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'Sadc data costs prohibitive'

by Staff reporter
27 Aug 2022 at 06:10hrs | Views
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe has castigated the high cost of data in southern Africa as an assault against freedom of expression.

"The cost of accessing the internet remains prohibitive, with southern African countries among the most expensive on the continent according to data that has been released," Misa Zimbabwe said.

"Access to the internet facilitates access to information and, therefore, there is need to make the price of data affordable

"Access to information is a fundamental human right central to the exercise of free expression that empowers citizens to make informed choices and decisions on socio-economic and political matters that affect their daily lives."

According to the Worldwide Mobile Data Pricing 2022 Report released by Cable.co.uk, Southern Africa is ranked as having the highest cost of data.

The report shows the price of one gigabyte of data in Botswana is one average US$15,55, the most expensive in the region. In Seychelles, 1GB of data costs an average of US$12,66 while in Namibia; the price of 1GB of data costs an average of US$10,52.

In Zimbabwe, the average price of 1GB is going for US$4,92, with the cheapest plan being US$1,73 and the most expensive being US$12,92.

NetOne recently hiked its tariffs too with $10 465 buying 10GB, while Econet is charging $8 346 for 8GB, $12 751 for 15GB, $15 186 for 25 GB, and $23 184 for 50 GB, respectively.

In February, Misa Zimbabwe embarked on a #DataMustFall campaign to raise awareness on the centrality of the internet in access to information and enhancing freedom of expression and democracy.

"As such, internet affordability becomes an urgent issue that governments, service providers and other critical stakeholders, should address to give effect to the constitutional provisions that provide for the right to access to information. Technology and the internet continue to shape critical aspects of our lives such as education, banking, access to information, and the purchase of goods and services and, thus, access to the internet must be affordable," Misa Zimbabwe said.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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