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ETNO threatens digital revolution in Africa and beyond

African scholar Dele Meiji Fatunla is respected beyond Africa. He has slammed ETNO’s proposal as a threatening element to the economic future of Africa as well as the developing world. And LIRNEasia CEO Rohan Samarajiva’s analysis on ETNO’s doctrine shines, along with OECD’s researcher Rudolf Van Der Berg, in Fatunla’s arsenal.

A report, written by Rohan Samarajiva, former Director General of Telecommunications for Sri Lanka and CEO of Lirne Asia, an ICT think-tank, predicts dire consequences for the development of the internet and Africa’s prosperity if governments do shift to a “sending party network pays” model.

The report says that a global agreement to move to a “sending party network pays” policy would have a detrimental effect on regions by providing a blank cheque to providers to raise prices for consumers. This would have a deadening effect on the burgeoning digital economy in regions like Africa. It also assumes that content providers value providing access to information enough to pay for others to consume it.

Dele Meiji Fatunla has praised Ghana to be vocal against ETNO and he has urged other African nations to follow suit.

The Ghanaian government has put out a statement in response to Lirne Asia’s report repudiating ETNO’s proposals, but it remains to be seen whether other African governments will take as enlightened a position. Many of them will take a decision on ETNO’s “sending party network pays” model at a conference on telecommunications from the 3 -14 December – the future of the internet in Africa could very well be determined in those 11 days.

Here is the full article of Dele Meiji Fatunla.

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