The Congo and World Bank launch Digital Acceleration Project
The view of a cybercafé is commonplace in The Congo. Gloire Ness a 21-year old from Bacongo in Brazzaville managesa small business.
On a daily basis, he has to deal with issues ranging from blackouts to poor access to Internet.
“The difficulties primarily from the Internet connection. Customers often say it’s a little slow. It’s not the quality we want. Still you’ve got to deal with it anyway.”
In order to positively impact at least 2 million Congolese, the Digital Transformation Acceleration Project was launched Tuesday (Jan. 24). Local authorities took out a multi-million dollar loan to fund it. The World Bank contributed 100 million dollars for a five-year period.
According to the project managers, the Congo will benefit in the near future from a grant of 15 million euros (10 billion CFA francs) from the European Union (EU).
“The World Bank is pleased to contribute to the financing of this strategic pillar as part of its Digital Economy initiative for Africa, which aims to support countries in their digitalization efforts,” Franz Drees-Gross, the Director of Infrastructure in the World Bank’s Africa West region said.
The project aims to ramp up the government’s ability to providing more efficient digital public services and to increase access to Internet for underserved populations.
The community aspect includes what are called “dead spots”, that is to say areas where economic operators, based on their specifications, are not bound to provide bandwith coverage because it is not profitable for them. Therefore, the State, which has the obligation to provide universal service, must ensure the connectivity of all citizens,” project coordinator Francis Seck Mangouani explained.
The Digital Acceleration Project launches as another one is currently being deployed. For several years now, the Congo has been trying to improve its interconnection with other countries in the sub-region, notably Gabon, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.