The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU) have decided to help the Central African Republic realize its digital potential. For this purpose, the two institutions will finance the construction of the national fiber backbone, a component of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) project. The AfDB will donate 16.7 million euros to the Central African Republic, while the EU will contribute 16.6 million euros to deploy this network with a total cost of 33.3 million euros.
Implemented over the period 2018-2021, the Central African fiber optic network is expected to contribute to the diversification of the national economy and the digital opening up of the various areas of the country. Several projects are backing this fiber optic network, including the establishment of a national data center (Datacenter), the transformation of public administration by digital (e-government), the construction of some 20 digital community centers, along the route of optical fiber to facilitate people’s access to ICT, the establishment of a digital training center and a business incubator at the University of Bangui.
According to Ousmane Doré, the AfDB’s Director General for Central Africa, speaking on December 15, 2017 at the Bank’s Board of Directors, “this flagship project will put an end to the digital isolation of Central African Republic. The project will contribute significantly to the integration agenda of the subregion supported by the African Development Bank, in line with its five “High 5” strategic priorities.
Once completed, the Central African Republic’s optical fiber network will support the country’s fiber optic interconnection in Cameroon and Congo. Samatar Omar Elmi, ICT expert in charge of the project at the African Development Bank, said it “perfectly illustrates the considerable impact of digital in transforming African economies, improving the quality of public services and creating job opportunities for the continent’s youth”.