Ivory Coast fibre-optic network to bolster growth

Ivory Coast fibre-optic network to bolster growth

Bruno Nabagne Kone, minister of technology, information and communication for Ivory Coast, expects the country’s fibre-optic network deployment to enable internet connectivity to up to 30% of its population in the next five years.

Work started last year on the $210 million fibre-optic project, which will lead to the deployment of 6,700km of cable.

Noting that the existing internet penetration in the country stands at 2%, Kone told Reuters: “We should be able to reach a penetration rate of between 20% and 30% in the next three to five years.”

"This is a state-owned project which will allow the government to set more affordable tariffs than the operators," Kone said.

Kone hopes the project will reduce the digital divide between rural and urban areas in the country, as well as increasing access to market information for these rural communities.

The government partnered with Huawei for stage one of the project – 1,400km of fibre spanning San Pedro in the south west to Ferkessedougou in the central north – and work has started on the second phase.

China International Telecommunications Construction Company (CITCC) will spend an estimated eight months on phase two – 650km of fibre between Grand-Bassam, Abidjan and Bouna – and Kone said the last three stages will take two years to complete, starting in 2014.

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