Ghana’s Eastern Corridor subsea cable enters its final phase

The Eastern Corridor subsea cable system in Ghana has begun its final phase of development and will be followed by 165km extension linking Accra to Ho.

The project which began in 2008 and is funded by a loan from the government of Denmark, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), for €38 million, aims to provide national data centre facilities and connect together all of its public institutions into a single communications infrastructure.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the Accra to Ho portion of the system, Ersula Owusu Ekuful, Ghana’s communications minister, said: “Without a robust fibre optic network, it is too expensive to deliver telecommunication service to remote part of the country. To deliver high speed internet services to those of us in the urban area it was imperative that the government place a fibre loop around the country on which we would utilize to extend services to the all the communities along the route. That is the highway which has been built, the Eastern Corridor fibre extended all the way to this building and connecting to the submarine cables.”

All that’s remaining with the project is to finish making the link operational and complete the last mile connectivity. Once completed, another project is to be followed by a 165km extension, which will connect all major districts in to the country to the new fibre back bone.

“Now that this is done, we are going to build upon that to extend our rural telephony and connectivity program and connect all the countries along the route utilizing mix available technologies,” added Ekuful.

The cable build was carried out by Nokia’s Alcatel-Lucent with Kenpong Construction, the Ghanaian construction company, acting as sub-contractor and undertaking the civil works.

In addition to connecting all of its public institutions, the improved connectivity will facilitate the government’s e-Health, e-Education, e-Commerce and digital financial services agenda. The minister also indicated that they were in talks with various partners including a Danish company for the extension project.

“My vision is to see every part of this country connected to high speed internet and voice telephony by the end of the first term of the Nana Addo Akufo Addo's administration and it is doable because we are promoting infrastructure sharing among the various network operators to drive down the cost of delivering services,” continued Ekuful.

She also stated that steps have been taken towards building a Western Corridor fibre optic cable system, particularly to increase offshore connectivity to help workers in the oil fields access a better network service instead of relying on satellite telecommunications services.

Also in attendance at the handover ceremony was Jan Plenge, Nokia Demark's Export Director; Kennedy Agyepong, president and CEO of Kenpong Construction; and Tove Degnbol, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, who described the project as the  “backbone of the digitization strategy of Ghana”.

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