(Ecofin Agency) - In January 2012, the ECCAS heads of state approved the CAB project aimed at interconnecting member countries’ fiber-optic infrastructure. The interconnection is expected to lower telecom costs and improve access.
Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR) want to finalize their fiber optic interconnection in the framework of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) project, by the end of this year. To this end, Minette Libom Li Likeng (photo, right), Cameroon's Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, and her Central African counterpart Justin Gourna Zacko (photo, left) signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, May 4 in Yaoundé.
The memorandum lays the cooperation framework that will guide the project. It covers the technical, economic, and legal aspects of the projects.
The Central Africa Backbone project aims to interconnect the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) member countries’ broadband infrastructure. In the framework of the project, the Central African Republic is to interconnect with Cameroon and Congo while Cameroon is to interconnect with Congo, Gabon, Chad, and the Central African Republic.
"Specific agreements will soon be signed by Cameroon, through CAMTEL, and CAR, through its telecom infrastructure management company. I dare hope that the benefits would become apparent before the CAB project’s completion dates scheduled respectively for June 30, 2022, for Cameroon and December 31, 2022, for CAR,” said Justin Gourna Zacko.
The project is expected to allow ECCAS countries to have an autonomous network. It will also help enhance digital inclusion in CAR and Cameroon, and reduce the digital divide in the two countries’ border regions by allowing the population access to quality and affordable telecom services.
Isaac K. Kassouwi