The African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Union (EU) have jointly organised €33.3m to finance the construction of a national fibre optic backbone for the Central African Republic.
The AfDB has contributed €16.7m and the EU €16.6m towards the project which is expected to run from 2018 until 2021.
Ousmane Doré, AfDB’s Director General for Central Africa said, “This flagship project will put an end to the digital isolation of the Central African Republic. The project will greatly contribute to the integration agenda of the sub-region supported by the African Development Bank, in line with its High 5s strategic priorities.”
On completion, the optical fibre network will support CAR’s fibre optic interconnection in Cameroon and Congo.
Samatar Omar Elmi, who heads up the project at the AfDB, said the project is a perfect illustration of “the significant impact of digital in the transformation of African economies, improving the quality of public services and a creating job opportunities for the continent’s youth.”
The project is considered central to the nation’s efforts to diversify its economy and advance its digitalisation strategy.
The country will also establish a national data centre and several digital community centres along the network to bolster access to ICT. There is also a digital training centre and a business incubator at the University of Bangui.