More Africa NewsGambia secures World Bank funding to connect to second international submarine cable

September 18, 2023by myles0

 The Gambia connected to its only international fiber optic submarine cable in 2012. The infrastructure was financed to the tune of USD 35 million by the World Bank.

The Gambia will connect to its second international fiber optic submarine cable by 2025, Ousman A. Bah (photo), Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, has revealed. At an estimated cost of between 30 and 35 million USD, the infrastructure is financed by the World Bank.

The minister did not provide technical information on the new cable, but recalled that The Gambia is participating in the Cabral submarine cable initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ). “  Due to the importance of financing, we partnered with Guinea Conakry to make the project less expensive. The submarine cable will therefore leave Cape Verde and arrive directly in Gambia  ,” he added.

It was in January 2022 that the government revealed its intention to connect The Gambia to a second submarine cable to strengthen the national broadband telecoms infrastructure. The country has been connected to the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) cable since 2012, on which it essentially depends for high-speed Internet services. Failures that frequently occur on this infrastructure cause disruption of services in the country.

Furthermore, the Gambian government is also considering strengthening national connectivity using satellites. Thus, Banjul plans to award “  all necessary licenses  ” to the American company Starlink by the end of September. “  This means that we cannot rely solely on ACE to complete Internet access, but rather on satellite and every Gambian or non-Gambian can buy satellite without having to pull out any cable,” he said  . explained Mr. Bah.

These various initiatives should not only improve the quality of broadband telecoms services and reduce their costs in The Gambia, but also extend the reach of these services to thousands of additional people.

According to data platform DataReportal, The Gambia had 2.86 million mobile phone service subscriptions at the start of the year. At the same period, the country also had 903,900 Internet users for a penetration rate of 33%.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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