Local firms reap rewards of BOFINET tender
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
A multi-million dollar tender issued by Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET) will benefit a handful of local ICT and construction organisations, according to information relayed to Biztechafrica. The underground fibre optic cable contract is worth P200 million ($25 million) and already local technology companies have been reserved half of its total value, which is approximately $12.5 million.
In a statement released during the signing ceremony, the BOFINET Chief Mabua Mabua assured the local companies that his organisation would support them this time. “Foreign companies were also expected to join hands with locals for the project. According to BOFINET, the five contractors will be sharing this lucrative project and are expected to start working from October 2014 up to June 2015.”
According to Mabua, the project will avail more than 1000 additional fibre networks across the country. “Bofinet has chosen to us the different companies for the project to minimise the risk of and allay fears.”
The project manager Keabetswe Segole said two companies namely Four Arrows and Echoes Holdings joint venture will carryout the contract for Maun-Ngoma optical fibre project. The whole project will cover 362 kilometers. Segole said this will also include areas such as Shorobe, Sankoyo,Mabele, Savuti, Kachikau, Kavimba, Mabele, Ngoma and Khwai.
On the other hand, Dimension Data will be responsible for the Sekoma Tsabong project. The 360 kilometre long undertaking will include places like Khonkha, Keng, Khakhea, Werda, Makopong, Heriford Border, Draihoek, Kisa Moraleng, Omaweneno, tsabong and MacCathy Rust Border.
Complant Botswana and Mepi Building joint venture will carry out the Sehitwa Mohembo project this 325 kilometers long route includes places like Tsau, Repeater, Gwenda, Nokaneng, Gumare, Etsha1, Etsha6 and 13, ikoga, Sepopa, Nxamasere and Shakawe. While MPP construction and Nowaji Services joint venture as well as Business Online will carry out the other projects for Maun and Kasane local loops respectively.
“This is just to facilitate service providers to provide better services, said Segole. He added that already they have conducted successfully the Environment Impact Assessment activities with the local vilages, Department of parks, Department of roads, Land Boards, museum, Forestry and Range management and the Environmental Affairs Department to establish the impact of the project on the villages and places in question.
Once completed, the cables will enable internet service providers to deliver reliable as well as fast internet, information as well as voice services to communities in the affected areas.