Ivory Coast Has Banned Selling of SIM Cards to Persons Under the Age of 16. Image Credit: The Conversation
Ivory Coast Has Banned Selling of SIM Cards to Persons Under the Age of 16. Image Credit: The Conversation

According to reports by Africa News, the government of the Ivory Coast has published a number of decrees on telecommunication operations in the country including a ban on SIM card subscription to minors under age 16.

“The decree prohibits the subscription to communication services to minors under 16 years of age … The Telecommunications/ ICT Regulatory Authority of Ivory Coast (ARTCI) is authorized to confiscate any SIM card or communication device that does not comply with the requirements of this decree,” it stated.

The Minister of Communication, Economy and Post, Bruno Nabagne Kone announced the measures on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting presided over by the President Alassane Ouattara.

He added that “the minors can only benefit from mobile services through their legal guardians”.

The decree was sanctioned by the government to strengthen security on networks and services used by a majority of the population to communicate and trade while others use it to commit crime, Kone explained.

Among the measures taken includes the “prohibition of sale of any SIM card or access to communication without identification. The identification operation cannot be carried out outside the premises of telecommunication companies or their authorized service providers.”

Ivory Coast has an estimated 20.42 million mobile phone subscribers with an 83.5 percent penetration rate, according to the country’s regulator ARTCI.

The market is dominated by Orange with a 37.4 percent share and MTN with 36.2 percent. Orange has 7.59 million mobile customers, followed by MTN with 7.38 million, Moov with 4.05 million, Comium with 988,073 and Green with 302,639.