West African Countries join force to provide affordable Internet

Four West African countries sign a deal that will be carried out the project and managed by the international fibre network Sogem. The countries are Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal to link the fibre infrastructure that an energy management company provides.

The Sonatel incumbent operator of Senegal and ICT Company Envol Technology will manage the network under an agreement signed in Bamako, Mali’s capital. During the signing of this agreement, the Mali minister of communication and digital economy said:

“I hope that this will allow cheaper internet and communication prices and this partnership will add value to the digital ecosystem. This network of cables will be connected to the large submarine network, which will put our country on the same level as the countries by the sea,”

The detail of the contract with Sonatel and Envol was agreed with Sogem, the energy management company for the four countries Guinea, Mali, and Mauritania all share borders with landlocked Mali, Dakar Senegal, the coastal capital of Senegal is the landing site for several existing and planned subsea cables.

Sogem’s terrestrial fibre network stretches 1,728 km across the four countries. The Envol secretary-general Harouna Diakite said the project “aims to develop a modern, reliable, high-speed regional telecommunication infrastructure. It relies on a terrestrial optical fibre network coupled with submarine cables, thus offering secure international connectivity.”

However, the cost of internet and high-speed internet has been one of Africa’s uptake growth barriers. We have seen more African countries adopting the fibre infrastructure project to provide affordable and quality internet service to capture the unserved and underserved population.

This development is pivotal. It will change the dynamism of how businesses are transacted in these countries. Simultaneously, entities such as Fintech, e-commerce, and the gambling industry will find this project exciting as it could propel their business growth in the coming years. Also, this project will create exciting business opportunities and a conducive environment for companies, investors, and entrepreneurs to consider an investment. While the gambling industry in these countries, in essence, the touted affordable internet will positively change the iGaming space and gain top gaming brands’ attention in Africa. As this is expected, the gambling industry in these countries will experience tremendous traction from players, increasing mobile betting engagement.

As mentioned, the project will see an affordable internet data bundle, broadband connections, and a high internet speed and capture those in rural and remote areas. While it will provide internet penetration and widespread use of mobile internet users, we have seen different fibre infrastructure projects happening in Africa in recent years. The potentials of fibre submarine cable are massive, which is creating a digital battlefield. Several tech companies are venturing into this project, particularly international tech brands, are building a submarine cable to connect Africa. Such as Facebook, Orange, Huwai, and ZTE, to capture those in rural and remote areas and create affordable internet access for the African people.

In contrast, Africa is experiencing massive development on terrestrial fibre project to connect the region, which is an intriguing atmosphere for the African digital economy goal of 2063.

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