Niger to spend €100m to connect 1.4m people in 2,111 villages

Ibrahima Guimba Saidou.jpg

The west African state of Niger is to spend €100 million building a high-speed internet connection to 2,111 villages.

The project is part of the country’s Smart Villages for Rural Growth and Digital Inclusion scheme, led by the National Agency for the Information Society (Agence Nationale pour la Société de l’Information, ANSI).

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou (pictured), CEO of ANSI, said the six-year project will focus on digital and financial education, electronic payment services for farmers, and data platforms for farmers and breeders.

“The project is also to facilitate the installation of digital financial transaction services in the most served rural areas,” said Guimba-Saïdou, who is also special advisor of the president of Niger and a board member of Niger Telecom. He is a former Intelsat executive.

The project is expected to benefit up to 1,400,000 people working in agriculture and livestock by providing them with internet access.

Reports say the project will eventually serve 15,000 villages and 85% of Niger’s population of 22 million.