Somali telecoms sector 'must push interconnectivity plans'

A Dahabshiil outlet in Puntland, Somalia. (Image source: warsame90/flickr)A Dahabshiil outlet in Puntland, Somalia. (Image source: warsame90/flickr)Dahabshiil CEO, Abdirashid Duale, gave a talk at Oxford University addressing the need for progress towards interconnectivity in Somaliland's growing telecoms sector

Somaliland telecommunication companies signed an agreement back in 2011 to allow interconnection for their consumers, enabling them to call out of network coverage without have having to replace their sim card or phone number.

Those who attended Duale’s talk at the university, which was titled ‘ICTs, Innovation and Regulation in the Somali Territories,’ included leading researchers and practioners that discussed the rise in the number of Somalis engaging in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and how innovation in those industries can stimulate growth.

“While important steps have been taken there is still much to do to tie the sector together for the benefit of consumers,” Duale stated.

“The wider rewards are there for the taking. There are more than two million mobile subscriptions in the Somali territories and ordinary people are now enjoying the advantages of being connected with each other and with the outside world.”

The telecommunication industry in Somaliland has boomed since the breakdown of the government in 1991.

“The spread of telecoms has been hugely empowering: enabling businesspeople, investors and aid workers to do more with existing resources. From traders checking market prices to doctors giving remote consultation, the penetration of mobile and internet services has had an extremely positive impact on Somali life,” Duale added.

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