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Benin and A4AI join forces to accelerate progress on affordable, universal broadband access

Speakers, from left to right: Emile Kougbadi, Director General, ABSU-CEP;  Sonia Jorge, Executive Director, A4AI; H.E. Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou, Minister of Digital Economy and Communication;  Serge Adjovi, Director, Agency for Digital Development (ADN).

On the 15th of October, the Government of Benin, represented by the Ministry of Digital Development, signed an agreement with the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) to boost digital connectivity and usage in the country. 

The project to improve universal internet access is part of the Government of Benin’s ICT strategy that seeks to promote universal internet access and digital use in line with the objectives defined by His Excellency Patrice Talon, President of Benin: to place the country at the forefront of  digital economic transformation in West Africa.

This project will be implemented by Benin’s Agency in charge of  Universal Access and Service for Electronic Communications and Post (ABSU-CEP) over a period of about 16 months, and will focus on updating sector policies, incentivizing investment in infrastructure and skills, as well as reducing broadband costs to accelerate growth and achieve social inclusion.

As part of the project, A4AI will undertake a review of the country’s ICT sector and its policy and regulatory frameworks as well as work with the government and sector stakeholders to develop a universal access policy, a clear strategy to operationalize the policy and an action plan to guide the implementation of the sector strategy and Universal Access vision. A4AI will also assist with the implementation of this action plan. 

An A4AI Benin National Coalition will be established as part of this project to support the implementation process of the revised strategy. Through these collaborative  actions the partnership aims to work towards achieving the UN Broadband Commision “1 for 2” target for internet affordability and meaningful connectivity for the people of Benin. 

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Benin’s Minister of Digital Economy and Communications, Mrs. Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou, delighted with this partnership between the Ministry and the Alliance said:

 “This partnership with A4AI is another step towards internet accessibility and the development of digital use. Indeed, the Government of Benin, through its Action Program has clearly displayed its ambition ‘to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a catalyst for economic dynamics and the modernization of Benin towards the acceleration of economic growth and social inclusion by 2021.’ With the support of A4AI, we hope to effectively evolve the implementation of the strategy of internet access for all by the universal service. “

Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of A4AI, added:

“We are delighted to be starting our engagement with the government of Benin. With this partnership, Benin is showing its commitment to realise affordable internet access for all its people, and to prioritise the policy actions needed to make this happen. We look forward to working with the government, private and civil society sectors alike to drive down the cost to connect and enable millions more people to access the internet’s social and economic benefits.”

Group photo of participants at the project launch in Cotonou, Benin

Read the press release announcing the partnership (French).

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