11 states in central Africa plan fibre interconnections

11 states in central Africa plan fibre interconnections

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Eleven central African states are to work together to build a new fibre backbone to accelerate their digital development.

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) decided at a meeting at Kintélé, Congo, (see picture) to pool their efforts to replace the existing Central Africa Backbone, which dates back to 2007.

The initiative aims to connect each capital of the 11 countries to at least two other capitals, and to strengthen national networks of high-speed electronic communications infrastructures.

The 11 countries concerned are Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Rwanda.

Gabon has installed more than 1000km of fibre in the country, and is already interconnecting with neighbours.  Cameroon has more than 15,000km of fibre, is interconnected to Chad and is planning links to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Congo completed the interconnection with Gabon in April 2018 and is focusing on a connection with the DRC, followed by the Central African Republic and Cameroon.

KT Rwanda Networks in Rwanda – a joint venture with Korea’s KT – already covers 95% of its territory with broadband and is studying interconnection with neighbours.