Construction starts on Congo-Gabon fibre optic network
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Gabon
The telecommunications ministers of Central African neighbours Congo Brazzaville and Gabon have laid the first stone on Sunday at the Lekoko border crossing to mark the kick off of the construction work of the fibre optic network that will link the two countries.
Huawei (for Congo) and China Communications Services (CCS), on the Gabonese side, are currently hard at work to ensure that the infrastructure is completed in the next 16 months in terms of the agreement signed between the contracting parties.
“The launch is symbolic but work will start shortly. They have 16 months to submit their work to the respective governments,” Congo telecoms minister Thierry Moungalla told the gathering crowd.
The event was graced by representatives of the World Bank, which has funded a number of fibre optic interconnection projects called Central African Backbone (CAB).
The project follows the signing in February this year of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries to establish an interconnection between their optic fibre networks CAB3 (Congo) and CAB4 (Gabon).
Gabon and Congo have since been working together on a number of infrastructure projects, which include the opening of a highway linking both countries.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced in March that it would provide a loan of US$152.3 million to the two countries to build a 274 km-highway that will not only connect Brazzaville and Libreville, but fix the existing road’s missing links.