What will you do if your internet cost 2% or less of your monthly income?
Did you know according to the A4AI Affordability report for 2015/16 500MB of prepaid mobile data can cost more than money spent on children’s education in Nigeria? Affordable internet is still a dream to be fulfilled in Ghana, as well as many other African countries. Fortunately, A4AI is here to assist in making this dream a reality.
Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is a broad coalition working to drive down the cost of broadband access via policy and regulatory change, underpinned by research and knowledge sharing. A little over half the world’s population has limited access to the Internet. This has created a barrier in our revolutionised digital sphere where the internet is synonymous to access. Access to almost anything, at any time and anywhere. A4AI was launched on October 7th, 2013 at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organizations Forum in Abuja, Nigeria. Ghana joined the coalition in 2013 and has been actively involved in the alliance’s mission.
The Ghana Coalition held its meeting on the 27th and 28th of March held at Kofi Annan Center for Excellence brought together stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, and government agencies. At the meeting, Honourable Ursula Owusu-Ekuful , Minister of Communications, endorsed A4AI’s ‘1 for 2’ Affordability target. The ‘1 for 2’ affordability Target is to make 1 GB go for 2% or less of one’s average monthly income. This endorsement puts Ghana in second place, following Nigeria’s endorsement in February.
According to the A4AI affordability report reviewed at the meeting, Ghana ranked 26 out of 58 countries surveyed for the Affordability Drivers Index. This was a clear indication of Ghana’s broadband affordability issues for the 24% of Ghana’s population who are online. Less than a quarter of Ghana’s population of over 20 million individuals have access to the internet where presently 1GB mobile data costs 4% of average monthly income. This data certified the Ministries’ ‘1 for 2’ Affordability Target.
The coalition believes the adoption of the more ambitious “1 for 2” target marks a significant step towards enabling connectivity for more Ghanaians which will bring basic internet connection affordable. Subsequently, this act will allow more Ghanaians, including some of the lowest income earners to afford to connect. This will bring Ghana much closer to realising a vision of universal affordable internet access.
To learn more about A4AI, visit http://a4ai.org/.