms were important in unlocking various opportunities such as reducing tariffs, employment creation as well as enabling real-time business through collaboration.
“There is no excuse not to collaborate. Similarly, there is no excuse not to contribute,” he said.
Singh said Mauritius was committed to SATA Connect.
“We are also taking our SADC region seriously in this digital collaboration platform,” he said.
SATA’s mission is to bridge the digital divide, particularly within the SADC bloc.
It encourages investment in infrastructure and services as well as knowledge sharing.
Among dignitaries present at the launch of SATA Connect were Mauritian Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Yogida Swamynaden, and SATA Secretary General, Jacob Munodawafa.
– CAJ News