Haiti’s economic, political, and social structures continue to be beset by problems that keep the country near the bottom of the world order. Most of these are caused by external forces – devastating hurricanes and major earthquakes that tear apart what exists of the country’s infrastructure, including its communication systems. The Covid-19 pandemic was just one of the more recent events to have plagued the populace. But endemic corruption and ongoing political strife can also take a fair share of the blame for keeping Haiti’s long-suffering citizens in abject poverty.
While Haiti is in desperate need of maintaining effective communication services to enable it to keep going through the countless natural disasters, the country’s telecoms sector is really only surviving on the back of international goodwill to repair and replace the systems destroyed in the latest upheaval. Haiti’s fixed-line infrastructure is now practically non-existent, having been torn apart by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. What aid and additional investment has been forthcoming has been directed towards mobile solutions. Yet only just over half of the country can afford a mobile handset or the cost of a monthly subscription. And mobile broadband penetration is half of that again – an estimated 28% in 2022.
International aid continues to flow in to try and help the country’s telecoms sector recover – the World Bank has released a further $120 million to go on top of the $60 million grant provided after the last major 7.2 earthquake in August 2021. But Haiti will be justifiably praying for an easing-up of the calamities being inflicted on the small country if it is to have any chance of creating a more hopeful future for its beleaguered citizens.
Natcom, Digicel, HaiTel, Comcel, Rectel.
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