Central Africa: Fcfa 24 Billion for Central Africa Backbone Project

The Cameroon component of the Central Africa Backbone project involving the laying of 916 km of optical fibre cables of approximately five priority links has received funding from the African Development Bank, AfDB. The agreement binding Cameroon and the AfDB was signed by the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze and the Resident Representative of the AfDB to Cameroon, Racine Kane, at a ceremony in Yaounde yesterday October 29, 2015. It was attended amongst others by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng.

The AfDB by the agreement offers FCFA 24.47 billion for the four-year project. Other co-financiers are the World Environmental Fund with a grant of FCFA 8.63 million and Cameroon whose contribution stands at FCFA 4.8 billion. The project involves the installation and commissioning of 916 km of optical fibre cables, also comprising active equipment as well as power and cooling systems. It is made up of five sections, namely the Kumba-Mamfe (187 km), Mamfe-Ekok (82 km), Bertoua-Batouri-Kentzou (206 km), Sangmelima-Djoum-Mintoum-Ntam (331 km) and the Bamenda-Ndop-Kumbo (110 km), in the South West, East, South, and North West Regions respectively. The sections are part of the critical links of the national optical fibre backbone (with terminals to neighbouring Central Africa Republic, Congo and Nigeria) that Cameroon intends to cover with a view to rapidly extending its network to reach 20,000 km of optical fibre by 2035. Other regions like the Adamawa, West and North will follow suit after studies are carried out. The link to neighbouring countries especially CAR, is expected to offer an alternative service for international traffic through under water cables with landfall points in Cameroon. By so doing, the costs of international connectivity should be reduced with the view of modernising the banking and postal sectors through the introduction of e-Banking and the adoption of hybrid mail by Campost. Like Louis

Paul Motaze, Racine Kane stressed that the overall objective of the project is to reduce the high cost of telecommunications/ information and communication technologies in the sub-region, creating jobs and expanding the production of goods and services, thus helping to reduce poverty.

Posted on : 02 Nov,2015

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