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AFDB invests $66m in West African fibre optic cable

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fbre_optic_cable.JPGThe African Development Bank (AFDB) board has approved an investment of $66 million for the development of the Main One submarine fiber optic cable project along the West African coast.

The Bank previously invested in the East African “EaSSy” submarine cable and the two satellites Rascom and New Dawn, demonstrating its support for ICT in Africa.

The project totaling USD 240 million will involve the laying of 7,000 kilometers of submarine fiber optic cable between Seixal (a suburb of Lisbon) in Portugal, Accra in Ghana, and Lagos in Nigeria. The system will be based on a trunk-and-branch topology and include branching units to the Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire, as shown in the photo. The 1.92 Tbps of available bandwidth will be leased wholesale to telecom operators and internet service providers on an open access basis, thereby encouraging competitive pricing and a large customer base.

AFDB said the project will ease telecommunications difficulties in the West African region as well as lower the cost of international communications when completed.
“This investment comes at an opportune time to unlock the constrained West African telecommunications market and catalyze the economic potential of the region,” said the bank.
“A compelling opportunity exists to lower the restrictive cost of international telecommunications and significantly expand internet access via submarine cable which will lead to greater efficiency and more competitive business,” the bank added.

It is expected that after the completion of this project, the price of broadband in West Africa will reduce by as much as 50%.

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