A taskforce has been formed to look into data charges for internet in the country.
Stakeholders including network providers like TNM and Airtel, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), the Ministry of Information and others came together to form the taskforce.
MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman, is the General Secretary of the taskforce and he told the local media that formation of the taskforce was a step in the direction to see data charges going down.
“There was need for a meeting involving all stakeholders. Several issues were raised and agreed upon.
“It’s a process for data charges to go down. It cannot just happen within a single day. But this taskforce will help to see the charges going down,” explained Suleman.
But Director for Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA), John Kapito, says he is sceptical if anything tangible will materialise from the taskforce.
“We once called these network providers for a meeting on the same. The result was that they were bringing in issues irrelevant and emanating from their own inefficiencies. They punish Malawians with high costs because of their own inefficiencies. I therefore doubt if having them in that taskforce will help matters,” explained Kapito.
The issue of data charges was first tackled immediately the Tonse Alliance came into power when Minister of Information said “data must fall”.
Malawi is one country in the SADC region with very high costs of internet charges.