As World Bank prepares to launch World Development report…


Country Manager says cost of mobile phone services too high

March 18, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The World Bank will on Monday (21 March) launch their 2016 World Development report, which focuses on how information and communication technology is working around the world and the challenges that come with it.

According to the bank’s Country Manager, Parminder P.S. Brar, the report titled “Digital Dividends” is their flagship report for this year, adding that on a yearly basis they at least produce one flagship report.

He disclosed that the report would be officially launched at the Miatta Conference Hall during the ICT for development conference that would be jointly organised by the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), the Ministry of Information and Communications and the World Bank.

“It took the Bank two years to produce this report. Every year, the World Bank releases one report which is our flagship report. We have launched it in Addis Abba for East Africa and for West Africa, we are going to launch it in Sierra Leone,” he said.

He added that there would be two main presentations during the conference – one on the findings of the report and another on what the Information Ministry has done, how much fiber they have laid out across Sierra Leone and what are their plans for making mobile phones and internet affordable, accessible and cheap for the people of Sierra Leone.

With regards mobile phone services in the country, Mr. Brar noted that the cost for mobile and internet services was too high and that the authorities ought to ensure its reduction.

He however praised the government for announcing that effective 1 April, 2016 there would be a shift from monopoly to multiple gateways, which he said would see the reduction in the cost of mobile phone and internet services.

“I have said repeatedly that the cost of mobile services should come down. Since I came into Sierra Leone six months ago, the cost of mobile phone services and internet is too high,” he said.

He said President Ernest Bai Koroma had already announced that there would also be a drastic reduction in the cost of incoming calls to Sierra Leone as well as outgoing calls.