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Keep communicating while in East Africa

English, Kiswahili and French are three of the most commonly used languages in conducting official work and/or business in East Africa. English is, indeed, the only or one of the official languages for all East African Community Partner States with the exception of Burundi.

Kiswahili retains a great deal of popularity/prevalence in its use in both Kenya and Tanzania.
In Rwanda, English, French and Kinyarwanda are widely used while French, Kirundi and Swahili are used in Burundi. English is Uganda’s official language, but Swahili is also used, especially in commercial settings.

Telephone services
East Africa enjoys at least 80% coverage by local mobile telephone networks, and local/regional calls by mobile phone cost 5-35 US cents on average (*see service provider websites for up-to-date call tariffs). The country codes are:

Burundi +257
Kenya +254
Rwanda +250
Tanzania +255
Uganda +256

Use your local mobile phone number anywhere in the EAC region
Owing to a series of inter-operator roaming agreements, East Africans/EAC residents, especially those on short visits, may not have to acquire a local mobile phone connection yet still enjoy benefits like calling home at unchanged (home country) rates (*check with your service provider).

Similarly, a visitor from without East Africa may only acquire one connection and use that anywhere in the region. (*this applies to some, not all operators)

Fixed phone lines
For fixed line connections, please check service provider websites, or country portals.

Internet access is fairly straight forward in the major cities in the region, whether from a hotspot in the Central Business District or at an internet cafe. Charges will rarely exceed three US cents per minute (but more often than not you shall be required to pay the equivalent in local currency). 

Most hotels will also have a Wi-Fi connection in their rooms, an internet cafe or both. Please check with your accomodation facility or visit country tourism/national portals [see links top right] for more information on internet access in the EAC.

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 May 2010 09:50 )