(Ecofin Agency) - The coronavirus pandemic accelerated digital transformation in Africa but it has also boosted demand for high-speed internet. To meet the rising demand, operators are stepping up infrastructure investments.
Telecommunications companies Camtel, SudaChad Telecom, and Sudatel plan to build a fiber optic cable that will interconnect their respective countries: Cameroon, Chad, and Sudan. The project, baptized West to East Africa Network Access (WE-Africa-NA), will provide high-speed connection with speeds estimated at 100 Gb/s.
The about 3,500 km-long cable will run from Port-Sudan on the Red Sea in Sudan to Kribi on the Atlantic Ocean in Cameroon via Chad.
The initial phase of the project will consist of the interconnection of existing cables, which will later be upgraded around the third quarter of 2022.
WE-Africa-NA is the operators’ response to the high demand for broadband internet and the acceleration of digital transformation in Africa since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
According to Khalid Abdelatif (photo, left), CEO of SudaChad Telecom, the project is part of the African Union's (AU) 2020-2030 digital transformation strategy, which “seeks the establishment of an integrated digital society and economy to improve people’s quality of life, strengthen the economy, and enable diversification and sustainable development.”
“The WE-Africa-NA partnership is a historical step toward this vision as it will deliver the shortest and most resilient terrestrial connectivity between the east and west coasts of Africa,” comments Sudatel Group CEO Magdi Taha.
Isaac K. Kassouwi