DRC national fibre network to go ahead in 2021, says Egyptian supplier
Egyptian firm Benya Capital has confirmed its plans to build a 16,000km fibre network in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) next year.
Osama Qadan, operations manager of Benya Capital, told Augustin Kibassa Maliba, DRC’s minister of posts, telecommunications and new information and communication technologies, that the network will provide high-speed services to mobile operators across the country.
“We are talking about digital transformation,” Qadan told the minister, according to the Ecofin news agency. “The implementation phase of this project will start in 2021. At the moment we are in the final planning phase.” But the pandemic has delayed plans, he noted.
Benya Capital – formerly Fiber Misr, or Fibre Egypt – signed a memorandum of understanding with the DRC at the beginning of October in the capital, Kinshasa.
Under the terms of the agreement, Benya will build an end-to-end national fibre network.
The project will digitally connect cities across the DRC, and significantly improve accessibility to high-quality and high-speed network services across the African country at a low cost, according to reports.
The Egyptian African Arab Company for Development (EGAAD) is backing the project.
The Egypt-DRC deal will be executed across two phases, the first of which will see the network implementation. The second phase will cover operations and the provision of seamless digital services.
Benya makes fibre as well as operating networks. It plans to provide the cables through its factory, which was established in partnership with US-based fibre making Corning International as well as the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation.
Ahmed Mekky (pictured), chairman and CEO of Benya, said earlier this year about the project: “African countries have every potential to adopt and accelerate digital transformation services as a driver for growth, and new digital transformation services require high-speed digital highways.”
Mekky said Benya intends to use Egypt’s expertise and transfer its knowledge to support the ICT infrastructure of African countries, alongside digital transformation projects and services.
Qadan said: “Once completed, this network will add unprecedented capacities to the DRC digital infrastructure, and allow the government to connect its citizens to new worlds of digital services.”