The Somali government is stepping up actions to accelerate the development of ICT while the national Internet penetration rate is 9.8%. The executive is negotiating with satellite internet provider Starlink to launch its services in the country.
Somalia will benefit from support from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to develop its information and communications technology (ICT) sector. A framework agreement was signed between the two parties on Tuesday, November 7, on the sidelines of the ITU Regional Development Forum for the Arab States (RDF-ARB) 2023 which was held in Manama, Bahrain from 7 to November 8.
Proposed by Bahrain, the collaboration agreement was signed by Jama Khalif, Somali Minister of Communications and Technology, and Cosmas Zavazava, ITU Regional Development Director. It includes regulatory frameworks, capacity building, strengthening digital infrastructure, connectivity and promoting trust in digital services.
This partnership is part of the Somali government’s ambition to accelerate the development of ICT in the country, in accordance with the ICT Policy and Strategy 2019-2024. In recent months, the executive has notably worked for the launch of a spectrum control operations center, the development of a national strategy for 5G, and the interconnection of the networks of Somali telecom operators. Mogadishu has started negotiations with satellite internet provider Starlink to launch its services in the country .
“ The NCA looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the ITU and other industry stakeholders to fulfill its mandate of promoting the communications sector and ICT development in Somalia ,” said the Somali telecoms regulator.
Once implemented, this framework agreement is expected to improve the quality and coverage of electronic communications services in Somalia. This is also expected to accelerate the Somali government’s digital transformation ambitions.
Somalia has 1.76 million internet users with a penetration rate of 9.8% according to the latest statistics from data platform DataReportal. According to the same source, the number of mobile telephone subscribers is 7.99 million, representing a penetration rate of 44.7%.