AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the project to build a Trans-Saharan fibre-optic backbone, known by the acronym DTS.
The Algerian Press Agency (APS) reported the news, citing the head of the AfDB in Algeria, Boubacar Sidiki Traore. In the first phase, the project will connect Niger, Chad, Algeria and Nigeria. Only later will it be extended to Mali, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Tunisia will host the Liaison Committee for the construction of the DTS, whose task, among others, will be to ensure “the coordination between the countries involved and the consistency of the tracks indicated by the DTS”.
In statements to local media, the minister of Algerian telecommunications announced that in the coming weeks, numerous bids and requests for tender will be launched for the fibre optic connection installation operations, inviting Algerian and African companies to participate.
In December 2016, the Niger government obtained a loan of 31.4 million euros and a gift of 12.5 million euros from the AfDB to build the national leg of the Trans-Saharan DST backbone project.
The purpose of the backbone project is to target and strengthen the quality and efficacy of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in the region, both for domestic users and businesses. The new channels will strengthen the capacity to exchange data and information and, according to the promoters, to lower the prices of these services.
The project also includes the creation of a pilot data centre, electronic platforms for the administration and integrated management systems identifying people and training for students and women.