DRC: EIB backs the connection of 2.5 mln people to broadband internet

By : Samira Njoya

Date : mardi, 07 mars 2023 03:44

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the African countries with the largest rural-urban connectivity gap. In that context, the post-Covid-19 growth in demand for broadband connectivity coupled with the country’s large population is attracting local and foreign investments in the digital sector.   

In the coming months, more than 2.5 million people living in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will benefit from a faster, cheaper, and more reliable internet connection. A financing agreement to this effect was signed on Saturday, March 4, between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS).

Under the agreement, BCS will receive $10 million to deploy 1,200 km of fiber optic cable out of the 20,000 km that it plans to install in Southern, Central, and Eastern Africa over the next three years.

The investment will help connect areas with poor or no access to broadband internet.  It will create jobs and connect 319 schools and 70 hospitals and health centers. According to Yonas Maru (photo, left), founder and CEO of BCS Group, it  "will go a long way to ensure implementation of the MOU between the Government of DRC and BCS to connect over 1,900 schools, 1,640 public hospitals and government institutions along the BCS backbone and metro fiber infrastructure."

The Digital is such a powerful driver of equity, inclusion, and growth, that the EU has made it a pillar of our Global Gateway strategy. Expansion of the fiber-optic infrastructure will enable local communities, schools, and hospitals to benefit from mobile broadband, which ultimately means new opportunities for learning, business, jobs, and healthcare,” said Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.

The funding was officially announced last November at the AfricaCom 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. It is the EIB’s first quasi-equity investment and its second cooperation with BCS. In 2018, the institution provided an $18 million long-term loan for BCS.

Samira Njoya


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