Courtesy of the ITU’s Measuring the Information Society Report, here is a list of SMS charges in thirty-eight African countries.  The costs are listed in U.S. dollars and in Purchasing Power Parity dollars.  Interesting to note in the below that there is an order of magnitude difference between the cheapest and most expensive SMS in the listed countries.  Also interesting to note that the cheapest SMS is still more than twice as expensive as the cost of an SMS in the Philippines.

Cost of a local SMS in African Countries – 2008

Country US $ PPP $
Guinea 0.02 0.05
Mauritius 0.02 0.04
Ethiopia 0.03 0.11
Mauritania 0.03 0.07
Botswana 0.04 0.09
Tanzania 0.04 0.11
Ghana 0.04 0.07
Tunisia 0.05 0.10
Kenya 0.05 0.10
Sudan 0.05 0.08
Namibia 0.05 0.09
Senegal 0.05 0.08
Gambia 0.05 0.13
Seychelles 0.06 0.13
Egypt 0.06 0.17
Benin 0.06 0.11
Niger 0.06 0.11
Mali 0.06 0.10
Uganda 0.07 0.16
Burkina Faso 0.07 0.15
Central African Rep. 0.07 0.11
Zambia 0.08 0.10
Mozambique 0.08 0.17
Algeria 0.08 0.14
Malawi 0.09 0.28
Madagascar 0.09 0.19
Nigeria 0.09 0.14
Togo 0.09 0.18
Rwanda 0.10 0.25
Lesotho 0.10 0.21
Angola 0.10 0.15
Swaziland 0.11 0.22
South Africa 0.11 0.19
Morocco 0.11 0.17
Côte d’Ivoire 0.12 0.17
Cameroon 0.12 0.20
Comoros 0.16 0.22
Cape Verde 0.21 0.21

Thanks to @ashifi for prompting me and @katrinskaya for pointing out the SMS data buried in the back of the ITU Measuring the Information Society Report.  You can download a spreadsheet with these figures which also has local call costs which I scraped from Annex 5 of the report and massaged into spreadsheet form.

Posted by Steve Song

@stevesong local telco policy activist. social entrepreneur. founder of @villagetelco #africa #telecoms #opensource #privacy #wireless #spectrum #data