Central African Backbone Project: Cameroon is ready to go

The country has released its funding contribution for the implementation of CAB, the Central African Backbone Fibre Optic Project through which the World Bank aims to strengthen the continent’s broadband and reduce the cost of internet services.

Cameroon’s role

Cameroon will contribute to the implementation of the Central African Backbone Project by laying 916 kilometres of fibre optic cable, divided between five segments which will link together some of the country’s key centres. Funding for the project, which will take four years, will come from the Cameroon government, but the majority, over 24 million Dollars, will come from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The project has strategic value for Cameroon, which aims to have reached a total of 20 thousand kilometres of fibre optic cable in the country by 2035.

The Central African Backbone Project

The Cameroon initiative is in fact just one part of a broader and more ambitious project: one which aims to create the Central African Backbone. This will be a real fibre optic spine, an underground network of cables connecting the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States. The project was conceived and launched in 2009 by the World Bank, which is its main funding body, to the amount of 206 million Dollars (out of a total of 273 million). The network will involve 7 states: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe. Its implementation is divided into 5 phases, with entry into service by the end of 2019.

According to the experts at the World Bank, the project will ensure that the region has a foundation for development, enabling it to pursue a twofold objective: to improve the quality of connections across the area and contribute to reducing the cost of internet- and telecommunications-related services.