Malawi govt takes next broadband step
| April 28, 2013, 6:44 a.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Malawi’s Government, through the Public Private Partnership Commission, has taken the next step in its international broadband connectivity programme, with the launch of the last mile connectivity initiative Phase II.
With credit that government has received from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, it has now started calling for bids for the provision of internet bandwidth, terminal equipment, maintenance support services and ICT equipment to selected public secondary schools in Malawi.
Government says the credit is towards the cost of development of the connectivity in the telecommunication sector in order to enable the provision of affordable broadband services within Malawi for both the public and private sector.
“The investment in broadband connectivity will be undertaken by a consortium of private sector investors using a public private partnership methodology,” reads part of the invitation for bids notice published in local press.
Malawi, which is grappling with reducing internet cost and adopting ICT as a tool to improve the economy, is trying to start by introducing ICT lessons in all schools in the country.
The step taken therefore will see the supply and installation as well as commissioning of internet bandwidth and ICT equipment, which include computers and printers, in selected public secondary schools in its six education divisions spread across the country.
This initiative is part of the Regional Communications Infrastructure Program Malawi Project (RCIPMW) whose main component is to connect Malawi to the undersea optic fibre cable connectivity expected to reduce internet costs in the country by more than half of the current cost.