Big Interview

GITGE - The New West African Technology Hub

Dr.Oscar Ondo_995.jpg

Capacity heard from Gestor de Infraestructuras de Guinea Ecuatorial (GITGE) about the company's work in Equatorial Guinea.

Q. How is Equatorial Guinea transforming into the next West Africa tech hub?

A tech hub is composed of an ecosystem. Connectivity is one art of the ecosystem, but education, and a culture of innovation is also key. We have been working hard on connectivity and today Equatorial Guinea is a key location as crossroad between Africa, Europe and the Americas. Now we are working in bringing innovation through the creation of an innovation hub that will foster projects in education in science, technology and engineering orientated to African market and needs.

Q. How are the ACE, Ceiba-1, and Ceiba-2 subsea cables, along with the RNFO national fibre-optic backbone project, helping to boost this mission?

Having cost-effective broadband connectivity to the internet but also to our neighboring countries is key for the ecosystem development. Thanks to our systems of cables, we have direct connectivity to Europe, South Africa, the largest African markets as Nigeria as well as South America and the US. Under this positioning, Equatorial Guinea can be considered as a gateway for the African market.

Q. What new infrastructure will GITGE be responsible for over the coming 12 months that will further boost international connectivity in West Africa?

Looking at infrastructure, GITGE will continue deploying fibre networks, which are orientated to bring fibre broadband speeds to the citizens through the implementation of fibre-optic in the access, fibre to the home and providing large fibre connectivity for the operators deploying 4G and 5G networks in Equatorial Guinea. On West African connectivity, we will be building a direct branch to the SAIL cable, providing direct interconnection to the Americas and we are following closely the major submarine initiatives coming in West Africa in the next two years.

Q. What are GITGE’s key strategic points of focus in 2020 with this mission statement?

GITGE’s focus in 2020 and beyond is in triggering, from a connectivity point of view, the digital transformation in Equatorial Guinea. Digital transformation is about leveraging digitisation and digitalisation to transform our life, our business, and to innovate our way to approach to challenges and to our daily needs. In the current business environment, technology improves the businesses’ agility but also introduce means to innovate products and services, improving customer experience.

Q. How is GITGE working with international carriers and partners to leverage Equatorial Guinea as a tech hub?

GITGE is working actively with international carriers. GITGE has been and is present in the major telecommunications events and has started to be a player in the international market during 2019 and 2020. GITGE is working on a platform to make the use of international capacity from Equatorial Guinea to Africa from international carriers.

Dr. Oscar Ondo, is an entrepreneur and a revered thought leader in the African tech space. He currently serves as the Director-General of GITGE, Equatorial Guinea Fiber Optic Infrastructure Manager. He is extremely passionate about the promotion of the ICT industry in Sub Saharan Africa and works with the public and private sector to promote entrepreneurship, education and economic diversification throughout the ICT sector as well as improve access to internet and communications in rural and low-income urban areas.