Bayobab, formerly MTN GlobalConnect, has entered into a partnership with Africa50 to develop a terrestrial fibre optic network that will connect the eastern and western shores on the African continent.
Themed “Project East2West”, the project will see the two organizations pump up to Sh $230 million in an effort to connect 10 African countries by 2025. The partnership will offer substantial improvements in data traffic for internet service providers, mobile network operators and hyperscale’s operating in these countries.
“The alliance is more than cables and connections; it is about building bridges of connectivity that span nations and bring people closer together,” Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and CEO, said.
Mr Mupita added that Bayobab, which is fully owned by MTN group, aims at positioning itself as an African-focused open access digital platform.
“For landlocked African countries, Project East2West will improve latency by almost two-thirds and increase capacity to support high quality broadband access. In this way, it will level the playing field and ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed in the digital world,” he said.
While the move is expected to bridge the bottlenecks in the global internet traffic land in and going out of Africa, it will cut the latency issue by up to 65% on the east to west route.
According to Bayobab chief executive Frédéric Schepens, everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, the provision of digital infrastructure is crucial in driving digital transformation, weaving African countries together, and connecting them to the rest of the world.
“Africa’s connectivity relies on strategic and global partnerships coming together to build the much-needed large-scale backbone infrastructure to meet the explosive demand for digital services. We are looking forward to Project East2West meeting the connectivity demands to power digital services, bridging the digital divide across Africa, and paving the way for the sustainable digital societies of tomorrow,” Schepens said.
Africa50, an African infrastructure investment platform, will foster the harmonization of regional data and security regulations, boost consumption of local content in the entire region, promote inter-regional exchange and regional economic development, in its role as co-developer.
“It will have a significant impact on Africa’s quest to make the internet accessible to its growing population. Partnering with a large Pan-African company like Project Drone and MTN is significant in rolling out such an impactful cross-border project. This partnership aligns with Africa50s’ mission to scale-up and accelerate the delivery of infrastructure to stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent,” Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, said.