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Cost of making calls to E. Africa to go down

The high cross-border calling cost to Uganda and Tanzania will soon be addressed, the government has said.

Fred Matiangi, the Cabinet secretary for Information Communication Technology, pledged to open talks with his counterparts in Uganda and Tanzania to bring down the cost.

He was speaking at a forum organised by Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) recently.

“It does not make sense to spend Sh3 per to call the US and Sh18 to make a call to Tanzania,” he said.

The Cabinet secretary said the high cost was a result of Uganda and Tanzania adopting a system that monitored international calls for taxation purposes.

This means Kenyans are being taxed twice whenever they make calls to countries in East Africa.

“We had a meeting with Ugandan officials to try to transform East Africa into one region so that Kenyan traffic is exempted from this taxation,” he said.

His comments came in the wake of an agreement between CCK and mobile network operators to review performance of the sector and improve services through coming up with ways of measuring quality of service to address the changing dynamics in the sector.

Kenya records about 500 million minutes of calls in a month, the highest in East Africa.