Telecom

Central African Republic chooses MTN to take care of its Fiber Optic Infrastructure

Friday, 14 July 2023 06:10
Central African Republic chooses MTN to take care of its Fiber Optic Infrastructure

(Ecofin Agency) - Following his re-election in 2021, President Faustin Archange Touadéra made digital development a cornerstone of the Central African Republic’s national agenda. The steps towards realizing this vision are gradually taking shape.

Bayobab, MTN’s subsidiary specialized in telecom infrastructure operation, secured the contract to manage, operate, and maintain the national fiber optic infrastructure of the Central African Republic.

The public-private partnership contract was signed in Bangui on July 12, between the Central African Minister of Digital Economy, Posts, and Telecommunications, Justin Gourna Zacko, and the CEO of Bayobab, Frédéric Schepens, in the presence of Prime Minister Félix Moloua.

According to CAR authorities, Bayobab won the contract for the national fiber optic backbone through an international tender process. Over the next 15 months, the company will provide wholesale internet services to telecommunications operators such as Orange, Télécel, and Moov. The government expects these operators to subsequently deliver quality services at affordable prices to the population.

Bayobab takes over the project nearly six months after its official inauguration and interconnection with the Republic of Congo on February 6, 2023. Deployed in 2018, the project received support-technical and financial- from the EU and the AfDB. It is part of a larger project, the Central African Backbone (CAB) project.

The Central African Republic has an internet penetration rate of 11%, with a mobile penetration rate of 56%, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The latter attributes the low number of mobile internet users in the country to high internet prices. The minimum price for 2 gigabits of mobile data is estimated to be 41% of the average monthly income per capita, far from the 2% target advocated by the Broadband Commission.

Muriel Edjo





 
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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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