West African Countries Join Forces for $44 Million Amilcar Cabral Submarine Cable Project

Amilcar Cabral submarine cable will boost connectivity in 6 West African nations, fostering digital integration.By Grace Ashiru, Tech In Africa
April 19, 2023

The Amilcar Cabral submarine line will change the way people in six West African countries talk to each other. This high-speed infrastructure, named after Amilcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, a hero of the independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, was first meant to join only Guinea and Cape Verde. 

But now, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have all joined, and a memorandum of understanding has been signed to make the project’s growth official.

The ECOWAS Commission, on the other hand, will organize the project’s implementation by talking to beneficiary countries, donors, and other interested parties. A Ministerial Steering Committee and a Committee of Experts have been set up to ensure the project goes well.

The Amilcar Cabral submarine cable development project began in October 2018 when Guinea and Cape Verde signed a memorandum of understanding to link with an optical fiber submarine cable called “Cable Amilcar Cabral.” The original plan was to work on the project with Sierra Leone, Mauritania, and other nearby countries on the coast of West Africa.

In December 2022, the first meeting of the steering group for the Amilcar Cabral project to build a submarine cable for telecommunications was held. The project comes from the execution of Articles 32 and 33 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty, which support the region’s commitment to ICT to reach its integration goals. The project is part of axis 2 of the ECOWAS ICT plan, which aims to improve infrastructure and make it easier to build.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister and Coordinator of Government Activities, Jacob Jusu Saffa, says that the Amilcar Cabral cable will “not only provide a backlink for our existing unique submarine cables, but it will also help increase broadband penetration in member countries and promote regional integration through digital communications and e-commerce facilities, making it easier to create a single digital market in the ECOWAS region.”

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