Chad and Niger tap into €28.7m fibre project
By 2024, Chad and Niger are expected to be successfully interconnected via the Trans-Sahara Optical Fibre Backbone Project, spanning 1,510km and originating in Algeria.
Speaking during the launch of the project in Massakory in the country’s Hadjer province, the President of the Republic of Chad Idriss Déby confirmed the country would connect to internet infrastructure from Niger Republic.
The newly laid fibre optic line is expected to cover a total distance of 503km and cover several regions including Massaguet, Massakory, Mao, Rig-Rig, and Daboua to eventually reach the border between Chad and Niger Republic.
The project encompasses pilot datacentres, electronic administration platforms, an integrated population data management system, and incubators, all of which are expected to contribute to the digital development of local populations.
Dr Idriss Saleh Bachar, Minister of Posts and Digital Economy of Chad, said the government’s investment in the project is in line with its goal to reduce the digital divide in the country.
“This is an integrative project with high added value, in terms of ICT infrastructure, with a significant social and economic impact. This reinforces the government's efforts to further extend the country’s (already) existing 2200km of fibre optic (infrastructure),” said Bachar.
Chad is reported to be contributing €2.4-million towards the project, while the African Development Fund (AfDB) will provide the balance.
The government of Niger will utilise funding received from the AfDB in December 2016, including a loan of €31.4-million along with a donation of €12.5-million to build the national leg of the project.
According to the AfDB, the overall objective in both countries is to diversify economies by promoting the emergence of a digital economy through digital inclusion.
“The specific project objective is to ease access by the population, government services and businesses to quality, reliable and affordable telecommunication/ICT services in both countries,” AfDB said in a statement.