MALI’S PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES CUTS IN TELCO CHARGES AND NETWORK EXPANSION
In his New Year’s message, Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré announced a 47% drop in inter-urban, fixed line call charges and cuts of between 33-67% for international calling. GSM mobile charges will be lowered by 15% and international GSM calls also by the same amount. He also said that the state telco’s network would be increased by 20,000 lines in the first quarter of 2003. The new GSM operator Ikatel has plans to cover eight regional capitals: Kayes, Bamako, Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, Gao, Tombouctou, Kidal. The President also promised to cut the costs of buying ICT equipment and to encourage the use of ICT in all development sectors.