More Africa NewsCameroon borrowed $ 100 million from the World Bank to improve broadband access

October 4, 2021by myles0
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From 2019 to 2020, the Internet penetration rate in Cameroon did not exceed 40%. The government, aware of the importance of digital technology in its post-Covid economic recovery, has decided to invest to further develop this sector at the heart of several development issues.

Through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank granted a loan of USD 100 million to the Republic of Cameroon. Unveiled on Tuesday, September 28, the money will be used to improve people’s access to high-speed Internet. Two other components will also be financed, in particular the establishment of the strategic, policy and regulatory frameworks necessary for digital inclusion and transformation and the deployment of innovative digital solutions in the agricultural sector. The completion of all of these projects will help accelerate the country’s digital transformation.

”  The project will support public policy and regulatory reforms and institutional capacity building that will improve access to broadband, but also stimulate growth and innovation, promote competition and facilitate investments in the digital economy and the agricultural sector,  ”explained Abdoulaye Seck, the World Bank’s director of operations for Cameroon.

The financial loan granted by the World Bank to Cameroon falls within the framework of the third DPF (Financing in support of development policies) of budgetary consolidation and inclusive growth approved last March. It supports the efforts of the Government of Cameroon to: ensure fiscal sustainability and improve management, strengthen financial sustainability and increase the efficiency of infrastructure spending to improve competitiveness, and improve the delivery of social services and extend social protection to mitigate the vulnerabilities of poor households.

As of December 31, 2019, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART) estimated the number of active Internet subscribers in Cameroon at 7,732,357. In their Digital Report 2021 published in January, Hootsuite and We Are Social estimated the number of Internet users in Cameroon at 9.15 million. That is, a penetration rate of 34%, deemed low by the World Bank and considered as a brake on its resilience in the face of shocks such as Covid-19.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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