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Egypt: China-backed factory emerges from US$30m fibre cable project

Egypt: China-backed factory emerges from US$30m fibre cable project

Egyptian ICT firm HitekNOFAL, in collaboration with Chinese fibre optic specialists Hengtong Group, has unveiled a new optical fibre cable factory in Badr, as part of a three-year US$30 million project.

The companies say the factory is built on an area of 27000 square metres and has the capacity to produce over eight thousand kilometres of cable annually.

Speaking at the official unveiling of the factory, attended by delegates from the Chinese embassy in Egypt, the North African country's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser ElKady said, "The trend towards designing and manufacturing electronics has become a national one, especially after President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi launched the Presidential initiative for designing and manufacturing electronics in Egypt during Cairo ICT 2015. Egypt has the potential and capabilities to take its proper place in this industry. Young and qualified Egyptian engineers are certainly able to lead this industry."

ElKady added that the factory would be used to meet local market requirements and then export to the rest of Africa and the Middle East by mid-2019.

He said the government has identified telecommunications infrastructure as a strategic investment and optical fibre cables as the main pillar for providing faster internet service for use with technologies such as cloud computing, big data storage and transfer and Internet of Things (IOT) applications.

Mohamed Nofal, Chairman of HitekNOFAL Solutions said the company will leverage its experience of more than three decades in the field of telecommunication and cable solutions to make the factory a success.

According to Nofal, HitekNOFAL Solutions wants to ensure that at least 80% of components in the cable manufacturing process at the factory are developed locally by 2021.

The company already provides technical services to companies such as Telecom Egypt, Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat Egypt, several oil companies as well as private universities.

Qian Jianlin, President of Hengtong Group, said, "The establishment of a new optical cable manufacturing factory in North Africa reflects our company's global expansion plan and Egypt's strategic position among regional markets. We want to make Egypt the main headquarters for expansion plans in exporting products to Africa in partnership with HitekNOFAL especially because the African market is one of the fastest growing markets in the optical fibre cables worldwide."

Micro-trenching cables will also be manufactured at the factory.

The opening of the factory comes only a week after Sudan's Sudatel Telecom Group and Econet Global subsidiary Liquid Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build new FTTH networks across Sudan, reflecting the growing demand for increased broadband capacity and speeds on the continent.

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