For over 95% of its population, Mozambique’s internet services are unaffordable. Its fixed broadband connections are the fourth most expensive in the world, and while its mobile services are less expensive, a subscription costs over 65% of the average family’s income.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) – a global coalition committed to removing economic barriers to internet use in developing countries – recently held a forum in Maputo to discuss ways of making Mozambique’s internet more financially inclusive. This forum brought together members of the public, private and nonprofit sectors in formulating – and ensuring the implementation of – policies to make the Internet affordable for all Mozambican people.
Mozambique is the first Southern African Development Community country to become an Alliance member. It joins Ghana and Nigeria in working towards the UN Broadband Commission’s goal of ensuring that entry-level broadband services cost less than 5% of the average monthly income. Beyond Access is also a member of the Alliance’s Advisory Council. In Mozambique, we’re helping the Alliance to form networks with members of the information access community and exploring innovative new ways of transforming libraries into information access points for all Mozambicans.
Forum attendees included the Honorable Minister Mr. Gabriel Muthisse (Ministry of Transport and Communication), as well as representatives from the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), Maputo’s Science Innovation and ICT Research Institute (SIITRI), and Vodacom. IREX/Beyond Access also participated in the forum to explore the potential of Mozambican libraries to serve as points of affordable internet access.