ECOWAS Ministers Advance Amilcar Cabral Submarine Telecoms Cable Project in Bissau Meeting

ECOWAS ministers convened in Bissau to advance the Amilcar Cabral Submarine Cable Project, aiming to boost regional connectivity.By Roger A. Agana, News Ghana
June 21, 2024

The 4th Meeting of the Ministers of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)/Digital Economy and Finance/Planning from ECOWAS Member States involved in the Amilcar Cabral submarine telecoms cable project convened in Bissau.

This crucial gathering followed the Experts’ meeting held on June 12-13, 2024, focusing on financial mobilization and the establishment of Special Purpose Companies (SPCs) to execute the project.

The Amilcar Cabral submarine telecoms cable project spans six ECOWAS countries: Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Its objective is to deploy a fibre-optic submarine cable to provide redundant international connectivity, supplementing existing landing stations and enhancing international bandwidth for Internet users in these nations. This infrastructure upgrade promises improved telecommunications quality, reliability, and accessibility, with significant socio-economic benefits.

The meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Jose Carlos ESTEVES, Guinea Bissau’s Minister of Transport, Telecommunications, and Digital Economy, alongside ECOWAS Commissioner Mr. Sédiko DOUKA, responsible for Infrastructure, Energy, and Transport. Ministers overseeing ICT/Digital Economy and Finance/Planning, alongside experts from member states, the ECOWAS Commission, and technical and financial partners (including the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and World Bank), also participated.

Key outcomes included the adoption of a phased approach, commencing the project in countries where financial resources are secured, with mechanisms for reimbursement by other participating nations under an ECOWAS-prepared agreement. Deadlines were set for establishing SPCs in each country and completing detailed implementation studies led by Guinea and The Gambia. The next ministerial review is scheduled for October 2024 in Liberia.

In conclusion, the Ministers expressed gratitude to Guinea-Bissau for their warm hospitality and support, underscoring their commitment to advancing regional telecoms infrastructure through collaborative efforts.

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