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African Development Bank provides $21 million for Central Africa fiber backbone project

Bob Koigi

The African Development Bank (AFDB) Group will work towards the realization of a system for fiber optic interconnection between the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Congo.

It is in this dynamic that the Central African Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Governor of the Bank Felix Moloua and AfDB Country Manager for the Caribbean, Joel Sibaye Tokindang, signed a grant agreement of 13.6 million units of account, about 16.68 million euros, to finance the “Central African Fiber Optic Backbone Project (CAB) – RCA Component” .

The investment, which has a total cost of 33.28 million euros, benefits from a co-financing from the European Union of 16.6 million euros. It should be noted that an agreement has already been signed between the Bank and the European Union in December 2017.

Signed in the presence of the Central African Ministers of Posts and Telecommunications; Communication and Media; transport and civil aircraft, representatives of the financial partners in CAR and several senior executives of the Central African administration, the project will contribute to the transformation of the economy through the information technology and telecommunications sector. communication (ICT). This sector has been identified as one of the main sources of growth and job creation by the National Plan for Recovery and Consolidation of Peace for the Central African Republic (RCPCA) adopted in October 2016.

The project provides for the installation of more than 1,000 kilometers of optical fiber allowing CAR to interconnect in Cameroon and Congo; the establishment of a national data center (Datacenter) coupled with an electronic administration platform; the operationalization of some twenty Community Digital Centers and a Digital Training Center; and the installation of a Business Incubator within Bangui University. The project will also contribute to building the capacity of key national stakeholders (Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Regulator, etc.).

This operation is in perfect coherence with the Bank’s High 5 , and as such, it will contribute to the digital opening up of the CAR and its integration into the sub-region.

In addition, this operation should really help the country to enter the digital economy and boost growth by promoting, notably a substantial increase in tax revenues (from 10.2% in 2017 to 15% in 2021), an improvement in quality of services and a reduction in the costs of economic transactions through the penetration of Internet services, which should reach at least 20% of the Central African population in 2021.

The Ambassador of the European Union, Samuela Isopi, reaffirmed the firm commitment of her Institution to support the country in its development projects and especially those promoting regional integration, like the present operation.

Speaking on this occasion, Felix Moloua welcomed this grant agreement which contributes to the implementation of the RCPCA, welcoming the excellent cooperation between the African Development Bank Group and the Central African Republic.

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