Sierra Leone: Internet penetration rate below 15% despite state investment in the sector

Currently, only 13% of the Sierra Leonean population access the Internet. Bakarr Tarawally, the communication director of the Ministry of Information and Communication, a member of the Internet Society Sierra Leone (ISOC-SL), lamented it on 25 January 2019 at the meeting of the local branch of the international organization that promotes Internet access for all. According to him, this situation, which stems from the lack of investment by the private sector, undermines the credibility of the State which has made substantial financial investments to land a submarine fiber optic cable on the coast of the country. since 2011. 

While the state has pulled international connectivity to the country, Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB), the state-owned fiber optic infrastructure management company, complains that telecom operators remain heavily attached to the network. microwave for the backhaul. This weak demand for optical fiber is a brake on the expansion of the broadband network across the national territory. SALCAB can not expand the network in areas where there is no commercial demand. Added to this low coverage of the country by mobile operators, SALCAB indicates that the country’s Internet penetration rate can only remain low.

For 2019, ISOC Sierra decided to make things happen. The organization, in its strategic plan, announces many operations to raise awareness of the public and private actors of the national telecom market on the need to invest to give the country, a chance to make the Internet an engine of socio-economic growth .

Source: Agence Ecofin